What You Should Know About Estate Sales

11932676106_930cd3ac17_zThinking about attending an estate sale? There's no denying the fact that estate sales offer some incredibly attractive deals, often selling valuable antiques, collectables, furniture and electronics for pennies on the dollar. However, many people assume that an estate sale is just another term for a yard/garage sale, but this couldn't be further from the truth. To learn more about this unique selling method and how to get the most from your shopping trips, keep reading.

Also known as an estate liquidation, an estate sale is either a sale or auction in which the majority of a person's belongings are sold. Most estate sales are conducted inside the property owner's home, allowing customers to walk in and view the items. It's a fun and unique selling format that can yield some truly remarkable finds when done right.

It's important to note that estate sales are usually conducted by a professional liquidation company. The company arranges the sale for the property owner, and in exchange, they receive a percentage of the total sales as commission. Commission rates can vary anywhere from 5% to 25%, depending on the nuances of the sale. The individual selling his or her items should negotiate a proper commission with the respective liquidation company beforehand to ensure a fair deal.

Just because you see a sign for an estate sale in your city or neighborhood doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be able to attend. it's not uncommon for hundreds of people to show up on the day of the sale, hoping to gain entry and purchase valuable items at discounted prices. With that said, it's the liquidation company's legal and moral responsibility to ensure a safe environment for all shoppers. And if the company allowed hundreds of people to come inside the home at once, it could result in a serious fire hazard. This is why there's usually a maximum occupancy limit attached to estate sales, restricting the amount of shoppers who can enter the home.

So, how do you gain entry to an estate sale? It really depends on the liquidation company and how they plan to host the sale. Some estate sales have sign up sheets in which shoppers place their name on a list, and when the sale begins, a host calls the names to allow them to enter. Other companies may use street numbers to allow shoppers to enter the premises. Again, it's best to check with the company beforehand to determine which method they use.

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