I Love Estate Sales

I love auctions—but I prefer estate sales! Before I started in estate liquidation, I attended more auctions than estate sales mainly because there was an Antiques & Auction Gallery located near to me. In 1986, buying and selling antiques was all the rage.

I was not the only “personality” in my community doing estate sales in what was once a unique, eclectic market unto itself of antique dealers with ritzy shops, flea market vendors with treasure galore, estate sellers, antiques’ refinished, and upholsterers. Most of them are long gone with only a few of us left carrying the torch of antiques and collectibles in the age of made in China.

Although most of these antique aficionados and their establishments were short-lived, there are still plenty of opportunities for both estate sales and auctions.

Disturbingly, a lot of cheaply manufactured home furnishings make up many estate sales and auction lots.

Who’s In The Driver’s Seat

Most estate auctioneers seem to think that when a senior, heir, family member of a deceased person, or personal representative expresses a need for an estate sale they really mean an ‘estate auction.’

The fact that clients choose an estate sale over an estate auction means they know exactly what they want when they’re ready to disperse an estate.

This post will give you insight into making your estate sale service a viable choice for clients in need of personal property liquidation.

All estate liquidation professionals assume that clients don’t know how to disperse an estate; so we need to help them understand how to decide between an estate sale and estate auction.

Estate Sale Difference

With an estate sale service, clients can leave everything where it is. Buyers tend to pay more for items when they see them in their original setting. An estate sale professional can determine the best liquidation method for clients’ needs, which are:

Liquidation Value: It is the lowest value and is assigned when the clients are under pressure to sell.
Fair Market Value: It is assigned for quick sales, which takes into account current resale value.
Estate sales are a great way to clear out an estate or sell out to the bare walls.

Estate Auction Difference

With an auction service, when there are specific items such as valuable paintings or estate jewelry, it’s in the client’s best interest to send them to an estate auction where the increased exposure will obtain a higher price. A reserve can also be set for certain items. Be aware that auction companies often charge a freight fee to pick up items and various other fees.

The fact is estate sales are a legitimate estate administration service for the liquidation of personal property and assets.

Neither an estate sale or an estate auction can guarantee that 100% of the personal property will be sold at the end of the sale.

To make an informed decision on whether to hire an estate sale or auction service, clients need to be aware of the advantages of estate sale pricing. Selling quality items over two or three days should be sold at fair market value.

Know Your Stuff

Another reason I appreciate estate auctions is that no one knows about every item. Although I have studied to become an appraiser, I only specialize in certain styles of antiques. That is why I recommend estate auction for the sale of valuable assets. The true sign of an estate sale professional is to know what you can and cannot handle.

An estate sale also known as a tag sale can be successful and profitable for “selling” general household items, vintage and modern furniture. If you are not experienced in “selling” fine antiques, collectibles, memorabilia, collections, and quality modern furniture, then an estate auction is absolutely the best choice. Develop relationships with reputable auction houses, which will work in your favor in the long run.

Price It Right

Generally, estate sale clients always think that prices are too low. Pricing should be discussed with clients so they understand you will set prices that they, buyers and you feel is fair. Overpricing items run the risk of having unsold inventory at the end of the sale. Usually, under the best sale circumstances, only 10% of the contents are leftover, which is broken or unsellable. Professional estate liquidators set realistic prices and negotiate at the point of sale from a point of strength, which means prices can go up or down.

Estate Sale Means High Standard

Estate sales cannot be compared to estate auctions in terms of required state regulatory compliance, but estate sales professionals recognize the value of being licensed and bonded and acquiring training from industry insiders to learn a Code of Ethics. Estate sales or auctions don’t require an applied science degree, but both professions require a certain degree of hands-on-training and/or at-the-sale training, integrity, legal requirements, and honesty bonding.

All Professionals Should Watch Out For Conflict Of Interest

Clients need your abilities, information as well as solutions. As an estate sale management service, you should not promote yourself as a buyer or concentrate on buying because it is a conflict of intention in serving them.

If managing estate sales are your main concentration, it’s not okay to go on first client consultations and offer to purchase anything. Clients will ask do you buy things at the sale, to test you. This is a clear conflict of interest and can cause irreparable damage to your credibility. Decide now whether you want to be a buyer or a reputable estate seller. You cannot have it both ways.

Don’t Let Clients Down With Low Traffic

Recently, there has been an influx of estate sales on the Internet. With many, however, there is little or no advertising and promotion.

If an estate liquidator is booking back-to-back sales, there is usually minimal advertising. Remember: The money is in marketing (advertising and promotion). I have developed a detail-marketing plan that can be customized for your estate sale client.

Will your clients choose your estate sale service or an estate auction? Find out how to start an effective sale business or operate an existing one effectively.