You might think that clients interview estate sale managers. Many do. But what you might not think about is that we're also interviewing you.
Whether or not I decide to take a Dallas area estate sale depends on many factors. I screen for some of these over the phone, but sometimes have to see the home and the conditions. Just a few of the factors are:
- Is there enough? I do sales that I think will generate at least $10,000. Under a few circumstances, I'll do a smaller sale, but often at a higher commission.
- Is there anyone still living in the house? I won't take on a sale if there's someone still there. I expect the occupants and/or the executor to have moved out and taken all the items that are not part of the sale.
- What's the time frame? If you call on Monday and expect a sale on Friday of the same week, I'll turn you down. Not enough time to do a proper setup and more importantly, proper advertising.
- What's the condition of the items? Damaged property is difficult to sell. A dirty house is not conducive to a good sale.
- Did a smoker live in the house? Many people won't want to purchase items from a smokers home and I don't want to spend time in there setting up the sale.
- Are the potential client's expectations realistic? An estate sale is not a retail store and I can't get retail prices.
- Where is the house located? If you're in a gated community or a homeowners association with rules against estate sales, I'm probably not going to be able to help you. If you're geographically undesireable, I can usually recommend an estate sale agent closer to you.
This past weekend I visited with two potential clients. The first was someone who will be downsizing. The homeowner was taking almost everything to the new house, the house was dirty and disorganized, and it was a long drive on a Sunday (would be longer during weekday traffic). I recommended a consignment store or a charity for a tax donation. The second family I met with was in a spotless home about a 3 minute drive away, but Dad was going to be taking all the good stuff with him to the active senior community apartment and there wasn't going to be much left. This family will probably bring me back to help them price the items and will run a sale themselves. I would love to help them by doing a sale for them, but it's difficult to tie up a weekend for a really small sale.
If you need an estate sale manager, remember when you call one, you're being interviewed too.