Estate Sales Do’s and Don’ts

Day of The Estate Sale Do’s and Don’ts for Industry Newcomers

1. Do unplug the house phone the day of sale; use your cell phone.

2. Do post/request that parents control their children and have them close by. No running around allowed.

3. Don’t let customers use the bathroom. Things disappear in there.

4. Don’t allow beverages, food, or animals in your client’s house, but leave a trash basket outside so they can throw away coffee cups, water bottles, etc.

5. Do place a brightly colored warning sign, caution tape, or other caution indicators near any plate windows, low overhang (or hanging chandelier you cannot raise), sliding door, etc. Place these signs anywhere there is a potential hazard to reduce accidents.

6. Do be courteous at all times – even under pressure. Buyers will push you to the point of rising blood pressure, but always smile and remain calm and cool. You are the professional and all eyes are on you.

7. Do set people straight – politely. If you hear something that is inaccurate, set the record straight.

8. Do start with a bank (money on hand for making change) with a minimum of $600.00 (and if a large estate, $1,200-$1,500) of your own money in different denominations

9. Do arrange for furniture and large item pick up by a certain time of day, for example, no later than 2:00 pm.

10. Do ask for non-refundable deposits. If for example, they want to purchase a $300.00 piece of furniture an only have $100.00 on them, take the deposit, hand them a receipt for that deposit, then deduct it when they return to pay off the balance. A deposit is a must. If you don’t take a deposit, they can walk away and you are stuck with the item that should have sold to someone else. Make sure they understand all deposits are non-refundable.

11. Don’t allow the customer to rush you through check out. Cashiers can make costly mistakes.

12. Don’t open the door before the appointed time of the sale. If you advertise you will open at 7:00 a.m., open at 7:00 a.m. and not before.

13. Do pick a time when you will start reducing prices. This will be your choice.

14. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground.

15. Do arrive at the client’s house at least one hour prior to the sale for last-minute tasks.

16. Do bring your lunch, snacks, and water to stay energized and hydrated.

17. Do have your email sign up list on a clipboard next to the cashier.

18. Do have your business cards on hand.

19. Do have several trash cans scattered throughout the home and one on the front porch so those in line can throw away coffee cups, etc.

20. Do use painter’s tape to block off all cabinets, restrooms, closets, and other areas you do not want the public going into.

21. Don’t let anyone in early except your helpers.

22. Don’t leave smaller valuables like sterling and jewelry unattended. Ever.

23. Don’t allow the driveway to be blocked. It must remain open for those picking up the furniture.

24. Don’t allow your time to be monopolized by chatty individuals hoping for a better price. Be polite and considerate, but move on.

25. Do give discounts to those buying in quantity.

26. Don’t conduct a sale unless each room is well lit. Bring in small reading lamps to illuminate the tables.

27. Don’t permit any tripping hazards. Go into each room and make sure there is nothing people can trip over.

28. Do assign helpers to certain rooms, watching jewelry, etc.

29. Don’t disrespect or be negative about your competitors. Estate Liquidation is a small world and word spreads.

30. Do recognize you make the rules and must enforce them for safety and liability reasons.

31. Do make sure your client signs the Total Proceeds Sheet stating they received the proceeds from the sale.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.