As the Baby Boomer generation continues to retire, the estate sales industry is booming. This rapidly growing market is estimated to be at more than 14,000 companies in the United States, according to a New York Times article. Whether you need to clear out a home due to a death in the family or because your loved one is moving into smaller quarters due to health issues, an estate sales professional can handle all of the minute details.
After the initial consultation, you can expect the estate sales company to arrive on the premises and begin work about a week before the sale. Each item is cleaned, documented, and researched or appraised by professionals. The company will set up displays that will appeal to prospective buyers and advertise the sale with photographs on social media and their own website, just like what you can see at Dogwood Estate Sales. They may also contact collectors about pieces of high value.
The sale may last one to three days, however larger estates may require a longer period of time. You are not required to attend as the company will manage all of the details during the sale including financial transactions. Most companies accept all forms of payment to increase the volume of sales.
At the conclusion of the sale, you will receive an itemized list of transactions and accounting spreadsheets for tax purposes as well as a list of charitable organizations that may accept any remaining items. The estate will receive a check after the commission fees are deducted.
Estate sales companies generally do not require any money upfront, preferring to earn a higher commission fee from the estate’s net sales. This is one of the reasons the company will insist on selling items at the highest possible price. Antique HQ suggests that the average commission fee for estate liquidators is 10 to 25 percent, however you may see fees closer to 35 percent.
You can locate estate sales businesses on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Middle Tennessee’s website. The site lists the ratings, reviews, and contact information for each company. As of 2016, you can see 11 businesses within a 100 mile radius of Nashville and one of those businesses is BBB accredited.
You may be able to find estate sales professionals using a senior care directory. Most of these sites also feature reviews written by family members of the estate. Research and compare each company online while making your list of businesses to contact. You may want to consider attending local estate sales and auctions to see a company’s process and buyer interaction. This gives you a chance to ask questions and “interview” the staff.
The American Society of Appraisers and the International Society of Appraisers certify appraisers throughout the United States and Canada, as well as other countries. Ask the prospective company if they use the services of a certified professional to ensure the estate receives the highest price for each item.
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