An estate sales professional can help you sort, clean, and prepare to sell a loved one’s possessions or collections, whether selling is a result of the loved one passing away or having to downsize into a smaller living quarters due to failing health. The estate sales company will arrange for the sale or auction, marketing and advertising, and appraising, if necessary. After the sale concludes, the estate will receive a check for the net profit after all commissions and fees are paid.
The typical process for an estate sales company is quick. After the initial consultation, the team will begin work about a week before the sale. The company will come into the house and analyze, document, and research each item that is to be sold. All of the marketing and advertising through social media and online estate websites is done by the company. Some companies, like Stefek’s Estate Sales, list upcoming sales with photographs on their website. The company will contact appraisers or specific collectors about certain high end items that will bring a larger return to the estate. This is one of the reasons the company will ask you not to throw anything away and to allow the professionals to properly clean each piece.
Your presence is not required during the sale, however the company will keep you updated throughout. After the sale, you will receive itemized receipts and other accounting reports for tax purposes. The estate should receive a check minus the commission in less than 30 days. The length of time varies depending on the size of the estate, the types of sales held, and the company.
The average estate sales company does not charge any out of pocket costs to the estate. They earn their profit through the sales. Commission fees range between companies, but you can expect to pay between 10 to 25 percent, or as high as 35 percent, of the net proceeds from the sale. These commission fees include all of the services the company offers including security and advertising.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Detroit and Eastern Michigan lists ratings and reviews for companies in the Detroit-area. You can search under estate sales and the site will display 45 organizations within 100 miles of the city as well as seven that are BBB accredited. If you have items or collections that need appraised, you will want an appraiser certified either through the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. Both organizations feature a searchable database so you can locate certified appraisers across the country and Canada.
If you have an idea of the estate sales company you would like to use, consider asking your friends and family if they’ve heard anything about the company or staff. You can also search for the company online through senior care directories for reviews written by customers.
Consider visiting an estate sale or auction held by the estate sales company to observe how they treat their buyers and handle financial transactions.
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