When faced with the grueling task of selling a deceased loved one’s possessions, the job can be difficult and overwhelming. If you do not have room for all of the items, or you and your family cannot decide how to split the assets, consider the service of an estate sales company. These companies can organize and make arrangements for collection views, sales, and auctions. The burden is lifted from your shoulders when an estate sales professional takes over the task.
After the initial consultation, the estate sales company will sort, photograph, and research each item in the home to be sold. The sale is advertised using the company’s website, estate sales directories, and social media channels. The team will clean and arrange the pieces. Usually the company will ask you not to clean or throw away any item to avoid damaging pieces that may have monetary value.
Companies, like Everything But The House, run the sale for seven days. Other companies may only hold the sale from one to four days as the larger the estate typically the longer the sale. Most companies keep a database of collectors to contact before the sale, hoping to secure a higher return.
After the sale, the company will provide you with either a list of charitable organizations for donating or other options for item removal in the Cincinnati area. You should receive an accounting report with an itemized statement, including transactions and donations, after the sale. The estate should receive a check, minus commission fees, within 30 days or less.
Most estate sales companies provide free or low cost consultations. This gives the company a chance to see if the estate needs a sales company. Most companies are commission-based and require no money upfront. The average commission rate is 10 to 25 percent, although don’t be surprised to see commission rates as high as 35 percent of the total sales. The company may charge an additional fee for heavy cleaning or decluttering.
You can find the contact information for certified appraisers on either the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers websites. The Better Business Bureau for the Cincinnati Area gives you a glimpse of companies and their practices. The site lists ratings and reviews for each company as well as how they resolve complaints. The site currently lists 12 organizations within 50 miles of Cincinnati.
Online directories that feature senior living options and senior care may also include listings for estate sales companies with reviews written by former clients. Make sure to get a list of references from any company you are considering using and follow-up with those customers.
Ask your friends and family about local estate sales companies they may have used in the past. Your family attorney or your loved one’s attorney may have specific companies they recommend and can decipher and explain the terminology in the contracts to you.
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