Finding an experienced estate sales company in the Milwaukee area is not that difficult if you know where to look. Whether you need help after the death of a loved one, or just need a professional to downsize a home, an estate sales company can take the task off your hands.
You can expect the estate sales professionals that visit the home for a free initial consultation to walk-through and examine the items you want sold. Once hired, the estate sales team will ask that you do not throw anything away and to allow them to properly clean the objects. Certain items like antiques, silver, art, or glassware can be damaged if not properly cleaned by a professional.
The estate sales team will inspect and document each item and arrange displays to appeal to a prospective buyer. An appraiser certified through the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) or the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) will research the items and assign a market value to ensure the estate asks for the highest possible price. The majority of estate sales companies only earn their profit through commissions from the sale or auction, so receiving the highest price is important to both the company and the estate.
The sale typically lasts one to three days and can be conducted both on the premises and online through the company’s website. The estate sales professional, such as Brew City Auctions and Estates, will also manage the advertising using social media outlets and other local estate sales websites. Since the company handles the hosting and payments, it is not necessary for you to attend if you think the event will be too emotional or stressful for you.
After the sale concludes, the company will finalize the transactions, clean up, and offer suggestions for charity organizations for remaining items. You can expect a copy of the itemized receipts and accounting reports for tax purposes as well as a list of items for donation. Most checks for the estate arrive a few weeks later, after the company has deducted the commission and fees.
You may see commission rates ranging between 10 and 35 percent with 10 to 25 percent of the total net sales being the average. If the company offers a wider range of services like heavy cleaning, donation delivery, and security, the commission rate may be higher.
The ISA and ASA certify appraisers and both organizations host databases you can use for free to locate appraisers in the Milwaukee area and throughout Wisconsin. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Wisconsin currently lists 54 businesses within 100 miles of the city and nine of those are BBB accredited.
Consider asking your inner circle for referrals for estate sales companies. This can include your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Your family attorney may also offer you some insight into particular companies, however the best way to “try out” a company is to attend one of their upcoming sales and observe the staff’s interactions with both the buyers and the family, if they are present.
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