Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why should I hire an estate sale company? While many people choose to hold an estate sale themselves rather than hire a professional company, this often proves to be very stressful for the family during an already difficult time. Additionally, the estate often does not receive as much financial value from the sale as it would if a professional had been hired, for several reasons. •The estate sale agent knows how to research the value of items and price them to successfully sell at the highest price possible. •The agent knows how to set up (stage) the sale to accomplish liquidation of as many items as possible. •The agent should keep records of the items sold and their prices, and handle all of the financial transactions (this is especially important if the estate is being handled by an executor or estate attorney). The agent also collects and reports sales tax. •The agent can often assist with clearing out items that did not sell. Note that we do not offer buy-out of left-over items or keep an inventory because we feel that would present a conflict of interest for our current and future clients.
How much does the agent get paid? Most estate sale agents have a contract that specifies they will receive a certain percentage of the gross receipts from the sale. If there are any additional costs for holding the sale (such as security), that should be spelled out in the contract. At the conclusion of the sale, the agent will hold back their percentage of the sale receipts and provide an accounting of that. You should not have to pay anything up front to an agent for your sale.
How long does it take to prepare for a sale? As soon as any necessary paperwork and permissions are in order and/or the home has been listed on the market, you and your agent should set a date approximately three to four weeks in the future. Your agent will need to do an assessment of items to be sold, research the value of particular items, take pictures, and begin advertising the sale. About one week prior to the sale and for the week of the sale, the team will be staging the sale. In the case of larger homes or a high volume of items, it may take a few days longer.
Which days will the sale be held? Most estate sales are held on a Friday and Saturday over one weekend. If the agent feels an additional day or days will be needed, the sale can start on Thursday and/or end on Sunday.
If I’m the executor of the estate, what paperwork do I need to hold the sale? You will need a court document stating that you are the executor and that you have the authority to sell the estate’s property. If there is more than one executor, then all executors will need to sign the estate sale contract.
What should I do with things I don’t want to sell? If you or other family members want to keep certain items, those items should be removed from the home prior to the estate sale team staging the home. If this is not feasible, those items should be placed in a separate room that will remain locked during the sale.
Should I throw away items I don’t think can be sold? NO. Wait for your estate sale agent to do their assessment before you throw anything away. They will know what will or will not sell, and you might be surprised at the types of things many shoppers will buy. For more information on this topic, download our free guide “What You Need to Know About Your Upcoming Estate Sale” from the Home page of our website.
Do I need to be home during the sale? It is generally recommended that you NOT be present in the home during the sale. Let the professionals you’ve hired take care of everything for you.
Should I post about the sale on my personal social media? YES! Let everyone know about your sale on all of your social media accounts. Additionally, if you are in a Homeowners Association, find out if you can advertise on their social media and/or newsletter. We can provide you with links to sites that will have the information about your sale. However, we suggest NOT posting the address of your sale until the day before the sale begins to avoid having people knock on your door.
Can the estate sale be held online? YES. While not all estate sale services companies conduct online sales, Donna Davis Estate Sales LLC does. Call Donna at (770)235-7638 for more information about this option.
When will I get the funds from the sale? After the sale has been concluded, you should receive an accounting and receipt books from your agent within five to seven business days. If your sale is held around the time of a major holiday, it may take a little longer.