When your loved one moves into a residential care facility, or passes away, you may be left with an entire houseful of belongings, collections, and furniture. How do you find the time to sort, declutter, clean, and sell these items that you and your other family members do not want or don’t have room for in their home? Consider hiring an estate sales company to handle the overwhelming task for you from start to finish.
An estate sales professional will physically inspect, document, photograph, and research each item to be sold within the estate. Many companies maintain a database of collectors and contact any that would make a good match.
The estate sales company will manage all of the details with the sale, whether it lasts one day or seven days. They will properly clean and arrange the items to appeal to buyers and market the sale on social media channels, estate sales directories, and their own website, like Expert Estate Sales does with their customers’ sales.
On the last day of the sale, the company may discount items in an attempt to sell the remaining as quickly as possible. After the sale concludes, the company may do light cleaning and pack the remaining items for donation. Some companies provide customers with a list of charitable organizations. In many cases, you can make a donation in a loved one’s name as a tax deduction.
Within a week or two after the sale, you should receive an itemized report of everything sold and donated with the estate receiving a check minus the commission fees.
The majority of estate sales companies do not charge for the initial consultation and few require money upfront, preferring to work on a commission-only basis to prove to customers they will work hard with the goal of yielding higher returns. Commission fees vary between companies, but Antique HQ reports an average of 10 to 25 percent of the total sales, while Consumers Digest estimates between 20 and 40 percent. Commission rates over 40 percent should cause you to question the company. If the higher rate is due to hiring outside professional appraisers, research and compare full-service estate sales companies instead.
You can locate certified appraisers in Florida and across the United States on the websites for the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. Both sites feature search tools and contact information.
If you are looking for reviews written by former clients, check with online senior care directories or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Southeast Florida and the Caribbean. The BBB currently displays seven organizations within 50 miles of Miami. Before hiring an estate sales company, research and compare services in the area. Ask the company for a list of references and call these former customers. You want to get an idea of the professional’s process and how they resolve problems and complaints. You should have your family attorney review any contracts before signing them. The attorney may also have a trusted list of certain companies they recommend for estate sales and auctions based on experience.
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