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Baltimore Estate Sales

Going through a loved one’s belongings after he or she passed can be emotional and stressful. The whole process can be overwhelming. In 2014, LA Times reported the average person had about 300,000 different items in the home. If your loved one was a collector or did not get rid of things, that number could be even higher.

Hiring an estate sales company can help with this burden. All you need to do is remove the items you and your family want to keep, and the company handles sorting, setting up the sale, and donating remaining items.

The estate sale process

Most estate sales companies do not want you to get rid of anything before they have a chance to see it. Some items may be worth money that you think isn't worth anything. An estate sales professional will help you get the most of your sale because they are familiar with the market and can help research items to get the right pricing. According to EBTH, finding the right value is the most important part of your sale.

To begin your sale, you will meet with the estate sales company for a consultation to review items and discuss procedures. The company will then sort, set-up, stage, and mark prices. Some companies prefer to post items on an online auction to find a bigger audience. The company will advertise to drive traffic to your sale through email, social media, newspaper, and more. All of this preparation takes around 5-10 days. The estate sale usually lasts three days.  

During your sale, the estate sale staff will be onsite to assist shoppers with questions, facilitate transactions, and provide home security. They may auction off larger items. Most estate sales companies take credit cards, which will increase sales. You can attend the sale, but several estate sales companies advise you not to because it can be very emotional.

After the sale, the company itemizes the things sold in a written statement. They will then give you a check minus commissions. You will receive these items about 2-3 days after the sale.

The company can arrange for the extra items to go to auction or donate to a local charity of your choice.

The cost

Some companies do charge for the initial evaluation. Other companies do not charge or will give you an hour consultation for free with a charge for meetings to go longer. The average commission is about 35-40 percent of the sale proceeds. For sales that require more preparation due to extreme clutter, expect these prices to increase. Be sure you know all the fees upfront for the different services.

How to find an estate sales company

When you are ready to begin your search, ask your family attorney for recommendations. Online reviews can also be helpful. Make sure that you are finding recommendations from someone who has hired the company and not just shopped the company’s sales.

You can also search the Greater Maryland Better Business Bureau website for BBB-accredited businesses. When choosing a company, find one that has either the American Society of Appraisers or International Society of Appraisers Certification. You should also interview multiple companies to make sure you are hiring the right fit. Ask for a written contract, so you know the fees, procedures, and timeline before the sale.

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