You’re faced with an overwhelming responsibility and need to hire an estate sale coordinator, but like most, you’re concerned with what estate sale companies charge and if it is worth it? When asked, this is one of the biggest reasons people shy away from hiring estate sale companies and choose to hold an estate sale themselves.  Doing the sale yourself is a choice, but you will more than likely experience the same issues others have reported after holding their own sale.

The issues above are very common and often shared with estate sale companies when they receive a call for hire. Before establishing costs, it’s important to place a big emphasis on quality, service and what exactly it is you’re paying for.

So what do estate sale companies charge for?

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

-Red Adair

The estate sale companies will charge a set percentage at around 30% to 40% for each sale.  The percentage does vary by location, estate sale company, and the type of items at your sale.

There may be additional costs, if you require additional services, such as cleaning out the home at the end, or additional sale efforts after the estate sale.  Once you find a reputable and well-established estate sale company, everything is discussed and outlined prior to signing the final estate sale contract.  During this meeting you can discuss detailed costs. It is always best to place an emphasis on quality and service. It doesn’t do you any good to pay less if it comes at the cost of sacrificing the success and outcome of your estate sale.

What estate sale companies charge is important, but when you are evaluating worth, and choosing to hire an estate sale company, it’s important to focus on the goal at hand.  If the goal is to sell all the items at the highest value, this requires experience, skill, and a receptive large audience of estate sale buyers.

A well-established estate sale company will offer both the buyers and the experience to handle your entire estate sale from start to finish. Their experience and client base cannot be established overnight by the average person wanting to hold their own estate sale.




Many clients ask me whether they should hold an estate sale before or after their house sells. That decision should be between you and your realtor. However, some points to keep in mind:

These are just some things to consider prior to hiring an Estate Sale company.


Going through the liquidation process can be emotionally traumatic for some and distressing for everyone, whether downsizing to a smaller residence or grieving the loss of a loved one.  A house filled with precious memories and keepsakes that has to be broken up and sold to strangers can seem an intrusion and disrespectful. If you attend professional estate sales regularly, you’ll find that most do not have family members present, and for good reason.

It can become very uncomfortable when scores of buyers begin walking through the home and may make negative comments about items you or your family treasured.  It’s awkward, not only for the homeowner, but for the potential buyers. Sometimes the owner feels the need to defend the merchandise or get caught up relating the story of how it came to be in their possession. The buyer doesn’t care. They want a stress free setting in which they can peruse and comment as they like. As professionals, we specialize in dealing with a large volume of people and controlling crowds, monitoring your home and valuables, answering questions about the items and revealing any provenance or interesting stories about it.  The distractions of non-professionals interacting in the sale will hinder our ability to perform our job, which directly affects the bottom line.

If the owner or heirs wish to be present to make sure of fiduciary accountability, it is not necessary as we are bonded, which certifies our financial responsibility.


Being bonded, in the case of an estate sale company employee, means that a bonding company has investigated their background and finds that they’re trustworthy and “good” enough to insure. In general, this is generally done when an employee has to handle large amounts of money or handle valuable property like jewelry or art. There is a very extensive and deep background check involved and what the employer gets is insurance that you won’t steal. If you do, then the bonding company pays out the amount of the theft. By being bonded, it shows that the employee is trustworthy enough for a bonding company to insure you up to a certain amount.