Sorting through a loved one’s possessions can bring up a lot of emotions. Often, when people move to nursing homes and downsize, or a relative passes away, the family is left to deal with the stuff they left behind. It can get tricky figuring out what to do with everything, especially if many opinions are involved.
On top of the emotions, you might have to sift through a lot of stuff. In 2014, the LA Times reported that the average US home had around 300,000 items. That number can easily climb if your family member liked to collect things or hold onto anything they received. An estate sale company can make this complete process a lot simpler and faster.
When you hire an estate sale company, their primary goal is to sell as many of your items as possible and get the most amount of money for each item. An estate sale involves multiple steps, which Amy J Beatty Valuations details on their website. It starts with a consultation where a professional will walk through the house and appraise your items. Most estate sale companies have certified appraisers on their staff who can price items based on their worth and the local market.
Once the sale items have a price, the company will come to the house to clean and stage everything. You and your family only need to remove the items you want to keep, and the company will handle the rest. They will also use this time to start advertising the sale and build up an interest in the community.
The day of the sale, employees from the company will be around to answer questions, interact with customers, complete transactions, and provide security for the area. Some estate sales include an auction, and if that is the case for you, the company will run the entire auction. You can choose to stay during the sale, but if you would prefer, you don’t have to be there.
After the estate sale is over, employees from the company will help clean things up and advise you on what to do with any remaining items. They might refer you to local charities to donate any left-over sale pieces. The executor of the will and the company will meet to discuss the outcome of the sale, and you will get a check for your portion of the sales. You can expect the end steps to take a few days.
What you pay for an estate sale company can depend on a few things. The initial consultation might have an hourly fee, but a few companies offer free walk-throughs. You will also give a percentage of the sales to the company, usually around 35%. There might be added fees for excessive cleaning or if there is a considerable number of things to sell. You can learn a little more about consultations and fees from A Comprehensive Estate Sales website.
Talk with your attorney to get a reference for businesses in the area or ask for suggestions from friends and neighbors. If you look at online reviews, make sure you only read ones from clients of the business, not the shoppers at the sale. The BBB of Fort Wayne has two entries, but other companies serve the Fort Wayne area. Choose companies that have certification from the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. Before any work starts, make sure you sign a contract that details all services and their respective charges.
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