We all have things that mean a great deal to us, and we must decide what to do with the possessions of a family member who has died or moved into a nursing home, which can be a challenging task. There are many emotions tied to this stuff, and things can get heated if people don’t agree on what to keep and what to sell.
There is also the matter of the number of things your relative has to sort through. In 2014, the LA Times estimated the average US home has about 300,000 objects, and that number could easily double or triple if your loved one was a collector or held onto things. In these scenarios, it could be beneficial to use an estate sale company. Professionals will handle the organizing and sale of all items and do it in the timeframe you need.
An estate sale professional knows exactly what to do to make a sale run smoothly and successfully. Because they do this for a living, they can handle everything much faster than you could alone. Most estate sales will start with a consultation and viewing of the house. Most professionals are also certified appraisers and will price all the items to be sold based on their worth and the market in the area. Caring Transitions details the estate sale process as well as senior relocations on their page, if you want more information.
After they have appraised the items for sale, the company will start cleaning and arranging everything. Once you have decided what to keep and have removed it from the house, they will come in and stage everything. You can see pictures of past real estate sales on Lincoln Estate Sales. The company will also appropriately advertise the sale to drum up business.
During the estate sale, employees of the company will be on-site to accept payments, answer shopper questions, and provide security. If there is to be an auction, they will also take care of that process. You are welcome to stay through the sale process, but you don’t have to be there if you would prefer to stay away.
Once the sale is complete, you might have a few items left that didn’t sell. The company can refer you to charities in the area that will accept your donations. They will also consult with the executor of the will about the sale as well as cut you a check for your portion of the sales. This step might take a few days to complete.
A few companies decide to offer walkthroughs and consultations for free but some charge by the hour. The company will also take a portion of the sales, generally 35%. A higher percentage or extra fees can depend on several factors such as if a house is large, cluttered, or there are a lot of things to sell. You can shop around for the best prices in your area.
Talk with your attorney or ask for suggestions from friends and neighbors. Online reviews can be helpful if you read ones written by clients of the companies not shoppers at the estate sales. The BBB of Nebraska doesn’t have any Lincoln companies listed, but there are a few in nearby cities. Look for businesses that have a certification from the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. Be sure to go over all charges and services and sign a contract before the estate sale begins.
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