Estate Sale Checklist

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NEED AN ESTATE SALE?

  • Before you call to schedule an appointment clearly mark all items in the home that will not be for sale.
    • Use bright colored post it notes work best.
  • Contact several reputable estate liquidators in your area as soon as possible to check availability.
  • It can take 2 weeks or more to prepare for an estate sale.
  • Schedule an on-site meeting to discuss your needs and how the liquidator can best assist you.
  • Be sure to ask for references.
  • Make sure the company you are going to do business with is a brick & mortar company.
  • Benefits of a Brick & Mortar company
    • They should be open Monday – Friday at least 8 hours.
    • They should have Saturday Hours.
    • They should have staff on site during business hours.
    • They should have someone to speak to if you call.
  • Make sure to ask them for copies of their insurance & bond.
  • Verify their insurance & bond via phone numbers you look up on the internet for those companies.
  • Verify that they are a registered company with the state of Michigan at: http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/bcs_corp/sr_corp.asp
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau & Angie’s List for Open cases or bad reviews.
  • Verify that unsold items are still yours after the sale.  Most of the time unethical companies will tell you they are going to get these ridiculous high dollars for your stuff because that is what you want to hear and hidden in the contract is all unsold items become their property after the sale.
  • Reputable Companies never offer buyouts or should want to purchase any of your items outright. Their only objective should be to get you the highest dollar possible for your items period.
  • Make sure to read the contract!
  • Verify with the neighborhood, homeowners, or building association that an estate sale advertised to the general public is allowed at the premises. Be aware of any by–laws, codes, and/or rules surrounding a public sale in your area.
  • Ensure no more than one estate sale has occurred at the premises within the previous 12 months. Some city codes prevent more than two sales at the same address within 12 months.
  • Decide on which items you want to liquidate. If liquidating items belonging to another owner, have legal documentation which authorizes you to liquidate the items. Documentation may include, but is not limited to, Bill of Sale, Power of Attorney, Will, Letters of Testamentary, or Letters of Administration.
  • Do not throw anything away! Just because an item is old and dirty doesn’t mean it is not valuable. Even pieces of a broken item can help increase the overall value. Let the estate liquidator determine what is trash and what is treasure.
  • Gather any receipts, sales slips, or earlier appraisals that relate to the items being liquidated.
  • Gather any historical information or family history that relate to the items being liquidated.
  • If a vehicle is to be sold, please have the title and registration available.
  • Document ALL items to be excluded from the estate sale — including fixtures, appliances, etc. Make arrangements to have excluded items removed from the premises prior to the estate sale, if possible.
  • Ensure standard homeowners liability insurance exists for the premises which covers all staff, guests, and invitees who attend the sale.
  • Ensure there will be adequate electricity, water, and seasonably appropriate heating or air conditioning to the premises.
  • Selling the house? Be sure the realtor has listing information on hand for the liquidator to distribute to interested shoppers. If the house is under contract, be sure the estate sale occurs prior to closing.
  • Consider what should be done with items remaining after the estate sale.
  • ALWAYS get it in writing! Be sure everything you agree to is clearly spelled out.
  • These are just a few of the many things that should be considered and discussed when planning for an estate sale. Overwhelmed? Do not worry – Simply Amazing Estate Sales can handle any unique circumstance.