Are You Ready to Hire an Estate Sale Company?

Here is a list of ways to measure whether you’re truly ready to pick up the phone and start interviewing companies for your estate sale.

Kim Johnson
July 6, 2021

Liquidating your “stuff” is an emotionally-taxing experience. Estate sales aren’t just for clearing out the mega mansions or handling the property of a recently departed loved one. They are now for people downsizing or moving. There are various sizes of companies eager to sell your stuff and write you a check. Their jobs consist of more than just showing up and slapping price tags on your items. The sheer magnitude of work which actually goes into a successful estate sale is a little overwhelming.

If you find the right company with the right availability, the last thing you want to do is call them to come over for a walkthrough before you’re actually ready to hire them. You risk wasting their time and showing them you’re not ready to let go of your stuff or respecting their time. Follow this list to get ready to give them a call:

Do you know what you’re keeping?

One super easy way to dissuade a reputable company from working with you is to invite them over for a consultation (to assess if you have enough for a sale) and then tell them you’re not sure what you’re willing to sell. That’s like registering for your wedding gifts before you have an actual wedding planned-it’s not logical. This includes knowing which items your family members want to keep as well. Mark the items in your home with a post-it or painter’s tape so when they show up you can definitively show them the items you intend to keep in the house for the new buyers and what you intend to take with you when you leave.

The Marketable Value of your item is different from what you might think!

I’m going to be real with you because that’s how I roll. Estate Sale companies want to make as much money for both you and themselves, so if you know a thing or two about the original value of an item, go ahead and share. You can even leave receipts for items if you still have them. This will give the company a good idea as to how old the items are. You are going to have to let go of the sentimental value, though. Sentiments don’t sell. Current secondhand marketable value sells - and a good company has their own pricing strategies to reflect this. You will NOT have the ability to dictate pricing.

Estate Sale companies are watching things sell, hearing comments and observing the sale process every weekend. You need to hire a company you feel comfortable with. TRUST YOUR GUT! A great way you can help the company is by leaving any historical facts about a piece on a note for their reference. Customers love stories about old historical pieces and it could be the final piece used to persuade a customer to purchase your items.

If you’re currently living on the property in question, are you ready to move out?

No reputable company will hold an estate sale in your home while you are living there. Most of them will also require that you not return to the house once they have started the prepping process and until the sale is completed. Many of them may additionally restrictyour ability to visit the sale, too. Don’t fight them on it. There are several reasons they may not want you on location. Trust me, it’s definitely in your best interest. Just take a deep breath and let them do their job. If you’ve chosen the right company, you should have trusted your gut and it’s time for you to start the next chapter in your life. They all understand that this is a very emotional time for you. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their policies.

Selling your home before the sale happens?

Be sure to discuss with your estate sale company the plan for the closing. Be sure to find out exactly when the company will be completely finished and out of the house after the completion of the sale. Some companies will empty the house by using either a liquidator or a donation company. This takes time and preparation. Some companies don’t clean up the house at all and leave the unsold items for you to dispose of. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to not return to the house until they are completely finished with the liquidation/donation process. This is a carefully coordinated process and they are ready to move on to their next house so, again, just let them do their job.

Speaking from experience, one of the biggest problems that can arise if you are selling your home prior to the estate sale is that the new buyers become very insistent on wanting certain items in the house to be included in the sale of the property. If you’ve already contracted with a company, don’t be surprised if the company tells you that there is no longer enough for a sale.

The contract is signed based on the quantity and quality of the items in the home and the company knowing there is enough for them to give you a successful sale. If items are no longer available to sell for this reason, be prepared for a possible cancellation. In order to protect the sale, we always recommend the client tell the new buyers they are more than welcome to come to the estate sale, purchase any items they are interested in, and then ask the company to leave those items in the house for them.

The Golden Rule of estate sales - DON’T THROW ANYTHING AWAY!

This is a great guideline while you are working to get ready to have a company come for a walkthrough. However, there has to be some common sense applied here. Remember, you’re hiring a professional company to come into your home to organize and sell the items you don’t want anymore, for a commission. They are not there to clean up after you, your pets, or to expose themselves to toxic mold or biohazard covered mattresses or materials. If you leave a bunch of true trash in your home, don’t be surprised if a company hits you with a hefty cleaning fee. Some companies may ask you to dispose of large items that are not sellable. If these items don’t get removed before they come in to begin the prepping process, don’t be surprised if they hit you with a trash removal fee. Keep in mind, they are not a trash removal company.

Here are some things you could easily get rid of yourself:

Trash bins

Magazines received with the last 30 years

Unwanted bills/papers/personal pictures

Personal items you and/or family members are keeping

Old box TV’s

Soiled mattresses

If you’re in doubt, follow the golden rule your mom hopefully taught you when you were a kid. Pick up after yourself - and then decide what you’re actually selling before calling an estate sale company. Many companies sincerely take the utmost pride in helping you during this stressful and life-changing time in your life, but you can’t ask too much of them.

If you’re looking for a professional company in Johnson County who can transform your home from a crazy mess to show-room ready, that’s our specialty! We love the treasure hunt and so do our customers. Look us up at and call us today!

We can't wait to help you with your sale.

We've served Johnson County and the surrounding area for over six years. We're here to discuss your unique needs and can't wait to hear from you.