Hiring a Professional Liquidator

professional liquidators

by Deanna Stallings, ACE Estate Solutions 

A good number of people don’t think or know they may need a professional liquidator until after they have needed one. They may hear the cost of hiring one, and think they are better off handling getting rid of unwanted items themselves. They may not even know that estate liquidators exist, or what all they offer. Professional liquidators who are good at what they do can be a benefit in many ways.

They Do This All the Time

  • Professional liquidators take care of stuff day in and day out.
  • They should have a good handle on what the market can bear on items.
  • They should have a proven system to clear out a home quickly and efficiently.

They take on the overwhelming and emotional task

  • Clearing out a loved one’s home, or your own house, can be daunting just thinking about it.
  • Just think, it took several decades to accumulate everything, and you have just a short amount of time to go through it all, make a decision to keep or not to keep, move what you are keeping, and let go of what you are not holding onto.
  • A professional can come in without the emotional ties and get the heavy burden lifted for you.

They May Offer Options You Didn’t Know You Had

  • There is such a thing as turnkey service. Not all liquidators provide this, but a select few can help with not only the sale of most items, but with the hauling off of trash, shredding of important documents, donating items and providing you with an IRS compliant receipt, and possibly more!

They Should have a Following

  • Professionals have several different ways to advertise.
  • They have also built up a number of people who look for their sales and follow them wherever they go.
  • This is important, because regular buyers make up a lot of transactions and dollars for sales!

What to Look For in a Professional Liquidator

A well-seasoned liquidator should not have any trouble answering whatever questions you may have. Below are some important things to ask and consider to make sure you are comfortable with hiring someone to handle this job. Keep in mind, these are not necessarily the first questions you may think to ask!

What is their process?

  • Make sure they have a system in place when setting up.

Where do they advertise?

  • Online is the best way. There are several different sites that target the kind of buyers you want.
  • Email lists are good to have.
  • Also, ask what signage they use.
  • How many pictures do they advertise with?
  • Putting unlimited photos online brings more people.
  • Small items and/or collectibles attract buyers.

What if they find something of value we didn’t know we had?

  • A professional liquidator should notify you of found items such as gold, silver, cash, anything that has significant value.
  • It should be up to you what is done with these things, and cash should always be given straight to you.

What forms of payment do they accept at sales?

  • Fewer people than ever carry cash or check these days.
  • A liquidator who accepts major credit and debit cards is providing a convenience to buyers.

What can we do to help them?

  • How one answers this question can help you determine how much work is on your side–if any!

Ask them for references.

  • They should be able to provide you with 2-3 references for you to reach out to.

Don’t be afraid that you have never done this before. Let a liquidator help you through an already complicated time in your life or your loved one’s life.