When a family member passes away, the task of cleaning and selling their belongings can be enormous. An estate sales company can relieve you of that burden and take on all of the minute details.
You can expect an initial consultation with the estate sales professional on the premises. The estate sales liquidator will want to get an idea of the Fair Market Value of each piece to sell it at the highest price possible to benefit the estate. After the company is hired, the estate sales crew will analyze and research each piece before advertising the sale on social media and the company’s website. You can see an example on Simmons Estate Sales which also features testimonies written by family members of past estate sales. An appraiser from the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) or the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) may be used to gain a true value of each object.
The company will host the one to three day sale on the premises with some companies holding online sales and auctions. Since the estate sales company manages the financial transactions, it is not necessary for you to attend. You will receive copies of the accounting spreadsheets and itemized receipts at the conclusion of the sale. The company can also provide your attorney with a copy if the sale is due to a request in your loved one’s will.
When the sale ends, the estate sales service will deduct the commission and fees from the total net sales and release a check to the estate. The estate typically receives this check within a few weeks to one month of the sale.
Estate sales fees will vary between companies and locations, however the average commission rates for estate liquidators is 10 to 25 percent of the total net sales. You may see rates towards the 30 to 35 percent range for some companies. Since most companies do not charge any money upfront, including the initial consultation, they will promote your sale more aggressively to obtain a higher return for the objects sold during the sale or auction.
If your sale requires heavy cleaning or decluttering, the estate sales company may charge a higher commission rate.
Before looking for an estate sales company, ask your family attorney or the executioner of the will for recommendations for companies they have worked with in the past. Your friends, family, and neighbors may also have suggestions for local companies. The best way to “audition” a particular company is to watch the staff in action. Find a few estate sales in your area and attend the event. By observing the staff with buyers, you can get a feel for the type of service they offer.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Northeast Florida and The Southeast Atlantic has listings for estate sales companies within a 100 mile radius of Jacksonville. The site currently lists 10 organizations. You can also find certified appraisers in Florida through the ISA and ASA.
Find assisted living in Jacksonville near you.