When hiring an estate sale company, trust is key. Oftentimes family members inherit homes with 20, 40, 60 years of treasures. They hire an estate sale company to help sift through and then sell the belongings. But you just never know what family heirlooms may be hiding in the tops of the closets or back of the drawers.

Advantages of hiring an estate sale company

The most common reason for holding an estate sale is downsizing, followed by the death of a loved one and moving. These all can be highly emotional and stressful events. While it’s possible to hold an estate sale on your own, many people choose to hire an estate sale company to handle the process for them. There are several advantages to hiring a company, including:

  • Expertise: Estate sale companies have experience and knowledge about pricing items, advertising the sale, and managing the logistics of the sale.
  • Efficiency: Estate sale companies can typically set up and run the sale more quickly and efficiently than an individual can.
  • Increased sales: Estate sale companies have a network of buyers and collectors that can increase the chances of selling items for a higher price.
  • Reduced stress: Dealing with the logistics of an estate sale can be stressful and time-consuming, but hiring a company can help reduce that stress.

In this episode of STL People On The Move, Dawn interviews Gail Bearden from Little Brown Jug Estates Sales. She shares some of the treasures she has found and how she helps people through the complexities of estate sales.

Types of estate sale companies

There are different types of estate sale companies, ranging from bare bones companies to full-service concierge companies. Here’s an overview of the different types:

Basic estate sale companies: These companies typically provide basic services, such as advertising the sale and providing tables and display items. They may also provide pricing guidance, but the homeowner is responsible for pricing the items. The homeowner is also responsible for handling any items that don’t sell.

Full-service estate sale companies: These companies provide a range of services, including pricing, advertising, setup, and management of the sale. They may also provide additional services such as cleaning, organizing, and staging the home. At the end of the sale, they will typically handle the disposal of any unsold items.

Concierge estate sale companies: These companies provide a higher level of service, including handling the sale of luxury items such as jewelry, fine art, and antiques. They may also offer additional services such as appraisals and auction services.


Estate sale companies typically charge a percentage of the total sales as their fee. The percentage can vary depending on the location, the size of the sale, and the services provided. For example, a bare bones company may charge 20-30% of the total sales.. A full-service or concierge company may charge 30-50% or more. Some companies may also charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for their services.


  1. Research: Start by researching estate sale companies in your area. You can search online, check local business directories, or ask for recommendations from friends or family.
  2. Check reviews: Once you have a list of potential companies, check their reviews online. Look for reviews on their website, social media pages, and other review websites like Yelp or Angie’s List.
  3. Check for licensing and insurance: Make sure the estate sale company is licensed and insured. This will protect you from any liability if anything goes wrong during the sale.
  4. Ask about their experience: Ask the estate sale company how long they have been in business and how many estate sales they have conducted. You can also ask for references from previous clients.
  5. Check their services: Make sure the estate sale company offers the services you need. For example, if you have valuable items to sell, make sure the company has experience selling high-end items.
  6. Understand their fee structure: Make sure you understand how the estate sale company charges for their services. Do they charge a percentage of the total sales, a flat fee, or an hourly rate? Make sure you understand how much you will be paying and what services are included in the fee.
  7. Meet with the company: Once you have narrowed down your list of potential companies, schedule a meeting with them. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you have and get a better sense of whether the company is a good fit for your needs.

These examples show that estate sales can be a treasure trove of valuable and rare items, making them a popular destination for collectors and resellers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these exceptional finds are relatively rare, and most estate sales offer a variety of items at more modest prices.


In conclusion, hiring an estate sale company can be advantageous for those who want to simplify the process of selling their belongings. There are different types of companies that offer varying levels of service, so it’s important to research and choose a company that meets your specific needs. Remember to understand the fee structure before signing a contract with an estate sale company. Let us know if you have questions or need help starting the process.