Estate sales are increasingly popular as older Americans seek to get rid of a lifetime's worth of personal possessions they no longer need. This is especially the case as they prepare to move into smaller residences or nursing homes.
They are also popular with estate administrators who need to dispose of a deceased person's personal property and who do not have time to sell it all themselves. However, as estate sales have grown in popularity, more problems with estate sales agents are being reported.
This issue was picked up by the New York Times in "It Pays to Be Wary When Hiring an Estate Sales Agent."
Some people have reported that the estate sales agents they have hired have paid much later than expected, paid them less than promised and even bounced checks. To avoid having these problems with the estate sales agent you hire it pays to do your homework on the agent.
Do not just pick the cheapest agent you talk to. Ask around and speak to other people who have had estate sales about their experiences with agents. You want to make sure that you hire someone with a track record of expertise and fair dealing.
It is also important that you have a signed contract with the agent and that you get a copy of the contract for yourself. You might also consider speaking to an estate attorney and asking if the attorney knows reputable agents in the area.
Reference: New York Times (Sept. 23, 2016) "It Pays to Be Wary When Hiring an Estate Sales Agent."