Cleaning out a loved one’s estate is an emotionally draining task. Whether your loved one has passed away, or is moving to a residential care facility and can longer care for their possessions, the task can be overwhelming. You can rest easy knowing you can delegate this task to an estate sales company. These professionals will come into the home and appraise the items for sale or auction. Items remaining after the sales are donated to charity organizations. The estate will receive a check minus deductions for estate debt, commission, and fees.
After the initial consultation, the estate sales company will inspect and document each piece. For rare and unusual items or collections, they may call in a professional appraiser, if they do not already have one in their employ. The team will properly clean and arrange the items for buyers to view. The company may ask you not to clean in order to make sure nothing is damaged. It is also suggested that you do not throw away anything as they may have a buyer in mind. The sale can last from one to three days on average. Large estates may hold longer sales and auctions. The estate sales company takes care of all of the details, including collecting the money. At the end of the sale, the items may be reduced to quickly move them from the estate. Any unsold items can be donated to a charity as a tax deduction. You should receive a report at the end of the sale about all of the financial transactions.
Initial consultations are typically free, like in the case of English Ivy Estate Sellers. This gives the estate sales company a chance to assess the pieces and find the uniqueness behind each collection. Most companies do not charge any upfront costs and work on a commission-based structure. English Ivy Estate Sellers and other companies meet or beat any competitors’ commission rates.
The average commission rate is 10 to 25 percent, according to Antique HQ. You may see higher rates of 30 to 35 percent for companies that employ appraisers or are required to do heavy cleaning before the sale.
You can find estate sales companies online by searching senior care directories or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Minnesota and North Dakota. These websites feature ratings and reviews written by former clients, so you can get a good idea of what to expect. Always ask any company you are interviewing for a list of references and follow-up with these customers. You can also find certified professionals through the search tools on the websites for the American Society of Appraisers and the International Society of Appraisers. Consider asking your family attorney for referrals and for a review of any contracts an estate sales company gives you to sign. Always make sure you understand the terms and conditions as well as their role in the process. Your family and friends may also have suggestions.
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