When a loved one passes away, family members may be left with either a houseful of items they do not have room for in their own home or cannot agree with other family members on how to split the belongings. During grieving, the task of decluttering, cleaning, and selling your loved one’s possessions may be too difficult. An estate sales professional can step in and take care of all of the details for you. These professionals arrange and oversee the transactions for the estate sales and auctions.
An estate sales professional follows a process in order to help their client yield higher returns during estate sales. The company will analyze and research each piece that is to be sold, documenting and photographing the items. Specific collectors are contacted about items that may pique their interest, typically before the sale. The professional will want to properly clean and arrange all of the items to get the buyers’ attention.
Estate sales can run for one to three days and include an auction. The company may decrease the prices after the third day to try to sell the remaining items. After the closing sale date, the company can make arrangement to donate the items to charitable organizations or give you a list of charities they recommend.
All of the cleaning after an estate sale is done by the company. You will receive updates throughout with phone calls, accounting sheets, and itemized receipts. It’s not even necessary for you to attend the sales.
The majority of estate sales companies does not require an upfront fee and work on a commission-based system. This includes Memory Lane Estate Sales.
When it comes to taxes, some estate sales companies, such as Expert Estates, charge California’s sales tax to the buyer to prevent the estate from paying an extra 7.5 to 9 percent from the proceeds.
Commission rates vary between companies, but average between 10 and 25 percent with some companies charging 30 percent or more. You may pay a higher rate for a full service company that includes certified personal property appraisers, certified auctioneers, and automobile appraisers. In the long run, you may save more money receiving these services from one company.
Ask your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers about recommendations for local estate sales companies. Your attorney or your loved one’s attorney (or the executor of the will, if it is not the same person) may be able to provide you with referrals. You will want a company that holds either an American Society of Appraisers certification or an International Society of Appraisers certification. You can find databases on both organizations’ websites to locate estate sales companies in the Los Angeles area.
The Better Business Bureau for Los Angeles and Silicon Valley features ratings, accreditations, and reviews for companies. You can also check online at senior care directories for reviews written by customers. Before hiring an estate sales company, review their references and all contracts before giving them permission to handle your loved one’s estate.
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