If you find yourself faced with the overwhelming burden of cleaning out decades’ worth of items from a loved one’s home, you don’t have to do it by yourself. An estate sales professional can have the job done and a check in your hands in no time.
After an initial consultation to determine if the estate needs a liquidator, the estate sales team may bring in a certified appraiser to ascertain the appropriate value for each piece. The team will properly clean, inspect, research, document, and tag each item before the sale. Depending on the size of the estate, the company may begin work one week before the one to three day sale. Larger estates may require a longer sale period of time.
You do not need to be present during the sale as the company will manage the advertising, hosting, and transactions. The company may advertise their alluring displays with photographs on their website, social media channels, and estate sales websites. Some companies, like Aether Estate Sales, offer email subscriptions to frequent buyers and collectors to notify them of upcoming sales and auctions increasing sales traffic.
The estate sales company will handle the cleaning up after the sale concludes and suggest local charity organizations that are open to receiving donations of the remaining items. These donations could be a tax write-off.
At the conclusion of the sale, or at least within a few days, you should receive an accounting report with itemized receipts, inventory lists, and a donation list. The estate will receive a check within a few weeks, minus the commission fees.
The majority of estate sales companies do not charge the estate any out of pocket money, preferring to deduct a commission fee from the total net sales. The commission fee is based on each company and varies, but the average is 10 to 25 percent with some companies charging 30 to 35 percent. The initial consultation may be no charge or at a very low fee.
You can look for estate sales companies on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Central Indiana. The site will allow you to search for companies within a 100 mile radius. You can narrow your search to only include BBB accredited companies. The site currently lists two BBB accredited businesses out of five organizations.
You can look for certified appraisers in Indiana and throughout the country on the International Society of Appraisers website or the site for the American Society of Appraisers. Both organizations certify appraisers and provide continuing education and most estate sales companies either employ or associate with an appraiser.
If the need for an estate sales professional stems from a death in the family, ask the executioner of the will or family attorney for recommendations. Your friends, family, and neighbors may also have suggestions for local companies or point you to senior care directories with ratings and reviews. Most of these reviews are written by the family members of the estate and provide a snapshot of the company’s service.
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