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Important Questions To Ask About Their Business

(Businesses are not regulated in this industry, so make sure your assets are covered.)

Compare Estate Sale Companies HERE!

Questions For Estate Sale Companies

The  Company 

1. How many estate sales have you conducted?

Hire a company with experience, but be leary of companies that tell you that they have had thousands of sales. There is no company currently in Atlanta that has done over 2,000 sales. If they tell you that they have had 5,000 sales, they are calculating franchises across different states that they have not conducted. 


Check how many likes the company has on FB, this will tell you how long they have been in business. With 100 likes, a company hasn’t been in business for 25 years, unless they are not internet savvy at all, which is important in this day and age. When was their first post on FB? Check with the corporations division with the state. DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE. We have called countless times this year where clients have hired someone that said that they had been doing this a long time and made many promised only later to find out they have been in business less than a year, had minimal shoppers come to the sale, and received a very SMALL check. Please please come to our sale and go to their sales, there is no comparison to a company that has been in business for 10 years and one in business for 1 year. There are a lot of people in this business that are taking advantage of people and we do not want that to happen to you. We cannot help you once another estate sale has been conducted at your home.


2.What kind of experience do you have? Are you an appraiser?

This is a great question to ask! Be leary of companies with certain names that refer to them being qualified, as many use it as a ploy to get business. Ask if they are Licensed, Certified, etc and if so, in what. Do not assume that a company that you are hiring is licensed or certified or has the qualifications to conduct your estate sale.

You would shocked at the fraud in advertising in this business. Check Facebook pages and estate sale websites to find out true and correct information on your estate sale company.

Again, anyone can claim to do estate sales and unfortunately, anyone can claim to be licensed appraisers, certified companies, etc.

Licenses and Credentials should always be shown and discussed. 


3. Are your employees W-2 employees?

Why does this matter? If someone does not have W-2 employees, YOU or the estate can be liable. Liability insurance does not cover a company that employs subcontractors, independent contractors, or day laborers. Ask to see a paycheck from the company, which will list that this is a W-2 employee, or ask to see their W-3 from the previous year.

If a company tells you that they only have sub-contractors, ask to see liability policies for the sub-contractors. Each sub-contractor would need to have their own policy.


4. Do you have Worker’s Compensation?

If the estate sale company does not have W/C, which is required in the state of GA for any company that has more than 1 employee, or grosses more than $1500, you will be liable for any injury that occurs on the property. This would apply to any estate sale company that is running a business. Ask to see their policy. 


5. Do you have liability insurance?

Do you want to be liable if a customer trips and falls, or if something falls on a shopper. Make sure your estate sale company has at least a $1 million dollar policy. Ask to see their policy. 

Please do not plan on having your home owner's insurance cover anything that happens. If the insurance company finds out that a business was being run on the property, they will not cover the incident. 


6. Do you collect sales tax?

This is required for all for profit companies in Georgia. You can be responsible for paying the sales tax if they are not collected by an estate sale company. Ask if they collect sales tax!

Make sure they are collecting tax on ALL items sold, not just on credit cards. 

7. Do you have 3 recent references, in the last 3 months, that you conducted a sale for, that I can talk to?

Talk to at least one client and ask questions about the company.

8. Do you have a contract?

Every company should have a legal binding contract. Make sure you sign a contract with a company and obtain a copy for your records. We have heard lately that some companies are saying that a contract is not needed since they have a verbal agreement. Do not ever allow someone to begin the estate sale process without a signed agreement. 

Talk about dates first. Estate Sale Companies book about 3-6 weeks out, and sometimes longer. Make sure that if you have a specific date that you need with a closing, to discuss that first. 

Please explain your process to me.  

The company needs to explain how they operate and what the procedures will be going forward if you hire them. 


Do you do a complete set up?

Will you take everything out of cabinets, drawers, etc. and set everything up on tables or will you leave it in its place. This is so important. You are hiring someone for a service. They need to provide that service for you. “Set Up” is VERY important in this business. When companies do not set up, who knows what items that they will miss, not advertise, and misprice! This is the 2nd MOST important thing for an Estate Sale Company to do!


Do you price everything?

Imagine what it would be like on Black Friday going into a store with nothing priced. Again, you are hiring a business and that service is a must. Everything should be priced, and there should not be signed throughout the house, or even in the garage, saying “Bring to the front for a price”. No one wants to do this. They want to know the price when they are looking at the item.


Explain the sale days. Times, Discounts, Etc. .


Will I receive an inventory or a price list?

Make sure that the company is going to provide you a list of transactions at the minimum. 


How do you advertise? Is there a charge for marketing?

This is the #1....NUMBER ONE most important thing for an Estate Sale Company to do, and to do very well. If your company does not market your sale, no one will come. 


Do you have a website?

Every company in today's business world should have a website. 


Do you have professional photography?

Professional Photography is part of marketing. Photos are SO IMPORTANT for your estate sale. Look at some estate sale companies and their photos and you will see the importance. 


When are the items picked up by buyers? Do you add an additional day for buyers to pick up items?

Allowing for an additional day for pick up by buyers is very important. The less the company is flexible with this policy, the least you will have sold at your estate sale. Read their policies on their,, or pages to learn more about their policies. 

Do you accept credit cards?

This is VERY IMPORTANT. Any estate sale company that you hire needs to collect credit cards. We conduct over 30% credit sales and if we did not collect them, we would have a drastic decrease in sales. Do you want your large, more expensive items to sell.....Make SURE they accept credit cards. 

More Question to Ask

I have heard that it is hard to empty the house? What services do you provide after the sale?

Do you coordinate a Clear Out? What about a trash service, and cleaning of the home?


This is not a conflict of interest, as some companies will tell you. They will tell you this, because they are not interested in doing the hard work or going the extra mile.

Do you want to be left with a mess, things to donate, trash to haul off, and a house to clean, or would you like these done for you at an additional cost?


What paperwork will I receive after the sale?

You should receive documentation of what was sold, how much was made each day, taxes collected, etc.

When will I receive payment from the Estate Sale?

A company should pay you in no more than 30 days. Most companies pay in 7-10 business days, allowing for credit cards to process, and additional items to sell. 


Do you charge for Labor?

Some companies charge for labor on all sales, on only certain sales (hoarder situations, sales that have set up time over 100 hours, etc), while others will not charge for labor, but will have a minimum guarantee, set-up fee, or project fee.


Do you have a minimum?

When asking if companies have a minimum, ask if they have a gross sale minimum and/or a guaranteed minimum. For a Gross Sales Minimum, this means that the gross sales, for example has to be $15,000. Therefore they are only going to take sales that they believe will gross over $15,000, so that the company will be able to pay their payroll, etc based on this number. 


Some companies have a minimum guarantee, instead of a Gross Sales Minimum. This means that if they take a sale, they will have to make a minimum. The minimum is deducted from the gross proceeds and then the commission is taking out of the remaining proceeds. 


Many companies, that stage and do a set up and price items, will not take small sales unless there is a guaranteed minimum.

Ex. You hire a company that has a $3,000 minimum guarantee. This is an average minimum for a company that does a complete set up, marketing, photography, and provides labor for the sale. 

An estate sale conducted makes $5,200. This would mean that the estate sale company would keep $3,000 and the estate/the family would get $2,200. Estate sale companies must do this, that do not charge labor, in order to cover their fees and labor. 

If a company has a gross minimum over $25,000, normally they will not have a minimum guarantee, as they will only take very large sales. 

If the company takes a set up fee or charges labor, it will be taken out of the estates portion of the commission. 

Typically, if a company tells you 30% over the phone for any sale, this means that they will not have a set up, so they can quote over the phone, without seeing the home. You have to remember "Not all estate sale companies are the same".


What is your commission?

An average commission for an experienced company in Atlanta, for a full house sale is 35%-50% currently. Commissions are based on the quality and the quantity of the items for sale in the home and how large the home is, as this will depend on how many associates we will need for staging and the sale day. A house that will require more than 8 associates will be a higher commission as well. Our largest amount of associates was 25 at one sale. 

Extra Service Costs?

What are your costs for coordinating a charitable donation, a trash pick up, and cleaning the home if these services are offered?

***Go to 3 Estate Sales by Different Companies.**

Choose 3 companies and go to their sales. Anyone can tell you things, but once you visit, you will know who you want to hire!!**

We cannot express to you how important that this is!!

What to look for when you attend Estate Sales!

1. Is the signage professional and very visible?


2. How is the parking being handled?


3. How are they checking people out? Is it going smoothly? Is it so slow, people are putting down items and walking out. Imagine that there are 20 people in line, can they handle this quickly?


4. Is the home staged and fully set up?


5. Is everything priced?


6. Is there anyone walking around helping customers or are they reading a book on a sofa not paying any attention to you?


7. Is the home being restaged during the sale to continue to make it presentable?


8. Are there rugs/mats down/ etc? Are they attempting to protect the property?


9. Can you tell who is working at the sale? Are they visible for security, help, etc.?


10. Is the business collecting sales tax?


11. Is there appropriate signage in the house?


12. Is there enough staff working in the home? A sale should have 4 employees MINIMUM for a full home.  


13. Are they friendly and inviting? Would you want to come back to another sale that this company was having?

**Don’t have time to go to a sale. While, we think that this is extremely important, some of the above can be addressed online, if you absolutely cannot go to some estate sales. Go to their websites, and the following websites listed below, and ask these questions:**

1. What is their marketing like? Did they list items for sale or is it just general categories or even worst, just an address and no listing of what is being sold at all?


No listing at all? Let me tell you why this is important. …

When someone goes on or Craigslist, and types in “Recliner, Pool Table, Kitchen Table, Etc”, when there is no listing of the items that are for sale, that sale will not come up, therefore, no one will know about it, unless they look at every single picture. Shoppers do not look at every single picture unless they have a reason to!


The more listed, the more photos, the more effort, the more people will come to the sales! If there is no listing, this is a company that is again, not providing a good service for the commission that they are getting, no matter how low it is. This is still a service and you have to ask yourself, what am I paying for?)


2. How many photos do they have? Is the photography good? Would it make you want to go to the sale?


3. Are they listed on


4. Are they listed on


5. Are they listed on


6. Do they have a website?


7. Do they have a Facebook Page?

If so, are they active and have over 1000 likes, this will tell you something about their business. I do not know many businesses that do not have a FB page. If they have social media, are they updating it? Social Media is is crucial in this business.


8. When you look at their photos from one of their sales, do they have multiple tables set up throughout the house, or can you only count 1 or 2.

They should not be using your furniture as tables, as it will not sell. Companies should have a minimum of 10 tables per home. Many estate sale companies have two or three times this amount.

Or does it look like someone walked out the door and an estate sale company came in and put a sign in the yard and are having a sale with no prep work? (I can not stress how important prep work, research, and pricing are in this business!!)


9. Are they updating their websites every day after the sales to let people know of a discount the next day, so they have a reason to come back?


10. Do they have an email list? Sign up for it!! Does it look appealing? Again, do they give appropriate information and does it look inviting?


We hope this helps you in the estate sale process & we hope to meet you soon!

A Crazy Love Estate Liquidation Companies, LLC

Questions? Contact Us: 

A Crazy Love Estate Liquidation Companies

A Crazy Love Estate Sale Companies

Serving Atlanta for 16 years with over 1,100+ Estate Sales

Awarded #1 Estate Sale Company in Georgia for 4 consecutive years & Top 50 in the Nation!

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