Join our team! We're hiring now. Click to learn more.

Behind the Scenes of Professional Estate Sales – Part I

 August 2016

By Nan Hayes for Caring Transitions®

 Estate Sales have operated at a local level in this country for many years.  Today, with over 14,000 independent businesses operating in the United States, Caring Transitions® has emerged as the industry leader. With offices in most major markets, Caring Transitions® offers consumers more options for selling or buying household goods.

Our recent series of newsletters on estate sales and liquidations have prompted some of our followers to ask about the value of hiring a professional versus trying to downsize mom and dad’s belongings on their own. Caring Transitions® is pleased to provide insight and share what really goes on “behind the scenes” at an estate sale. In our next three newsletters, we will explain what consumers should expect from truly professional estate sale companies.

1.       Customers First:  If you’ve tried to hire an estate sale company recently, they may have informed you that you simply do not have enough items of value to hold a sale. There are a few reasons many companies will not accept clients without at least $10,000 in estimated value of household goods, but most of it boils down to the company’s bottom line. Most small estate sale businesses charge for their sale using a commission structure of 35- 60 %. Out of this commission they must be able to cover their labor, overhead expenses and profits.   You may find companies who charge less or who accept smaller sales, but in many cases you will find those companies will take advantage of their clients and make their profits “on the side” through unethical resale and pricing practices. On the other hand, professional companies like Caring Transitions®, the nation’s largest estate sale network, are up front with clients about the fees involved in a full-service estate sale. For smaller sales, Caring Transitions® will work with sellers to try and find the best option for their goods. We can often provide in-house alternatives to estate sale, such as such as CT Online Auctions, donations or private buyer sales. Our objective is always to help the client resolve their personal situation with as little stress as possible. 

2.       Disbursement Strategies: a truly professional estate sale company will not only help the seller decide what to sell or what has value, but they will also provide direction and advice for working with siblings and heirs. They can offer advice on how or when to determine “who gets what” before sale items are advertised.  Companies who are experienced or well-trained understand that they are often dealing with highly personal, sensitive or complex family dynamics and that they have been invited to share in a family’s private matters.  Respect for the client, the home and all its contents are hallmarks of a truly professional organization. 

3.       Safety and Security: When working in a private home, estate sale professionals are granted access to many highly valuable and highly personal items.  It is of the utmost importance that executors and families hire companies that they can trust with personal data, financial documents and valuables that may be hidden in drawers, cabinets and closets. Professional companies such as Caring Transitions® have policies in place for identifying and documenting such items. Every Caring Transitions® office is fully insured to protect their clients and all employees are industry certified as well as security screened for an added layer of assurance.  During the sorting process, Caring Transitions® will identify and secure the most valuable items and during the sale they will post employees to oversee items that may be subject to theft.

Look for more “behind the scenes” information in our next newsletter!


©Caring Transitions 2016 no reprint in part or entirety without express permission.