Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Liquidator

Typically, holding an estate sale is the most effective option if you’ve got to sell the contents of your house because of the death of a loved one, divorce, or downsizing.

While you can organize an estate liquidation by yourself, hiring an estate liquidator saves you headaches and time. It might even make you more profit, even if you pay the fees.

However, you should not rush into hiring one. Here are several questions to ask a real estate liquidator for your real estate liquidation needs:

How Will You Keep the Property Secure?

  • Will they hire a security team to patrol back the exit door, outbuildings, and rooms? How will they control the crowd? Will they limit the number of people allowed inside at any particular time? Will they restrict people from entering with large backpacks and bags to avoid stealing?
  • To protect the merchandise and the premises, what will they do?

Are You Insured? What is the Coverage of Your Insurance Policy?

You’ve got to understand if the estate liquidator has insurance that covers your sale. Make sure that you are covered with these things:

  • An employee damages the car of a buyer while loading an item
  • An employee gets injured while loading an item in the car of a buyer
  • A buyer is injured by defective merchandise after using it in their house
  • A buyer falls and slips during the sale
  • An item gets stolen during the sale
  • Your home gets robbed while under the control of the company

How Do You Figure Out the Merchandise’s Prices?

One of the most vital services a professional estate liquidator should offer is pricing properly the merchandise.

  • How do the professional set prices and research merchandise outside their area of knowledge? Will they depend on price guides? Will they use online sales sites, such as eBay to look for the price? Will they hire an appraiser for unknown merchandise?

How and What Do You Charge

You should not settle for any estate sale company without knowing how and what they charge. Here are a couple of common techniques:

  • A percentage or a minimum of sales, whichever is better
  • Flat rate plus a percentage of sales
  • Flat rate
  • Percentage of gross sales

Whatever method they use for charging; will it include every single thing? Does it cover credit card processing fees, advertising costs, and permits? Will they charge an additional for optional services such as getting rid of unsold goods? Lastly, ask if you are needed to pay a deposit.

What Services Do You Offer?

The answer to this question is not as obvious as you might believe. Thus, you should break it down and ask particular questions:

  • After the estate sale ends, will they clean up and clear out your home?
  • Do they take care of any needed permits and advertising? How many employees do they have? Do they keep track of the local sales tax?
  • Do they stage, price, clean, and sort the merchandise? Do they offer display cases and tables?