Most people don’t think about having to clean out and sell a loved one’s possessions and home, but the task is more common now than ever before with more seniors downsizing into smaller homes or assisted living communities.
An estate sales company, such as Sandra D. Zeimer, Inc., will generally schedule a no-fee initial consultation on the premises to get an idea of how much preparation time the estate sales team will need and how long the sale will last. The average sale can last one to three days with a one week preparation time for the estate sales crew to properly clean, arrange, document, research, and tag each piece.
The company will either have access to or employ a certified appraiser to research the value of each object to ensure the estate asks for the highest price possible. These items can include classic automobiles, collectibles, furniture, glassware, silver, vinyl, and timepieces. The company may also contact collectors from their database to alert them to the sale or auction and specific pieces that may interest the collector.
The estate sales company will advertise and market your sale on their company website. Some companies also advertise on social media channels and Buffalo area estate sales websites. If the company, like Sales By George, keeps a list of email subscribers, they may notify those frequent buyers about upcoming sales.
During the sale, it is not necessary for you to be present as the company will manage the hosting and transactions. You can expect to receive an inventory list before the sale and itemized receipts and accounting reports after the sales are finalized. If there are any remaining items after the sale or auction, consider donating them to local charities, universities, or other organizations as a tax deduction.
The estate can expect to receive a check from the estate sales company within a few weeks, minus the commission and fees from the total net sales.
The average commission rate for estate liquidators is 10 to 25 percent of the total net sales, although full-service companies may charge a higher rate, closer to 30 to 35 percent. If the company is required to do heavy cleaning and decluttering before the event, the rate may be higher.
The easiest way to find an estate sales company in and around Buffalo is to search online. The American Society of Appraisers and the International Society of Appraisers certify appraisers and keep a database of professionals throughout New York and across the country.
You can also find companies on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website for Upstate New York. The BBB lists the contact information, ratings, and reviews for four businesses.
Your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers may also have suggestions for estate sales companies they have used in the past. If the estate sale is due from the death of a loved one, consider asking the executioner of the will or family attorney for recommendations.
Find assisted living in Buffalo near you.