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PROTECTING THE HOME, SHOPPERS AND YOUR BUSINESS DURING AN ESTATE SALE
posted at 10:44 am on 11/19/2015

As an estate sale pro, you need to build your customers’ trust and assure them
 
that their possessions and their home are in good hands when you’re handling 
 
their estate sales. 
 
During an estate sale, each customer is relying on you to make sure their items 
 
are not damaged until they are sold, and they also expect that their home will not 
 
be damaged in any way during the sale. In addition, you want all shoppers, as well 
 
as your employees, to be able to safely and easily maneuver through the home 
 
during the sale without getting hurt.
 
Your specific legal liability, as well as that of the homeowner, will depend on the 
 
laws in your state and what you and each customer has specifically agreed to in a 
 
written or verbal contract. 
 
However, even if you find you are not legally liable for damages or injuries caused 
 
while you’re conducting an estate sale, you certainly do not want these types of 
 
events occurring on your watch. Either type of incident would make for a very 
 
negative customer experience, not to mention causing serious damage to your 
 
company’s reputation.
 
Of course, we recommend that you are bonded and have liability insurance to 
 
protect your business if anything should happen. The ESBA does not require that 
 
you have these for membership; however, if you are bonded and insured, we will 
 
note this on your ESBA listing after verification, to help you attract customers 
 
looking for a company that has these.
 
In addition, here are some tips from the ESBA on how to keep your customers’ 
 
homes and shoppers safe during your estate sales: 
 
 Have enough experienced movers on hand the day of the sale and insist 
 
that these movers lift and carry out all heavy items such as furniture and 
 
appliances. Excited shoppers may want to do it themselves, but they could 
 
get hurt or damage walls and floors in the home if they don’t move heavy 
 
items correctly.
 
 Make sure that the employees that you have pricing, cleaning or packaging 
 
fragile or expensive items are trained in how to properly handle them. A 
 
little training can go a long way in preventing a customer’s valuables from 
 
damage.
 
 When staging items for sale, make sure that they do not cause any tripping, 
 
falling or other types of hazards in the home. For example, really heavy 
 
items are best placed on the floor in corners so there’s no danger of them 
 
falling on someone or of someone tripping over them. On the other hand, 
 
small items are best places on tables, shelves or on other furniture. 
 
 Keep the most fragile items in view of your employees so that they can 
 
assist if a customer is inappropriately handling an item, or on the verge of 
 
breaking something.
 
 Keep hallways and stairs clear of items for sale, as these areas need to 
 
remain open so that customers can easily navigate through the home, and 
 
so that your movers can easily move larger items through these areas.
 
 Make sure that you take advantage of all the available entrances and exits 
 
in the home. If possible, have movers take out heavy items using a different 
 
route than the main areas used by shoppers.




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