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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
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
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
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
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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