How Much Do Estate Liquidators Charge?

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Hiring a professional estate sale company may seem like a daunting task; it’s not something most people are knowledgeable about, making it hard to know what to expect. What do estate liquidators charge and what do they do? How much should you be paying an estate sale company for their services?

When researching estate sale companies, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on how their estate sale fees are structured and investigate what services they offer. This can assist you in making a smarter, more informed decision, especially when it comes to maximizing your profits from your estate sale.


How Do Estate Liquidators Work?

Most estate liquidators have one main objective: liquidate everything in your home. Estate liquidators want to earn the largest possible amount of money through the sale of the estate’s items in a short period of time.

The estate liquidation industry has evolved over the years. Some estate liquidators have different specialties, while others build their business models around a particular way to liquidate. Hybrid estate liquidators have also started to emerge.

Here are the five types of estate liquidation companies you will most likely encounter:

  • Traditional estate liquidators conduct onsite liquidations where customers can walk through a house and buy items.
  • Estate auction houses bring entire estates (or specific pieces from an estate) to an offsite location to auction them off. Some auction houses specialize in high-end liquidations, featuring items like fine art and luxury furniture, etc. Mid-range liquidations frequently include cars, guns, etc.
  • Estate auctioneers liquidate estates onsite at the home. They are similar to the traditional estate sale in their offerings, but the merchandise is auctioned off rather than priced individually.
  • Hybrid estate liquidators conduct both auctions (usually online) and estate sales depending on the type of estate, what’s included in the estate, and the client’s specific needs.
  • Estate liquidators with an auction-house partner will conduct traditional estate sales but use an auction house for certain big-ticket items like priceless pieces of art, high-end furniture, etc.

A few more differences include:

  • Estate liquidators will try to sell as many of your items as they can for the best price possible.
  • Traditional estate sales usually last one to three days, and prices are determined by the estate sale company. Most estate sales are discounted as the sale progresses.
  • At an estate auction, which typically only lasts one day, the prices are determined by the buyers, through the bidding process.

Regardless of format, what happens when you hire an estate sale company is pretty much the same across the board. Estate liquidators will:

  1. Stage and price the sale, either by taking the items offsite and displaying them in their showroom or by setting up tables in your home. Depending on the condition of the home and how much there is to sell, this can be a time-consuming job. The items must be unearthed, evaluated, inventoried, and priced.
  2. The estate sale company will also advertise the sale and put up the necessary signage. Management of the sale and post-sale clean-up will follow. Most companies will also arrange for the donation of unsold items and complete a trash removal if requested.

Estate Sale Cost

Most estate liquidators operate on a commission basis. Money is made as items sell. Gross incomes vary from sale to sale but the average estate sale grosses over $18,000. Keep in mind estate sale revenue have many variables that affect the end result of how much estate liquidators charge.

In addition to commission, some companies include other estate sale fees such as trash hauling and advertising.

Hiring the estate sale company with the lowest estate sale commission rate might not mean you’ll be getting the most money in the end. A seasoned estate sale company could have a 50% commission rate, but they offer years of practice, know-how, an established customer base, and relationships with brokers and auction houses—which could mean more money for your estate items. You may also consider an estate sale company with a lower commission rate such as 25%, but a lower estate sale commission rate may mean you’re working with a less-experienced company.

You might also want to ask the estate sale company what they expect the sale to gross. However, you must consider some margin of error as many variables can affect the outcome of a sale, from the merchandise to the weather.

So how much does it cost to hold an estate sale? As mentioned, there are many variables – it depends on who you hire, what you’re selling, how many people attend the sale, the parking situation in your neighborhood, etc. How much your estate sale will make and the commission the estate sale company makes are difficult to predict. Finding the best estate sale company for you and your situation is the most important consideration. Ultimately, you should choose the one you feel most comfortable with.

How Much Do Estate Liquidators Make?

Most estate liquidators work on a commission and charge you a percentage of the estate sale’s gross profits. Estate sale commission rates may vary for each different estate sale and may even vary depending on where you live. As an example, a company might charge you an estate sale commission rate of 35%. So if the estate sale grosses $10,000, you’ll owe them $3,500.

Some estate liquidators may have optional services they provide at additional estate sale fees, such as trash removal or post-sale clean-up. When you are getting quotes from potential estate sale companies, ask about these additional estate sale fees. Ask how these fees are calculated and ask what they normally amount to for the average estate sale. This will give you an idea of how much you might have to pay.

When determining how much the estate sale company is going to charge your sale, they generally draw from one of these three different approaches:

1. Set percentage: The estate sale company determines a set percentage of gross sales for their estate sale services and that’s what they take for every sale, regardless of size, complexity, etc.

2. Sliding scale: The estate sale company determines its percentage based on the total gross sales. For example, the higher the sale grosses, the lower your percentage may be. Here is an example of how an estate sale company might structure its sliding scale:

Estate Sale Gross Total Percentages:

  • $5,000 – $10,000: 50% estate sale commission rate
  • $10,001 – $15,000: 45% estate sale commission rate
  • $15,001 – $20,000: 40% estate sale commission rate
  • $20,001 – $30,000: 35% estate sale commission rate
  • $30,001 or more: 30% estate sale commission rate

3. In-person estate sale evaluation: This is perhaps the most common method of determining estate sale company fees. In order to understand this approach you’ll want to know what the estate sale company is looking for during the walk through. Most are looking at two major factors: the amount of work required and the value of the estate.

The amount of work required is determined by how many hours the estate sale company thinks they’ll need to put into your sale, including setup, pricing, running of the sale and post-sale duties such as donation, trash removal, and cleanout. If you are liquidating the estate of a hoarder, the company will need to spend a lot more time and effort sorting, pricing, and staging the items in the home. These sales often require many more days as well. Conversely, you may be liquidating an already-staged home that simply needs to be priced. This takes significantly less time. The more work that needs to be done to prepare for the sale, the more you will pay in estate sale fees. Vastly effecting how much estate liquidators charge.

In addition, the estate sale company will need to consider what the estate is worth. If an estate sale company comes into the home and finds items such as fine art, a collection of jewelry, designer furniture, and large power tools, they are going to want to manage your estate sale knowing it will be very profitable. Because of that, they may actually offer you a lower estate sale commission rate in order to win your business and outbid other estate companies. If they see a lot of damaged furniture or old clothing, estate liquidators charge you a higher estate sale percentage, as the lower-value items mean they’ll be making less money for the same amount of work.

Go with the Estate Pros!

The Estate Pros are consistently ranked amongst the top estate liquidators in America as recognized by, and others. We specialize in working with families and individuals who are in need of residential liquidation, donation, cleanout and personal property appraisal services.

The Estate Pros are an estate sale industry authority with hundreds of years of combined experience amongst our ownership and staff. Our owners, sales team, and support staff are held to the highest standards of professionalism and service. We treat each of our clients and shoppers with the utmost care, compassion and respect. Learn more about all of our Estate Sales services.

The Estate Pros pay meticulous attention to detail as we handle every aspect of the estate sale process from start to finish. Our experts will work with you from the initial free consultation to the complete execution of your event and everything in between.

You don’t need to lift a finger; we take care of everything for you! Thinking about hiring an Estate Sale Company? Contact the Estate Pros!!!

Thinking about hiring an Estate Sale Company?

Contact the Estate Pros!!!

Call (248) 587-8951Free Consultation

What Our Clients are Saying

4.9Jennifer BowlerJennifer Bowler ★★★★★ Estate Pros is amazing! We recently enlisted them to assist us with an estate sale in Bloomfield Hills and they did a phenomenal job. Jonathan was responsive to our questions every step of the way and he made the entire process so smooth and seamless. He managed every detail related to the estate sale with such care and professionalism, even providing detailed itemization of the sales and subsequent donation items. We are so impressed with the Estate Pros team and we highly recommend them!!Response from the ownerThanks Jennifer!!! Kellie DevitoKellie Devito ★★★★★ Johnathan and his team were very helpful and made a difficult time much easier. Highly recommend the team!Response from the ownerThanks Kellie!!! Annette SpencerAnnette Spencer ★★★★★ Jonathan and his team are the best! You will be in such wonderful, professional and experienced hands. Jonathan made the whole process seamless and stress free. Give him a call, you will be glad you did!!Response from the ownerThanks Annette!!! Dana RochlenDana Rochlen ★★★★★ Jonathan did a fabulous job. He was caring and kind during a very difficult time for my family. We had a successful estate sale and then he made arrangements for everything else to be donated and provided a comprehensive itemized list for tax purposes. I would recommend Jonathon and the Estate Pros to anyone who needs their services. Thank you Jonathan!Response from the ownerThanks Dana!!! Kari DahlquistKari Dahlquist ★★★★★ We had a very short window to liquidate my dad's estate when his house sold quickly. Jonathan and the Estate Pros dropped into our laps like a gift from the heavens and I cannot imagine doing business with anyone else! There are not enough superlatives to describe our experience, but professional, personable, and punctual will get the ball rolling. Their marketing efforts drove astonishing traffic, their preparation ensured our sale days went smoothly, and their follow up throughout the process was second to none. Jonathan and his team handled our sale with so much care and commitment that at every moment we felt like we were family and they were always in our corner. I whole-heartedly recommend the Estate Pros.Response from the ownerThanks Kari!!! Don SmithDon Smith ★★★★★ Very professional, friendly, and thorough. I would not hesitate to use them again.Response from the ownerThanks Don!!! Brian CowallBrian Cowall ★★★★★ Jonathan and his team did a great job handling my parents estate sale and house clean out. We only had to meet a couple of times and he took it from there. Great experience, I would recommend his services.Response from the ownerThanks Brian! Brian NolanBrian Nolan ★★★★★ Jonathan Tomlanovich and the team from Estate Pros are absolutely the best! After learning of an unexpected time crunch to conduct the estate sale, Jonathan could not have been more responsive in getting the complete sale process accomplished within a week. And the successful results were beyond our expectations! I would recommend Estate Pros and Jonathan to anyone looking to conduct an estate sale. They are courteous, professional, highly skilled, excellent communicators, and they kept me informed every step of the way. I highly recommend Estate Pros to anyone considering their options for an estate sale. Thank you Jonathan for running a great sale and for helping me and my family. You have a fan for life!Response from the ownerThanks Brian! Ray SalernoRay Salerno ★★★★★ Great experience and service.Response from the ownerThanks Ray! Julia AkroushJulia Akroush ★★★★★ Johnathan was the best! He explained the Estate Sale process very clearly, set up and priced every item, was present on the property for the entire sale, arranged for donation pickup of unsold items, and of course was very courteous and helpful. We were extremely pleased with the results of the sale and would highly recommend him and his team for your Estate Sale!! Julie &Sami AkroushResponse from the ownerThanks Julia! BritneyBritney ★★★★★ They were amazing. Jonathan was great, very informative. All the guys made the day go by fast. Super friendly, fast and respectful. I would use them 100x over. Thanks so much, you made this process much more bearable ❤️Response from the ownerThanks Britney! David LettsDavid Letts ★★★★★ Response from the ownerThanks David!!! Lori D. BeckerLori D. Becker ★★★★★ Estate Pros is a business with a heart. Jonathan and the Estate Pros team are fantastic. This is an interesting industry. It is important to trust the Estate Sale company you choose. Thankfully, out of the many companies I interviewed and researched, the choice was obvious. Jonathan stood out positively from the very start. He was easy to work with and had some great ideas which made a super successful sale. Jonathan is extremely responsive, knowledgeable and professional. He gained my trust and I would highly recommend his company.It is always emotionally difficult to sell your prized possessions and family heirlooms but Jonathan was there for me every step of the way.Knowing he was caring for my home in the same way I would while the sale was in progress allowed for me to breathe easier. Jonathan, Jay and the other Estate Pros personnel were polite and very willing to help in all areas of the sale. After the sale was completed, I had several shoppers tell me how wonderfully they were treated during the sale. This is the other very important part of having a successful sale (and one most people don't think about until it's too late). Jonathan has a great following of fans that frequent his sales and it is obvious that number grows with each new estate sale he runs. Honesty, trust and integrity are extremely important qualities which were all demonstrated by Estate Pros.Response from the ownerThanks Lori! Gary BlumerGary Blumer ★★★★★ Estate Pros were great! They did exactly what they said they would do and it went down seamlessly.Thanks JonathanResponse from the ownerThanks Gary! Sharon SmithSharon Smith ★★★★★ Estate Pros is just want you want from an estate sale company. Jonathan made what could be have been a stressful time into something positive and worry-free. Estate Pros is professional, provides great follow-through and communication throughout the process, and ultimately got top $$$ for our items. If you are looking for an estate sale company, don’t hesitate to hire Estate Pros. They will do a wonderful job for you!Response from the ownerThanks Sharon! Valerie ArcoriValerie Arcori ★★★★★ Estate Pros was timely with necessary documentation and updates throughout the entire process. Would highly recommend to friends and family. A huge THANK YOU Jonathan.Response from the ownerThanks Valerie! Tracey MarieTracey Marie ★★★★★ My family hired Jonathan and his team to handle our parent's estate sale in 2019 in Dearborn. Jonathan and his team treated our parent's home and items respectfully and courteously. His communication throughout the entire process was fantastic. Jonathan's knowledge, professionalism and integrity made us all feel secure and confident. We are grateful to have had Johnathan and his team to guide us through this emotional process.Response from the ownerThanks Tracey! Kurt SchwarzKurt Schwarz ★★★★★ Looking for an estate sale PRO? Jonathan is your man...go ahead and hire him! We had a wonderful experience with Jonathan and his staff. They made us feel secure, comfortable and informed throughout the entire process of holding an estate sale after the death of my parents. From the initial meeting to the final clean up, Estate Pros treated us with the upmost respect and professionalism. Our sale was wildly successfully. Thank you!Response from the ownerThanks Kurt! Lynda CareyLynda Carey ★★★★★ So helpful. Perfect experience. I could not ask for better service. Thank you and your team for everything you did to help.Response from the ownerThanks Lynda! Emily PrysbyEmily Prysby ★★★★★ Awesome Compnay to work with! The best of the best! Highly recommend!Response from the ownerThanks Emily! js_loader

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The Estate Pros have been proudly serving Oakland, Macomb and parts of Livingston, Genesee, Lapeer & Wayne counties for the past 15 years. No matter what your situation calls for, the Estate Pros are here to help!


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