Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Estate Sale Pro

For many people who are in the position to host an estate sale, trusting in the professionals to run their estate sale may be the best decision they can make when it comes to getting rid of items in the most lucrative and speedy way possible. If you’re searching for an estate sale professional to hire to carry out your sale, be sure to ask the following questions before you make the hiring decision official.

Question 1: What are your fees?

There’s quite a bit of discrepancy in how estate sale companies structure their fees, meaning that not every company is the same. That’s why it’s so important to ask what a company’s charges are and how they assess those charges. For example, companies typically charge:

  • A flat rate
  • A flat rate, plus a percentage of the sales
  • A percentage of gross sales
  • A balance minimum or percentage of the sales, whichever happens to be greater

These different fee assessments might not seem like a big deal, but if you have a home with many valuable items, choosing a professional company that takes a percentage of your sales may cause you to lose out on more money than you anticipated.

Moreover, some companies don’t offer all-inclusive fees. If you end up needing a permit to host an estate sale or needing to have professionals come in to clear out the house after the sale is over, or the company requires you to pitch in for credit card processing fees or advertising costs, you’ll be out more money than you originally planned. Knowing what a company charges and what their fees include is a crucial component to find out before you make a decision on what professional to go with for your estate sale.

Question 2: How do you plan to keep the property secure?

In the case of an estate sale, you’re entrusting a third-party service with personal belongings to sell to total strangers. Some of these items could hold a high monetary or sentimental value. Finding out upfront how a company plans to keep your personal items and property secure throughout the duration of the sale is essential.

Question 3: How do you price the items for sale?

Finding out how a professional company plans to price your items for sale is key in setting expectations for how much money you’ll be able to make from the sale. An honest company will be able to give you a straight answer—don’t settle for one that seems shady.

Question 4: Are you insured?

Even when you employ professionals to carry out a service, accidents do happen. The responsible estate sale agents will have taken the proper steps to become insured in the event that a sale is robbed, a shopper becomes injured or a staff suffers an injury during the sale. Don’t choose a company that can’t provide you with proper proof of insurance.

Question 5: What do you require of me?

You’ll want to know exactly what you’re required to do prior to the sale so you know if you can work with a company or not. You’ll want to find out how they schedule the sale, when payment is made and if there are any prohibitions for who is and isn’t allowed for participating in the sale.


Taking the time to find out the answers to these essential questions before hiring an estate sale agent or professional will ensure that your estate sale is successful as it possibly can be.