Whether you are moving, downsizing, or settling an estate the daunting task of “What to do with all this stuff” is often overwhelming. Do you look in the yellow pages or newspaper to hire a company? Should you ask your friend who recently hired a company for similar services?

Whichever way you go always remember how you were treated during your initial consultation. It’s true, you might forget a person’s name but you will never forget how they treated you. In order to protect yourself and get the best value of your estate be sure to consider these five items before hiring an estate sale company:

Give Yourself Options

Doing a little homework can save you some headaches down the road. Schedule 2 or 3 different companies for a home consultation, take notes and ask questions. The best advice I was ever given was “trust your gut”.

Understand the Services You’ll be Receiving

Perfect, you found a company to handle your estate. They staged the house, staff was polite, estate sale went flawless. BUT, after the last day of the sale the staff left with your home cluttered with items that didn’t sell for you to deal with. Hire a company that finishes the job and leaves your home real estate ready.

Check References

Everyone seems to ask for references, but few follow through with checking them. A few minutes on the phone can really help decide if you want to hire the company you are considering.

Obtain a Contract

Hiring any company without a contract is a risk you don’t want to take. Your trusting someone in your home with your lifetime of belongings, sign a contract.

Trust Your Gut

Alright, you’ve done your homework and ready to hire an estate sale company. Your neighbor has given a personal reference, your friend said they know a great guy, etc. It’s great to have so many people helping you, but the final say is you. There are many great estate sale companies out there, just make sure you’re picking the right one for you.