It is fairly common for people in Florida to hire an estate sale company after someone has died, after a divorce, before relocating, or before downsizing. Estate sale and consignment auction companies specialize in selling a large amount of personal property in a short amount of time. However, before you decide which estate sale company you want hire, there are some issues you need to consider. Making the right choice can be the difference between your sale doing well and not so well.
Estate Sale Companies
It’s been estimated that there are about 17,000 estate and consignment sale companies operating in the country at any given time. While these companies are commonly found almost everywhere, there are few regulations that govern them. In fact, almost anyone can begin an estate sale company at any time, or hold themselves out as having an estate sale or consignment business.
Because of this, anyone considering hiring an estate sale company needs to use caution. There are a lot of fly-by-night estate sale companies around, and these often don’t have the experience, expertise, or reputation that you want from a good, reliable company.
Before you make your choice, investigate the company to see how long it’s been around, whether it can provide you with referrals, and how often it conducts regular estate sales. Ask what the company does to market the sale. If you have time, you might also stop by one of the sales the company holds to see how they conduct their business.
Fees, Costs, and Proceeds
It’s also important to realize that not only do estate sale companies charge money to conduct the sale, the amount they charge can be significant. It’s quite common, for example, for companies in Florida to charge between 30% to 35% of the total revenue as their commission. Some companies might charge more, while other companies charge less, but you should be prepared to pay fees that are somewhere in this area.
Further, there might be costs involved that you need to be clear about before making any agreement. Ask the company if it provides a written service contract, or an explanation of the fees involved. Ask if any deposit is required, and what, if anything, you will be expected to pay upfront.
Further, it’s important to limit your expectations about the value of the items that will be sold. It’s common for people to expect estate sales to bring in much more money than they actually do. Most items at estate sales sell for fractions of their retail price, especially if there are no particularly valuable or desirable items for sale.