5 Reasons You Should Hire an Estate Sale Company

You're on the fence. Should you hire an estate sale company? Should you DIY the estate sale?

Estate Sales (Tag Sales) are when someone can no longer keep all of the "things" they have accumulated. It is held at a time when there has been a death, divorce, or downsizing (the 3 D's).

While it may seem like it's just a big yard sale or garage sale, it is different. Why not do it yourself? That is most certainly a possibility. But there are several ways that estate sales are different from garage sales.

Garage sales are smaller and are filled with items you WANT to get rid of. Generally, the step before the Goodwill dropoff.

Estate sales are much larger and involve a majority of one's possessions. You are selling most of the items because it has become a necessity. Not because you want to.

In an estate sale, some of the items you sell have personal and sentimental value.

So, is an estate sale something you should tackle on your own? Before taking on this task, let's dive into my 5 reasons to hire.

1. Time

Do you have the time to dedicate to setting up an estate sale? It's not as simple as you think…

In planning the sale, you'll need time and lots of it. Most estate sale companies take 1-4 WEEKS to set up the home. This is a more full-time job.

You will have to go through and empty every drawer, dresser, cabinet, and crawlspace (yep, there too) to decide what you want to keep and what is to be sold.

Every item you choose to sell will need to be displayed and priced. You will need tables, clothes racks, display cases, shelves, stickers, and packing materials just to name a few.

Photo by Rachael Crowe on Unsplash
Being able to know the best way to display items for shopping is super important.

Most estate sales are held over the weekend – Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday – all day.

2. Sentimental Attachment

What is your level of sentiment? Sometimes the little things are hard.

Many things that the average person thinks are valuable are typically not the most sought items at an estate sale. Why? Because items like china, crystal, silver plate, and collectibles are sold at EVERY estate sale. Being so widely available decreases their value. This means that pricing items at what you THINK they should be worth or what it was purchased for are probably not quite right. Those types of items will still be left at the end of the sale if you don't price them just right.

But items like yardsticks, bottles of shampoo, and Tupperware from the 70s may be just what people are looking for! Seriously! Do you remember that old saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure"? It's the truth!

Another thing to keep in mind is: How will you feel after a day or so of listening to comments about you or your loved one's taste in home d├ęcor or disputing the price of items that hold great personal value to you? Even as someone with no attachment to these items, it can be draining for us too. We understand that this was someone's life. But, being able to brush off rude comments is a part of our job.

3. Running the Sale

In addition to the sale setup, you will need people to cashier, run security, and help with questions. It all depends on the home size, but you will need people to work with you for the sale days.

Only taking cash at a sale is doable, but you will make more money if you take credit cards. Do you have a way to process those payments?

Sometimes, your customers will need help getting your dining table into their truck. Providing loading help will always help to make that sale.

4. Advertising

A major factor in a profitable estate sale is getting the RIGHT people in the door. This means you NEEEEEED to advertise. I cannot stress this enough. There are plenty of ways to advertise for free (Facebook/Craigslist), but if you want the estate sale masses to come to your sale, you will have to fork over some money.

Placing yard signs at street corners leading up to your sale brings in people. You know. Those guys that stand at the corner, flipping the advertisements to traffic passing by? Ok, maybe not quite that. But, you certainly need to have something out there showing how to get to the home for those who just happen to be passing by.

5. Cost/Profits

Could you make more money if you DIY'd this?

Possibly. We are usually commissioned based. The commission can range from 30-50% of the total estate sale profits. But keep in mind:

Supplies cost money. Those tables you need to display and have a place for people to "HOLD" their purchases while shopping can be costly. So are the stickers, markers, tape, hired help, and advertising just to name a few.

Having experience in the CURRENT market value of your items is essential. Those Precious Moments or Hummel collection is worth a lot less than you think.

Making sure that EVERY ITEM is priced makes a HUGE difference. If there isn't a price, most people won't bother asking how much.

Knowing how to run an estate sale from day to day, dealing with picky customers, and being a salesman are all extra factors that can determine how much you make.


6. Leftover Items

You think that everything you have is amazing and nothing will be left. Wrong. While you will sell things, the actual reality is that you will only sell 50% of what's there MAYBE. Shocking, I know. That's true for most sales, even if run by a company. What do you do with everything that's left?

While my company does not clean out the leftover items, we have a liquidator who will come and get everything left for a fee. Wait. Does he charge to take my things? Yep. He is providing you with a service to clear out your home quickly. He has to pay for storage, gas, equipment rental, labor, etc. More than likely you want to get your house on the market to sell or maybe it's already sold. If you need that house cleaned out, a couple of hundred dollars and you're left with an empty home. Of course, that's up to you.

If after considering these questions, you've decided to hire an Estate Sale Company and NOT go the DIY route, we are here to help.

We offer FREE, no-obligation consultations. No pressure ever. Even if you need some guidance, we would love to help you.