An estate liquidator is a type of qualified professional who helps bring together the many tasks that occur during an estate liquidation. To put it simply, estate liquidators are people who professionally appraise, price and sell off an estate’s inventory for as much money as possible. Estate liquidators play a crucial role during an estate liquidation, managing all aspects to ensure that sales proceed smoothly and efficiently.
Who Needs Estate Liquidators?
Situations that need an estate liquidator are typically estate sales that involve senior citizens as they move out from their homes and downsize. Other situations needing an estate liquidator’s expertise include cases such as inheriting an estate but not wanting to keep everything, or most commonly not having time to oversee the sale of a decedent’s belongings.
How Estate Liquidators Work?
Estate liquidators work a number of roles during the process of liquidating assets. Generally speaking, their work can can be divided into three phases, which are the:
- Pre-Sales Phase: In this phase, an estate liquidator will catalog all the items in an estate’s inventory and price them. Estate liquidators require expertise and knowledge of the items’ market value in an area, and are also responsible for setting up an estate sale.
- Sales Phase: During this stage, the liquidator handles all aspects of selling an estate’s items, ranging from record keeping, allocating resources, and keeping up with a timeline.
- Post Sales Phase: An estate liquidator still has much work to do once the last item has been sold. Other duties such as clearing out the estate, dealing with unsold items, and recording finances are done at this stage.
How Does an Estate Sale Work?
An estate sale is organized by estate liquidators once they’ve finished appraising, cataloging, and setting up a sale for items. iStuffSellers has compiled a summary that should give you an idea of how an estate sale works. Generally speaking, it follows a format that looks something like this:
- Held inside someone’s home or across their property
- Takes place within 2-4 days
- Involves the sale of someone’s personal property
- Open to public participation
- Quick disposal of unsold items
- Realtor might list home after estate sales
Compared to an estate auction, estate sales typically have a longer duration and are held on a person’s property. Compared to auctions in which items are sold to the highest bidder (either individually or as a group), estate sale also sells items at a fixed price, although it can usually be bargained for or discounted later on.
Why Hire an Estate Liquidator?
Although it is possible to hold an estate sale by yourself, it is usually recommended that you hire an estate liquidator to help ease the process. Other than an estate liquidator’s expertise in the matter, other reasons to hire an estate liquidator for your estate sale include:
- Expertise: Organizing an estate sale of any kind is a much more complex and involved process. Unlike a yard or garage sale, estate sales are of a larger scale and have many steps to follow.
- Connections: Estate liquidators are well connected and can help facilitate good customer service and sales through a network of associates. In some cases, valuable assets such as works of art may need an expert on the liquidator’s network, as they may require a second appraisal before being sold.
- Experience with buyers: Estate liquidators handle all interactions, negotiations, sales, and collection of payment from buyers. This removes a big hassle for homeowners who just want to sell without the stress.
How Can I Become an Estate Liquidator?
Because there is no formal process to become an estate liquidator, many come from all walks of life, with many involved in related businesses such as auctions and appraisals. Others possess certifications in unrelated fields, and many more take up the role out of a love for collecting antiques and learning an item’s history. Just about anyone can become an estate liquidator, but earning success in this industry requires time and experience.
What Future Roles Will Estate Liquidators Take?
The job of an estate liquidator will never truly go out of style. As generations come and go, estate liquidators will continue to play a role in managing what people leave behind. Estate liquidation is a multi-faceted job filled with many interesting roles and can prove to be an interesting career for those who enjoy doing many things to help people