Estate Sales in the Age of Covid
We recently received this inquiry via email:
The simple answer is that BRG's online estate and liquidation sales are exceedingly safe and, dare we say, virtually virus-proof. Here's how:
1) Only a few representatives from the estate sale company are in the home at any given time (photographer, cataloger, assistant, etc.). Those representatives are wearing masks and wiping high-touch surfaces. They are also maintaining proper social distancing protocols. This is far better and safer than the dozens or even hundreds of potential buyers and look-y-loos traipsing through the home with traditional formats.
2) Once inventorying and cataloging are completed, the sale is held online -- no close contact or haggling with buyers. In traditional sales, potential buyers are handling and touching surfaces inside the home -- possibly spreading germs and contagions throughout.
3) In an online auction setting, prospective buyers peruse, research, and bid from the comfort and safety of their own home, offices, even in their cars or on the field during their kid's soccer practice. The "fear factor" relating to exposure to germs is eliminated. Plus, the excitement generated in an online auction ensures that the property being sold achieves fair market value -- without face-to-face haggling and deal making required in traditional estate sale settings.
4) All purchases are processed at the close of the auction. Bidder's credit cards (required at registration) are auto-debited after the close of the auction. No cash is exchanged or handled. This, again, limits the possible spread of germs and close interactions between buyers and BRG's staff.
5) Pick-up dates and times are specific. Rather than traditional estate sales that run two or three days, most online sale pick-ups occur within a four-hour period on one set day.
6) Pick-ups occur outside and the only people with the address to pick-up the property are the winning bidders. The only people in the house are authorized BRG staff members who take all the necessary precautions to ensure safe distancing, wearing of masks, and wiping down high-touch point surfaces. BRG staff will bring the property to a designated pick-up area staged outside of the home. Winning bidders may then, from a safe distance, gather their newfound property and load their own vehicles. Winning bidders are not permitted inside the home.
7) Any property not picked-up by the winning bidders is brought back to one of the BRG warehouses for future processing -- either pick-up at a later date by winning bidders, transport to one of our other warehouses as pre-arranged by the winning bidders, or in the rare event of forfeiture the item will be re-offered in a future auction.
8) Consignor checks are cut and mailed to the consignor within 45 days of the close of the auction (often sooner depending on when the sale occuring within the monthly billing/payout cycle).
As you can see, the online format works just as well, if not better, in a COVID-19 environment. It is safer than traditional estate and liquidation sales for all involved -- the consignor, staff, and buyers.
If you're considering a move / downsize or have need of estate liquidation services but have concerns about holding a liquidation sale because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the estate and liquidation specialists at BRG will be happy to speak with you. The safety measures and policies we put in place achieve the highest possible revenues, all while preventing the spread of this virus. Give us a call.