What to Consider When Selecting An Estate Sale Company
Selecting an estate sale company can be overwhelming. With so many to choose from, how can you determine which are the best and which you should avoid? Below are a couple of things to be aware of during the interview process that will help you make the right choice.
With so many companies to choose from, it might seem like choosing the company with the lowest cost to you is the best option. In this industry it might be best to think twice. Although companies are here to help, at the end of the day a profit is always the main goal in mind. This is true for clients and companies alike. Every company also operates similarly in the sense that they are commission based and will take a portion of the sale profit as payment.
How The Percentage Makes a Difference
What is the difference between the company that tells you they will take 25% versus the company that tells you they will take 40%? It breaks down as follows:
The company that offers you a 25% rate will most likely be less developed than the company that offers you a 40% rate. What does this mean exactly? Factoring in hours spent organizing and cleaning the home in preparation for the sale, the cost to advertise, the cost of supplies such as bags and wrapping used for customers at that sale, credit card fees associated with item sales, staffing for open sale days to watch over your home and your items, and lastly but not limited to the labor cost to get your home ready on all those avenues, the cost to the company can be high.
Odds are, the company that offered you the 25% rate also did not prepare for those things. That or they are not telling you everything about their process. They may not tell you that they might “cook the books” (meaning they alter transactions that happen during the sale changing the total) and you are in fact paying the credit card fees out of your pocket. They may not have told you that they do not have employees and your items will not be watched on sale days. They may not have told you about hidden fees that include you covering the cost of their labor. The worst part, is they may not even set up or clean your home. This can result in your sale not grossing as much as possible leaving you with left over items that you are stuck with which could prolong things like the listing of your home on the market.
Our goal is not to fear monger, however, these problems are a real possibility with many companies existing in Southeastern Michigan. Being knowledgeable on these potential issues will give you the competitive edge when hiring a company.
Need to be absolutely sure you are hiring the best? Read our blog on 3 Easy Ways to Guarantee You Hire the Best Company
A free clean-out sure sounds nice. All of the leftover items miraculously disappear after the sale is over leaving you free and clear to move on. You just need to ask, what does a free clean-out mean exactly?
More often than not a free clean-out means that a company will take the leftover items of an estate sale and keep them to sell for 100% profit later. This will help you save a few bucks but will not leave you with any record of what was left and yo will not be able to benefit from a large scale donation write off. Sometimes a free clean-out also means that a company may not be as willing to sell high ticket items during the sale hours. They may save them for the end thinking that they can keep the item, take it to their store, and sell it for a larger profit later without sharing the profit with you.
In summary, make sure to dig and find out what these companies are and are not telling you. Think twice before hiring the low percentage company with a free clean-out and always interview multiple companies.
Want to know a few more questions to ask to make sure you are choosing the right company? Need a little more information on the estate sale process? Download our free “Successful Sale Checklist” here.