The majority of people own more possessions than they need. After the death of a loved one, you may be faced with the burdensome task of clearing out the clutter and selling your family member’s belongings. You may not have space in your own home or your other family members cannot decide how to split the estate. An estate sales professional can take care of the overwhelming responsibility. These estate sales companies declutter, clean, and arrange for sales and auctions.
The estate company will need to begin working on the estate at least five days in advance of the sale, if not before. Large estates may take longer to prepare, especially if the company needs to declutter and clean before arranging the items for viewing. In many cases, you do not need to be present as you and your family attorney will be kept updated through itemized receipts and accounting reports. The estate sales company will handle all of the social media marketing, advertising, hosting, and transactions that occur during the sale. Sales can last one to three days for an average-sized estate to a week or longer for a large estate. After the sale, the company may sweep or vacuum after the buyers leave. You should receive a list of charitable organizations you can donate the unsold items to if the company does not make the arrangements for donation pick-up for you.
Estate sales companies typically do not charge for an initial consultation and many work on a commission-based structure, like Peachtree Estate Sales, that do not charge any money upfront. The average commission rate reported by Antique HQ is 10 to 25 percent, although some companies charge 30 to 35 percent and an additional fee for heavy cleaning or decluttering. If a company doesn’t already offer an appraisal service, they may bring in an expert for an additional fee. You may want to compare companies that offer full-service with higher commission rates to avoid paying too much extra. Just remember that an appraised item tends to be more valuable in the marketplace and may sell for a higher price to a collector that knows the item’s worth.
Before you hire an estate sales company, research and compare professionals in your area. You can use an online database from either a senior care directory or find a certified appraiser at the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers.
The Better Business Bureau for Metro Atlanta, Athens, and Northeast Georgia contains listings with ratings and reviews for estate sales companies. Always ask the company you are interviewing for references and follow-up with these former customers. Your attorney or the executor of the will may have ideas for professionals local to you, as well as your family and friends. Find the right estate sales professional and let them take care of the estate for you so you can take of your family and other responsibilities.
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