Before you hire an estate sales company, you will want to learn exactly what they do and how it will benefit your loved one’s estate. Whether your loved one recently passed away or is moving into smaller living quarters, these professionals work to get the most money out of each object for sale. You will want to make sure that the company employs an appraiser (or uses one when needed) that is certified through the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) or the International Society of Appraisers (ISA).
The majority of estate sales companies do not charge any upfront costs and you may want to be wary of a company asking for set up fees before the sale. Estate sales companies typically do a free or low cost initial consultation, but once hired will properly clean and research each piece that is to be sold. Companies, like Caring Transitions Estate Sales, offer a free consultation and are insured up to $250,000 to give you peace of mind. You will receive an itemized list with the approximate value of each item.
You do not need to be present during the one to three day sale as the estate sales professionals will take care of the cleaning, hosting, and financial transactions during and after the event. Marketing and advertising are done by the estate sales service using social media platforms and online estate sales websites. Some companies also advertise their upcoming sales on their website for frequent buyers and collectors.
When the sale or auction concludes, you should receive an accounting report with itemized receipts within a few days for tax purposes. The estate will receive a check minus the commission and fees. Depending on the company and the size of the estate, you can expect this check in less than 30 days.
The estate sales service fees vary between companies depending on the size of the estate, the services included, and the length of the sale. Average commission rates are between 10 and 25 percent of the net proceeds from the sale, but don’t be shocked to see companies charging 30 to 35 percent.
If there is an executioner of the will present, ask them about local estate sales companies they may have dealt with in the past. You can also ask your attorney, friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations. Senior care directories may list estate sales professionals as well as display reviews written by family members of the estate.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central Ohio currently lists 13 organizations within a 100 mile radius of Columbus with three BBB accredited businesses. Using the BBB site gives you a chance to see how complaints were resolved by the company. You can also search online for estate sales in Columbus to find local sales and auctions. Consider attending a few shows to observe a particular company while they work. Pay close attention to the displays and how the staff treats the buyers during the sale and throughout the financial transaction. You may also get the opportunity to speak to a family member if they have opted to be present during the sale.
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