Losing a loved one is hard. Now you need to go through his or her belongings, and that is also extremely stressful and emotional. It can be overwhelming. The LA Times reported in a 2014 article that on average a person possesses about 300,000 different things. If your loved one was a collector or did purge regularly, there may be even more items.
Hiring an estate sales company can help you get through this process more quickly and smoothly. You can reduce your stress by hiring a company to do the estate sale and organization. All you need to do is remove the items you and your family want. The company handles the rest.
Heartland Estate Sales outlines this process. First, you will meet with the estate sales company for a consultation to review items. The company will then sort, stage the home, and set prices. Some companies prefer to post items on an online auction to find a bigger audience. Staging the home is very critical to sales. Brown Button posted before and after photos to show the difference.
The company will promote your sale through various advertising methods including signs, newspapers, emails, and social media. Many of these businesses have a list of regular customers.
During your sale, the estate sale staff will be available to provide customer service, process payment, and protect your home. They may auction off larger items during the sale. Most estate sales companies take credit cards for payment and that can increase sales. You can attend the sale, but several estate sales suggest you should not go because of the emotional attachment.
After the sale, the company will give you a listing of the sale and breakdown of items sold. You will get your check minus the commission about 2-3 days after the sale.
The company can arrange for the extra items to go to auction or donate to a local charity of your choice. They can also assist with any additional cleaning needed.
Like with any other service company, prices do vary. Some companies charge for the initial evaluation while others do not. Commissions average 35-40 percent of the sale proceeds and some companies only charge the commission. For estates with extreme clutter, prices will probably be higher. Make sure you know all fees before signing any contract.
Ask your family attorney for local recommendations along with any friends that may have used these services in the past. Online reviews can also be helpful. Make sure these reviews are from someone who has hired the company and not just shopped the company’s sales.
You can also search the Greater Kansas City Bureau website for BBB-accredited businesses. When selecting a company, look for a company that has either the American Society of Appraisers or International Society of Appraisers Certification. You should also contact multiple companies. Ask for a written contract that outlines all fees, procedures, and time frames.
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