Estate sales agents can be a wonderful asset when you need to sell belongings quickly, either because you need to get money fast or because you're trying to deal with a home liquidation situation that's too far away or too overwhelming for you to handle. But many people find out the agent they hired isn't all that great during or after the sale, when it's too late to do much about it. You can pick up clues, though, that the agent you're considering is a good one when you're first talking about the sale and starting to arrange it.
You Get a Contract
A good agent isn't going to balk at creating a written contract. This agent is completing a job for you, and just as you'd get other contracting terms in a written contract, the agent should put one together, too, and give you a copy. The contract should include how many sales the agent will arrange, whether prices will be on individual tags or on lists, how quickly the money will be sent to you, the agent's cut (a hint there -- it shouldn't be a huge percentage, but like most contractors, the lowest bid isn't necessarily the best), and the form of payment. It should also detail where items will be kept after the sale if they didn't sell.
Your and the Agent's Aims Match
It's easy to find an agent whose overall aims -- get the stuff sold -- match yours. But take a look at the smaller goals. If you want an organized sale with everything clearly labeled, but your agent wants valet parking and other frills for which he or she will charge a fee, maybe there's a mismatch. Estate sales are essentially huge garage sales with better organization; you don't have to get fancy if you don't want to.
You're Kept in the Loop
You should be aware of the full process from start to finish. Not only should you get a rundown when initially arranging the sale, but your agent should keep you up to date as the sale progresses. Note that you can attend the sale yourself to ensure everything is going as agreed; you do have to refrain from trying to cajole people to buy things, of course, but if you are comfortable taking the role of an observer, go ahead and attend -- be wary of any agent who tries to kick you out of your own estate sale.
Good estate sales agencies know that when people are under pressure because of a death in the family or other similar situation, the family members need details that are straightforward, and they need to be able to communicate. Excellent agents always have an open line of communication and can explain to you everything that's going on. Contact a company like Remember When Estate Sales, LLC to learn more.