Selecting an Estate Sale Company based on their low commission
may cost more than you know.

When it comes to the outlay of money, human nature makes us want the best price. That is just good business sense. It stops making sense when we make quick decisions to go “cheap” and then it backfires, costing us two, three or even five times as much to correct the situation, if the situation is even correctable.

Hiring the right professional estate liquidator is of vital importance. The emphasis in this article is on the word professional. This estate sale professional is someone who has dedicated much time, care, concern, diligence, devotion, education, research, plus so much more into the skills required to conduct a successful estate sale for their clients. This professional works countless hours and endures many sleepless nights, constantly learning and navigating an ever-changing industry and dealing with an increasingly difficult public of buyers.

Conducting an estate sale is not just about organizing and displaying, nor as easy as it appears. It requires great patience, due diligence, long hours of research, outstanding customer relations skills, knowing the right resources, and the ability to wear 30 different hats on any given day. True professionals do it well and make it look easy, even though it is really very hard.

Therein lies the mark of a true professional; they communicate and ensure all details are cared for to the best of their ability. They truly earn their commission because they also take the time to maximize the sale proceeds for the estate with a methodical plan to succeed for the client.
Knowing this, why would anyone go with a company that undercuts or low-balls the commission of true professionals?

This industry is inundated with pop-up or fly-by-night companies that appear out of nowhere. While there are exceptions to every rule, we see the following often:

  • Many of them have little to no industry training, skills, or understanding the scope of work that lies ahead of them.
    They often know little about today’s market and what items will sell for.
  • They often sell at very low prices and then depart.
  • Some don’t even price items or research the value of higher end pieces. Sometimes they leave a mess behind for the client to pick up and handle.

How to Prepare for an Estate Sale

If you hire a professional estate liquidator, you will have very little to do to prepare for the estate sale. However, there are a few important details you need to attend to before the company takes over the
sales process.

If you are able to physically visit the estate:

  • Clearly identify all items that you do not want to be sold. Take them with you if possible. If you’re not able to remove them, make sure the estate sale company will place them in a safe room or other place so that they’ll still be there when you’re ready to claim them. Do not throw anything away. If you’ve hired a professional estate sale company, they know what can be sold and what can’t. You’ve hired them to do the work for you so let them do it. You may be quite surprised at the things that sell! Prescription medicines, open or expired date foods and alcohol cannot be sold. Firearms may need special handling or permits depending upon the age. But again, let the professionals handle it. They’re well-versed in getting you the most out of your estate.
  • Don’t worry about “tidying the place up”. That is just part of what an estate sale company does. Metre And it’s likely that during the process, you’ll toss out something sellable. Let the experts do their job. 
  • Make sure you take all financial paperwork with you – even if it’s not current. At Caronna Estate Sales, we gather all personal documents and make sure the estate executor receives them to you securely dispose of as they wish.
  • Don’t forget to take any photographs that may be in frames around the house. At Caronna Estate Sales, we always remove photographs and include them in the “document package” that we send to the estate executor with their sale proceeds check.
    If there will be a vehicle sold as part of the estate contents, locate the title and make sure the appropriate person has signed off on it or is immediately available to do so. Nothing frustrates a potential buyer like problems with a title.
  • Don’t sell anything. You will likely be confronted by friends and neighbors who may want to buy items they have.admired. It’s very difficult for most people to price items – particularly to friends or neighbors. You will nearly always lose money.

Additionally, an estate liquidation company will not be as interested in taking your sale if you sell the most interesting or most valuable things yourself. In the estate sale business we have a saying: “Let the best sell the rest” – Meaning that your best items are what we use to draw the crowds who will then buy your more common items while they’re at the sale. Don’t Do It! You’d be surprised at the things we sell!

Don’t try to do an initial “clean up” before we come.

If you’re not able to do these things in preparation for the sale, the estate company you’ve hired should do them for you.

At Caronna Estate Sales, LLC, we’ll assist with all details that may need attention.

We also do a short “walk-through” video for estate executors who cannot be present to physically go through the home and identify items they wish to keep.

Seeing a video of estate items often helps refresh the memory of an estate executor who is far away and may have forgotten about items that they would really like to keep.

There is never a charge for our consultations and never any “up-front” fees. So, if you see an estate sale in your future, contact Caronna Estate Sales and let’s talk about it.

Estate Sale Services by Caronna Collections

As we prepare for your estate sale, please keep the following in mind:

You have contracted with a professional service to appraise, package and display your items in a manner that will provide your estate with the most advantageous prices possible.

We ask that curious and well intentioned family members, neighbors & friends refrain from being on the premises during pricing sessions. We will try to let you know in advance the hours and days we will be on location. We are both experienced and efficient allowing us to hold down the costs related to the sale that would otherwise be paid from the final proceeds from the estate. We want it to be a pleasant experience for all. Even the shortest visit from a curious neighbor or friend can cost us a half-day’s work and delay set up and ultimately the start of your sale. It can also prevent us from closely examining items for the estate to realize the greatest profit possible. Removing items that have already been appraised and assigned a price, especially if they are part of a group or box lot. It can also delay completion of the job as it may’ mean re-packaging several boxes or bags. At one estate, the’ owner plucked the most desirable single item from each of 25 carefully arranged boxes. A day’s work had to be re-done the next day. This is one reason why it is important to remove any items the family wants to retain or at least set them aside in a private area- before we start.

If you or other family members have trouble-saying no to family or friends looking for a memento, just say that the estate has contracted with a professional liquidator, that you are sorry but the matter is no longer in your hands. Friends and neighbors are welcome to attend the sale and purchase any item of interest. Remember, every item that is given away before the sale day is money lost to your family’s estate.

There will be plenty of time for you to view sale items once the appraisals and pricing is complete. This is not to say that we do not value your ideas and appreciate your insights. We do. If you have any questions about how the work is being conducted or items are priced. Please let Robyn Clem & Kristy Caronna know. We will happily provide an explanation and make necessary adjustments before the sale day. Sometimes it is more efficient to just keep a list and let us know as the sale day approaches so we can make any necessary adjustments all at once. The same is true on the day(s) of your sale. We ask that the family refrain from being on the premises or removing items during the sale or set-up. It can be painful to watch the possessions of a loved one sold to the highest bidder and drug outside in a downpour. We realize this. Our goal is to make this the most positive experience possible for you and your family and the buyers. Our aim is to protect you and your family from unnecessary stress at an emotional time. We also want your family to realize the greatest profit possible for your estate sale.

We enjoy our work. It’s fun. We are excited about this sale. We hope you are too. We look forward to working with you.


Robyn Clem & Kristy Caronna