Sign on the Dotted Line: A Guide To Estate Sale Contracts

You have reached the breaking point and decide you cannot handle living with so much stuff or perhaps you are executor of an estate. It is time to sell everything off and meditate in the mountains with monks or quite possibly one of the more mainstream reasons for having an estate sale like downsizing homes. The reason is not important but the company you choose and how they will handle your affairs is.

Once you have gone through the process of deciding which company will conduct the sale it is time to sign a contract. The estate sales industry is unregulated meaning there is a lot of variety in the way things are handled.  The only way to protect yourself is to get things in writing with a proper contract.

Below is a list of standard agreements that should be covered in the estate sale contract.

Compensation – Companies will either charge a percentage of the total sale or one flat rate fee.

Insurance – Most companies will have insurance but the homeowners must also have a policy that is active.

Advertising – Companies discuss how they will be advertising the sale.

Responsibility – Expectations for the client and company leading up to, during, and after the sale.  Dates for set up and conducting the sale, access to the home, and an accounting of items sold are also necessary.  (Many companies provide no accounting)

Close out – Plans for disposition of remaining items should be discussed before or after the sale. If a complete clean out or clean is required, there is typically an additional fee for these more extensive services.

Payout Date – Clearly defined date or number of days specified for when payment is to be made to the client.

estate sale contracts

A good company will have a standard contract and should be presented to you before or after your initial consultation or decide on a company. Make sure to have a copy and your mind can be at ease knowing you are dealing with a reputable company to help declutter your life.