Tag Archives: How to be an estate liquidator

The 3 Hats of Estate Liquidation and Estate Sales

The 3 Hats Of Estate Liquidation, or If You Want To be In The Estate Sales Business You Better Be Prepared To Wear Different Hats.

Here’s what’s true about the Estate Sales business:

If you want to be successful conducting estate sales, or be #1 in the Estate Liquidation industry, you have to know how to be with people first.

Every one who calls, will be in some stage of transition – So you’ll have to learn how to wear many hats:

  1. The Listening Hat: Have patience, If you do not, or are unwilling to sometimes listen to a client’s entire life story – try your hand at some other part of the antique business. Personally, I like to listen to people talk about themselves. I find that my client’s stories, and the memories they attache to their “things,” teach me more about antiques and collectibles than any guide book…
  2. The Risk Hat: Every Estate Sale or Buy-Out that I engage in, has risk. Is there enough financial value in the estate to justify its time commitments. And if I am doing an Estate Buy-Out, am I paying too much – will I be able to recoup my investment, and make a profit?
  3. The Therapist Hat: People have troubles… They call me, or some one like me, to help them resolve the way other heirs, or family members are in conflict about what is the best way to distribute a decedents personal property. You have to know how to creatively solve their problems.

Here are some of the ways I have used these 3 hats:

A woman who lives in Sonoma, Ca. called. She wanted to know if I would be interested in 11 old clocks that she had for sale. I said sure, and I made an appointment to see her. When I arrived at her apartment, the first thing I noticed was the stale air of a cigarette smoker. She wanted $2,500.00 for her clocks.

The best one of the lot was a Gustav Becker wall clock with a resale value of about $1,200 – $1,500.00. The other 10 clocks were mostly vintage banjo clock’s from the 1940’s, which at an estate sale might bring a total of $1,000.00 more

The Listening Hat: I listened to her, and I asked her a few questions, and what I discovered was that she needed this precise amount of money, because her son was in a child custody battle with an ex who had a drug dependency issue. This client was trying to raise enough money to cover her son’s legal fees. She was a good mom, who had a good son…

The Risk Hat: I looked at her clocks very carefully. I thought about the many different ways I might sell her clocks; in an estate sale, or maybe by sending them to an auction – but what I determined was, that there was no way I could sell her clocks for more than her asking price.

This meant that I could not help her by buying or consigning her clocks.

The Therapist Hat: No matter what a person’s station in life is, they are all human, and as humans, they deserve to have their dignity preserved. So here is what I did. I gave her my time. I listened to her, and I cared about her, and her dilemma.

I explained that as a dealer, I could not pay her what she needed, and then I mapped out a strategy for her, which would enable her to sell her clocks via some effective classified advertising.

My Name is Martin Codina, and I am an estate liquidator who loves his job.

Fine Estate Liquidation, Inc.

The Do it Yourself Estate Sales Guide

So You Want To Get Into The Estate Sales Business

The 8 Things You Must Do – To get into the Estate Sales business:

I receive a lot of inquiries from people who want to get into the Estate Sales business. Here are some of their questions:

SW asks: “I am just curious as to how to get into this type of business…could you possibly give me any information or some websites I could check out? This would be greatly appreciated!” Thanks!

JJ asks: “My question to you is, what are the ins and outs to establish an estate sale business? I live in a small but fast growing area of central Arizona and I would like to get into the estate sale business.”

“I once worked with a woman in Phoenix who is now out of business. I loved it. She is now gone and I need to know from another source how to go about creating an estate sales business in a legal manner, and how to conduct the business in a moral and ethical manner. Please give me a little advice, and where I might turn for more information.”

AS asks: I just read your article on how you got started in the estate sales business! I own an antique mall and will soon be starting my 11th year in business. I feel I am missing a good income source by not getting into the auction/estate business, what would you suggest I do?

8 Things You Must Do, to get into the estate sales business…

  1. Ask Everybody: Ask your Clients, Attorneys, Realtor’s and other people in businesses that are connected to the estate sales business, a lot of questions about their experiences with estate liquidators. Seek, and test out, the advice you are given.
  2. Model Successful Behaviors: Follow the Estate Sales Leaders. Watch the estate sales experts in your area. Find out what they are doing.
  3. Expect to Pay for Advice: When I started in the estate liquidation business, I would hire a local personal property appraiser, to make sure that I was not making any costly mistakes.
  4. Read Guide Books: Kovels, and many price guides published by Warman’s will teach you much about learning to identify various collectibles.  However it is also important to note, that while these antique and collectibles guide books can teach you much about identification, the value quotes in them need to be compared to local market conditions. Read, Read, and Read…
  5. Estate Liquidators are Secretive: They are one of the few business groups, who do not freely give information away. One of the best ways to learn the estate liquidation business is to work for an estate liquidator. I mean, imagine an auctioneer who had never worked in an auction house. How effective would they be?
  6. Become a Great listener: Every estate is a bit different, and each client has their own unique way of communicating their needs. By listening carefully, you will be able to address them more usefully.
  7. Ethics are Mandatory: They are not something you acquire. You either have them or you don’t! If you do not have solid ethics, you will never make it in the Estate Sales Business. Word will get out very quickly, and your business will fail.
  8. Start Small: Rome was not built in a day, so be realistic. Start with small estates and work your way up. Establish you reputation, and soon the better projects will come.

Good Luck!!!

My name is Martin Codina and I am an estate liquidator who loves his job.

Fine Estate Liquidation, Inc.

The Do it Yourself Estate Sales Guide