Selling a whole household’s worth of items can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are professionals who can help. Estate sale companies can help you prepare for, set up, and host a sale so you can get a decent price for as many of your unwanted items as possible.

But before you host your estate sale, you need to figure out which company to hire. Here are a few characteristics to look for in an estate sale company:

Local Expertise

When it comes to estate sales, location matters. Shoppers in different locations are often looking for different types of items and have different budgets. Artwork by Northwest artists is most popular in the Pacific Northwest, for example.

Ideally, you want to choose an established local estate sale company with deep knowledge of your local market. They will have the best sense of what buyers in your area are likely to be interested in and what they may be willing to pay.

Estate Sale Experience

Since the estate sale company will help figure out the pricing of your items, you need to make sure they know what they’re doing. You want to hire someone with the experience to tell whether the jewelry you want to sell is a valuable designer antique or generic costume jewelry.

Also, the more experience an estate sale company has, the more likely they are to be able to effectively advertise your sale. The best estate sale companies can reach large networks of buyers, including both general estate sale shoppers and collectors in more specific niches. Ideally, your estate sale company should have experience with both online and offline sales.

We recommend asking companies how long they’ve been operating, how much experience their staff has, and how often they host estate sales. A long-running company with experienced appraisers and estate sale staffers is more likely to do a good job than a brand new company.

Membership in an Appraisal Association

estate sale

Some estate sales companies have in-house appraisers who can determine the value of your items. Ideally, you want to choose a company that holds membership in a well-known appraisal association, such as the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) or the American Society of Appraisers (ASA).

Membership in an appraisal association usually requires some proof of expertise and adherence to a code of ethics. If the person appraising your items is a member of the ISA, you can feel secure knowing they won’t rip you off.

A Written Contract With Commission and Fee Details

Hiring an estate sale company can come with a variety of costs. To make sure everyone is on the same page about payment, it’s a good idea to get a written contract that describes all the fees, commissions, and the full payment schedule.

If an estate sale company refuses to provide a written contract, that could be a red flag. Without a written contract, you may get sprung with unexpectedly high fees or extra charges after the estate sale is over.

Looking For Estate Sale Companies in Seattle?

Fruitcocktail Collectables has been hosting estate sales in the Greater Seattle area for over 20 years. In addition to estate sales, we can help with your appraisal and consignment needs. Our appraisers are accredited through the ISA.

Contact us today for a free consultation on your prospective estate sale or appraisal items.