Everyone loves to save money, but cutting corners on some services is just not advisable. One such service is when you hire a professional estate liquidator due to the relocation of a parent, downsizing, or the loss of a loved one.
The emphasis here is on the word professional. The estate sale professional is one who has dedicated much time, care, concern, diligence, devotion, education, research, plus so much more to attain the skills required to conduct a successful estate sale for their clients. This professional works countless hours and endures many sleepless nights for their clients, constantly learning and navigating an ever-changing industry and dealing with an increasingly difficult public of buyers.
Conducting an estate sale is not just about organizing and displaying, nor as easy as it appears. Genuine professionals do it well and make it look easy, even though it is really very hard. They truly earn their commission because of all they know how to do, including how to maximize sale proceeds.
Saving those few dollars selecting the wrong company could end up costing you!
This industry is inundated with pop-up or fly-by-night companies that appear out of nowhere. While there are exceptions to every rule, we see the following often:
- Many of them have little to no industry training, skills, or understanding of the scope of the work that lies ahead of them.
- They often know little about today’s market and what items will sell for.
- They often sell at very low prices and then depart.
- Some don’t even price items or research the value of higher-end pieces.
- Sometimes they leave a mess behind for the client to pick up and handle.
- The sale proceeds are often quite low, because they didn’t make the effort to make the sale as successful as possible.
- They may not pay the client in a pre-determined time frame or offer an accounting of what was sold.
- To get the contract signed, they undercut with a low commission, claiming they will do the same things as their professional competitors, but will they?
PLEASE do not hire a company based on commission alone. Find out what the commission includes, research the company, and make your decision based on sound information and facts.
If the commission is very low, one must ask how they can afford the proper resources: enough staff to organize/display/watch the crowd effectively, security to minimize theft, advertising, appropriate prices, proper signage, social media, and more.
Lower commission can also bring lower effort. Unless it is a very simple estate sale, what normally suffers is quality:
- Quality of care
- Quality of service
- Quality in research
- Quality in diligent preparation
These qualities are attributes of a professional, not a bargain-basement business.
KNOW WHO YOU ARE HIRING! The time it takes to find those true professionals is time well spent.
©2016 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.
No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.