Can a Seller Cancel an Estate Sale Contract?

Dear Estate Sales Guide, I decided to schedule an estate sale and soon after realized I made a mistake.  Can I cancel my estate sale?, how can I back out of this deal? – Kim

In response to Kim’s question, we wanted to share the information with everyone else because this situation is quite common between sellers and estate sale companies.

When you sign an estate sale contract, it’s a legally binding contract between you and the estate liquidator.  You have the right to cancel if you choose, but you may be liable for a cancellation fee depending on the contract you signed.

Cool Off Period

Before you cancel a sale, give yourself the time to reconsider and revisit the reasons you chose to hold an estate sale in the first place.

Our emotions may take over some times and we may feel attached to the personal items we want to sell.

You may realize that the estate sale was actually the right decision based on your current circumstances and needs.

Consider The Cancellation Cost

If you are firm about cancelling your estate sale, the good news is no one can make you hold one against your will, but you must consider the costs to an estate sale company if you decide to cancel.

Estate sale companies incur various costs prior to an estate sale scheduled date.

  • Labor costs to inventory, itemize and photograph
  • Staging and organizing the items in the home
  • Research time and pricing of each item
  • Marketing on social media and other online
  • Advertising costs to potential estate sale buyers

Once an estate sale company adds your sale to their schedule, they cannot accept another, thus turning down others that may request the same date.

If you’re 100% sure about cancelling, do so but be willing and ready to reimburse the estate sale company for their costs and business loss.

Contract Cancellation Clause

Before you notify the company, check your contract to make sure it has a cancellation clause.  It may afford you specific situations that will allow you to get out of the contract by paying a specific fee.  Any exception would have to be clearly specified in the estate sale contract.

If you’re still focused on canceling the estate sale, make sure everyone involved gets paid what’s due.  Otherwise, be ready for a legal battle that will cost you more in the long run, where a signed, legal and binding document such as an estate sale contract will prevail.

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