|Posted by Tonza Borden on January 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM|
Frequently asked questions may or may not be asked by potential clients seeking in-depth information about your estate sale company; but your FAQs will let clients query at their convenience to get timely answers. Use this template as a worksheet to develop your own answers for tough questions during your first client consultation as well.
Why should I hire your estate sale company?
How much does this estate sale service cost?
We collect [25%] commission fee on total sales, which is nonnegotiable, plus [$150] for advertising and promotion costs.
Do I need an estate sale contract?
Yes. After we assess the home and you agree that an estate sale is the best choice, a contract is signed.
Do I need to know what I want to sell prior to the assessment?
Before we come to your home, we ask that you be certain of the larger and more valuable items you would like to sell. This enables us to make an accurate evaluation of your sale.
How long does it take to set up for a sale?
For effective advertising, we prefer three-week lead-time. However, the actual set up usually lasts 1-7 days. Estate sales take time, are a lot of work and sometimes messy.
How long does the actual estate sale last?
Sales take place on Friday and Saturday from 9am-5pm. For very large sales, we add a third day, Sunday. 80% of the saleable items are sold before 2PM on Saturday.
How can you ensure a large crowd for the sale?
First, the client should offer heirlooms and house wares that motivate buyers. Second, we use a number of proven advertising methods and various websites to advertise your sale with detail descriptions and pictures. On the first sale day, signs are posted directing traffic to your home. Note: If you remove “choice” items leaving only ordinary items, these items by themselves will not generate the interest and crowds necessary to ensure that you sell most of your sale items.
Do you allow friends or dealers in early?
We allow all buyers an equal chance for the most desirable items. We open your doors at 9am to everyone. If we advertise an item for sale it must be in the sale when the doors open.
Do you set low prices?
We try not to set too low a prices or unrealistic “high” prices either because we want everything sold. We work very hard to price even the smallest items in your house without making it seem like a garage sale. This ensures fewer disposals after the sale and more importantly larger gross sales. Buyers tend to pay more for items when they see them in their original setting.
How will I know what sold and for how much?
After the sale, the client receives an Itemized Sales List of sales over $10 within 2 days of the sale.
How will I get paid?
The client will receive cash or proceeds can be deposited into your bank if you live out of town.
Is there a minimum amount of personal property required for an estate sale?
A successful estate sale requires a certain amount of personal property to ensure a successful sale. A "house full" of original furnishings in each room is enough for an estate sale. We do not conduct "partial" sales for any reason.
What happens to personal property that does not sell?
Any remaining personal property is disposed of according to your wishes. We can donate it to a charity of your choice or [THE NAME OF YOUR CHARITY] [(ONE LINE MISSION STATEMENT)]. We do not have an agreement with a retailer or auctioneer to “buy” unsold items. We want it sold at the right price from your location.
There are some things I do not want to dispose of; can these items remain in the house during the sale?
Yes, however, we prefer that any items that you do not want to sell be removed or placed in a secured area out of sight to our team and buyers, as we will not be held responsible for them.
Do you remove hazardous materials?
We will not dispose of rubbish if it contains, or we think it might contain chemical, toxic, medical, radioactive or hazardous materials, i.e., paints, solvents, etc. We also do not dispose of pressurized containers of any kind or anything we suspect to be related to an unlawful activity.
Under what terms would you terminate service?
If at any time the client becomes abusive or obstructs our attempts to conduct the efficient completion of the estate sale contracted, we will terminate the agreement. In such circumstances, the client will pay us [$] for advertising expenses and sale preparation.
What if I change my mind and decide not to follow through with the estate sale?
If the sale must be cancelled, we will charge the client [$] for advertising expenses and sale preparation.
Where are your service areas?
We host estate sales in metro Atlanta, Georgia.
Do you have security?
We have someone keeping a watchful eye at all times. We will not hesitate to call the police for theft or disruptive behavior. For high-end estate sales, we provide state licensed security guards.
Does the client, estate executor or personal representative need to be present?
We do not recommend that the client be present. Buyers feel more comfortable negotiating prices when the client is not on-site and/or participating in the sale process.
We are moving and wish to dispose of some of our belongings, is this considered an estate sale?
The items you wish to dispose of belong to you or your family and are considered part of an estate. Estate sales are conducted for various reasons such as relocation, downsizing, change in lifestyle, debt, death, divorce, etc. Note: If you remove all “choice” items from your home leaving only ordinary items; these items by themselves will not generate the interest and crowds necessary to ensure that you sell most of your sale items. We do not conduct "partial" sales for any reason.
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Written by Tonza Borden from Atlanta, Georgia: Hi, I'm estate liquidator of EstateSaleServiceAtlanta.com, and publisher of Secret Of Estate Sales Marketing Success: REAL Estate Sale Techniques & Templates To Go From Beginner To Getting An Endless Stream Of Estate Sale Clients. I help people find the resources they need to succeed in estate liquidation, worldwide.