You Probably Don’t Need an Estate Liquidator IF …

Whether you are faced with the grief-filled process of cleaning out your parents’ estate or downsizing to move to a smaller house, an estate liquidator can be the best investment to save time, maximize profit, and keep you from pulling out your hair.

An estate sale professional conducts a public sale to liquidate the household goods.  This sale is normally held on site, but can be held at a warehouse or storefront of the liquidator, especially when a neighborhood does not allow an estate sale.  The estate liquidator is also well-versed in selling online.

The liquidator is responsible for everything from organizing, researching, pricing, advertising, handling employees and attendees during the sale, and the entire client management process.  They deal with just about every detail from their end to conduct a successful sale.

Estate sale professionals like a wide variety of items to offer the public, to ensure a good sale.  This variety acts like a magnet for the public, so if a potential client has only a couple of common upholstered chairs, an old bed, and a lifetime supply of plastic storage containers, an estate liquidator will not be the right fit.

While each liquidator has an idea in their minds about what would make a good sale in their region, most like a mix of items ranging from jewelry and decorative items, to artwork, oddities, collectibles and antiques, cars, and so much more.  After you sign a contract with your liquidator, nothing should be removed to be courteous and fair to the liquidator, or fees will be imposed to make up for the income the liquidator was expecting but has now lost.

To add clarity to the ongoing education of a liquidator’s role and when to call for their services, this listing will serve as your guide.

You probably don’t need to call an estate liquidator IF …

  1. You already removed the best items and all that’s left is low-value items.
  2. The family is still removing things from the estate, and isn’t finished yet.
  3. You allow friends and family to take things from the estate, leaving little behind for the liquidator to have a productive sale.
  4. You haven’t decided what you want to sell or keep yet.
  5. Many of the items you want to sell are in disrepair: broken, re-glued, fractured, bent, stained.
  6. The property is unsafe: no electricity, water, heat, air conditioning, or structural problems.
  7. You are not prepared to sign a contract which is mutually binding.
  8. You are not yet emotionally ready to let go and let the professional commence work.
  9. You remove whatever the family doesn’t want from the house and pile it in the garage.
  10. You think that all old items are very valuable.
  11. You want to remain in the house while the sale is going on.
  12. Your internet search for prices really aren’t values, but simply asking prices.
  13. You are using old insurance appraisals for “values” that are no longer valid.
  14. You think to yourself, “This should have been donated or discarded long ago,” and you’re probably right.
  15. You really need to call a junk man.  Many items found in estates are beyond usability.  Some items have been badly damaged, have an odor, or are in bad condition and should be discarded.

Many estate liquidators also like for clients to not throw anything away until they walk through your estate and take their own inventory.  They may be able to sell some things for you, even if your belongings are not a good fit for an estate sale.  They know what can sell, what’s hot, what’s not, and the prices that items will sell for.

Remember: a professional liquidator is worth their weight in gold!

©2014 The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising.  She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation.

No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent.  Email her at