How estate sales work

Friday, July 19, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 29

There are some variables in how estate sales come to be, but for the most part they are commission-based. A seller will come into the home, assess the contents, work up a general value and then sit with the client to settle on a commission.

That can range from 25% to 50%, depending on the size and estimated worth of the estate, but a general figure is about 35%, those in the business say.

Once that’s settled, the seller will come in and inventory the property. That includes digitally photography of items that are expected to fetch a good price, as well as those that may be collectible or highly sought after. Those photos are placed on a dedicated page on the seller’s website so that potential buyers (both physical and virtual) can see what’s on offer.

Then the home will be cleaned and staged so buyers can easily see what’s available, the sale will occur and the estate seller will move as much as possible over a set period of time.

Once the initial meeting has taken place and work starts, the whole process usually takes about 10 days to two weeks, with the goal of leaving the house “broom clean,” or empty.

– Joe Morris