Here is an overview of the 30 best Estate Sales questions to ask an estate liquidator, these are some of the best questions I have been asked by Executors, Realtors and Attorneys…
My goal here is give you a starting point for the interview process between you and an Estate Sales professional, and make the estate liquidation task much easier.
Note: Some of the sections below have links which will lead you to additional Estate Sales information. Just click on any blue text and you will be redirected to a new page. To get back to this page just hit your back button.
Estate Sales questions you might want to ask yourself:
- What would the decedent want?
- What does the family want?
- There are conflicts, how do I address them?
- What are the first 3 things I should do?
- How do I find an Estate Sales company in my area?
Tips: At this point refrain from the natural impulse you may have to begin throwing things away.
Thoughts: Some family members will attempt to work out with death what they could not work out in life, so go as easy as you possibly can with your co-heirs.
- What are your companies set-up and Estate Sales fees? Are there any debris removal cost? What are your lead time requirements, do you have room on your schedule?
- How long have you been in the Estate Sales business?
- What is important to you about your service?
- How many Estate Sales a month does your company conduct?
- What is one of your biggest success stories?
Tips: Ask them if they are insured and licensed, or if they belong to any associations?
Thoughts: You want to find an Estate Sales company that you like, one that you can trust, and one that has a history of providing their clients with excellent service.
- Are they well groomed, professional, and courteous? Are they informative and patient answering your questions?
- How long will the Estate Sales process take? What will be their procedures?
- Do they take time answering your questions? Do they seem knowledgeable?
- What sort of security do they provide? How many people will they use to staff your estate sale?
- How do they handle high value items? Do they send them to an auction, or sell them through an estate sale?
Tips: Before the estate liquidator arrives separate the estates valuable items and remember to point them out during their visit. Notice if they seem enthusiastic, clear, and respectful.
Thoughts: People are not their possessions, retain from the estate what is important to retain either emotionally or because it is stipulated in the will – remember once an item is sold it will be difficult or next to impossible to have it returned.
Post estate sale questions:
- How does your firm account for each Estate Sales item sold?
- Do you provide a written item by item post sale inventory?
- How long do you take to reconcile your books and send a check to the estate?
- What do you do with the estate sale remainders? Do you donate them to charity, if so, do you provide a written valuation and a receipt?
- Does your company leave the house broom clean?
Tips: Ask for a sample copy of a past Estate Sales inventory sheet.
Thoughts: If they seem unclear in their answers or if they are impatient, this may be an indication that should a problem occur, it could be difficult to resolve.
Ten other Estate Sales questions:
- Do they buy items from the estate, and if so, how do they valuate the items they purchase.
- Are their purchases transparent – in other words do they let you know that they have purchased items from the estate?
- Do they charge a commission on the items they’ve purchased?
- How do they handle any cash found in the house?
- Do they conduct preview sales for dealers?
- How do they advertise their Estate Sales?
- Do they bring in items from outside the house, and if so, what is their system for accounting for the sale of their companies items?
- How long will the whole Estate Sales process take from start to finish?
- How did they get in the estate liquidation business?
- Ask them this question: Are there any questions I have left unasked?