house with estate sale sign out front

The estate sales industry is one of those in the United States that has no centralized governing body. Nobody is out there making the rules that all of us as estate sale companies have to follow by law. Every single company that you come across has different rules and regulations in place to keep them, the shoppers, and clients safe, happy, and stress-free. 

In this post, We’re going to discuss some of our rules and regulations as well as many that most estate sale companies tend to follow in all different categories.

If you’re looking for an estate sale company, Atlanta is a great place to be looking! Certified Estate Sales and many other high-quality estate sale companies are located nearby. If you’d like to schedule a time to come and talk to us about your need for a sale, please feel free to get in touch!


Most estate sales agents are only going to get started on your sale after some form of estate sales contract has been signed. Every company has its own contract, lawyers, and style to the way they do business. 

When it comes to the estate sales industry, there is no accredited government agency making the rules. In some ways, it’s up to the customer to use their own due diligence to make sure the company they’re dealing with is quality.

The purpose of an estate sale contract between the client and company is to outline all the details and responsibilities of an estate sale company as well as what the clients should expect as far as deliverables. This could outline everything from pre-sale to what goes on during the event as well as what goes on after the event like cleanup services and things like that.

Commission rules

Estate sale companies often earn their keep through a commission structure based on what they sell at your estate sale. The amount of the commission varies from company to company. It also can vary depending on the size of the sale, the number of items, and the type of items being sold. Geography also plays a role, as company overhead is different depending on where a company is located.

We decided against the posting our specific commission amounts and structure directly on this blog post because we’d prefer to discuss it with each individual client in a private manner, but we’re happy to talk about it with you!

If you’d like to do that with us, get in touch

Rules for discounts at estate sales

Everybody likes to haggle, right? Well, estate sale shoppers are certainly no different. Most companies have guidelines in place for what staff can and cannot allow as far as discounts at estate sales.

 Everybody on staff that is client-facing knows the rules and how low they can go on items. Sometimes they’re not allowed to budge at all. It depends on what the item is, how far along the cell is, and how badly the company wants to  sell the item.

The discount structure can also vary from one sale to another. Knowing when and how to allow discounts is part of being a valuable staff member to an estate sales company.Conduct policies

What’s the state sales companies enforce the way you’re meant to behave at an estate sale. This helps make sure the environment is safe for everybody involved. you will usually find rules of the sale displayed prominently around the home or property that you are shopping at.

Some of the common rules of an estate sale include:

  • Shoppers must remain respectful to staff as well as other shoppers 
  • Estate sale companies have the right to refuse Shoppers from coming into the sale or servicing them once inside if they feel they are in violation of any of the rules
  • You break it, you buy it
  • All sales are final (most of the time)
  • Everything being sold is done so in “as-is” condition

Payment Guidelines

At the end of a sale, the client of an estate sale company needs to get paid in a reasonable fashion and at a reasonable speed. A lot of estate sale companies accept only cash, but many are modernizing and starting to accept digital payments like credit cards, debit cards, Apple pay, Samsung pay, venmo, and other popular digital money options.

Regardless of the payment options available, as a shopper, it’s always good to have cash on you, especially if you’re planning on visiting multiple estate sales on the same day.

Having clients attend their own sales

In general, we do not recommend a client attending their own estate sale or being on-site while we are running the event. As people shop, they tend to judge and speak freely about the items they see. This can be seen as offensive by people who have emotional attachments to many of these items.

This is often an emotional time for our clients and it’s not the greatest environment for them to be when people are picking through their personal items.

Having a client on-site can hinder the success of a sale by distracting the staff and shoppers. It is not something we usually allow.


Marketing is an important piece of any business. Estate sale companies are certainly no different. Marketing is the way you get shoppers to come through that door.

Certified Estate Sales takes advantage of several different marketing techniques both online and in real life. There are many online Outlets that allow us to list our state sales where shoppers can find them. Our own site is another tool that we use to help get the word out about our new sales, news, and other important communications.

We have a marketing team in place to help us get the word out in the communities about ourselves in person, too. Online marketing is a valuable tool but traditional marketing techniques are still viable ways to get the word “on the street.”

 when you decide to work with certified estate sales you get access to all of our marketing efforts from our website Street Flyers and everything in between.


The Estate sale industry is unique in the fact that it comes with several challenges and many variations that organizers have to face on a weekly basis as they host their sales.

One of the unique aspects is the lack of any governing body regulating estate sales companies. We have to take matters into our own hands and establish our own guidelines.

These were some of ours and there are plenty more where they came from! If you want a full breakdown of what we do, how we do it, and how we can help you liquidate some of your items, get in touch with us today for a complimentary interview and quote.

Until next time,

Certified Estate Sales

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