One of the tasks that remain for children after their parents die or they move them to a nursing home is cleaning out their house. Often this is a monumental job since furniture and stuff in the home has collected for several years. Estate sale businesses help manage the task by selling the items and clearing out the home. With the elderly population growing as baby boomers age, the need for services provide by estate sale businesses is expected to grow. This makes it the perfect time to start your own company by learning how to start an estate sale business.

Things You Will Need


Knowledge of prices for used items

Knowledge of antiques

Pricing equipment

Step 1

Learn the general prices of items in your area. In order to move items out of the house and make a profit for the people who hired your company, you must be able to correctly price the items in the home. You should know what used furniture, clothes, appliances and household goods go for in your area. If you overcharge not only will you not sale items, but people will quickly learn not to attend estate sales run by your organization as they are overpriced.

Step 2

Know what are antiques and the value of them. Some of the homes which you are hired to have an estate sale for will contain antiques, and it's important that you are able to identify them and correctly price them. You can hire an antique appraiser, but this will get expensive and cut into your profit.

Step 3

Register your estate sale organizing company. Since you are conducting and managing estate sales as a business you need to register with the IRS and your state department of revenue. From the IRS complete the for m to get an employer identification number (EIN) while you need to register with your state to pay income and unemployment tax.

Step 4

Determine the price you charge to complete the sale. Some charge a flat fee while others work on commission claiming a percentage of money made at the sale. Make sure that whatever you choose is going to make a profit for your business.

Step 5

Purchase equipment needed to run sales. When having an estate sale you want to spread everything out so buyers can easily see it and purchase it. This requires you to have tables, shelves and other display racks for items you find in closets, cupboards and drawers. In addition you need pricing equipment as well as a cashbox and signs pointing drivers to your estate sale.

Step 6

Secure a good reputation. Making a name for yourself is important when your run an estate sale business. People that regularly shop estate sales will quickly learn whether or not ones you sponsor are worth attending and spread the word. The same can be true for family members seeking out services of an estate sale company. They often go with companies they see signs for and advertised frequently over ones they are unfamiliar with.


Tips & Warnings

Before you move into the house to begin preparing for the estate sale it's important that you give family members a chance to walk through and remove anything that they don't want sold.

It is highly advisable that you have a contract with family members that they sign once they have removed everything they want out of the house to prevent any lawsuits that may arise from them realizing they wanted something in hindsight that you already sold.