The stuff our loved ones keep or hold onto often have a lot of meaning and emotional ties to us. That’s why it can be difficult to sort through those things once they pass away or enter a nursing home. Not only do you have to decide what to do with every item but you might have to deal with the opposing opinions of other family members.
On top of all that, there is a good chance there is a lot to sort through. The LA Times reported in 2014 that the average US home collected around 300,000 things. Collectors and people who don’t throw anything away might easily have double that amount. If you decide to use an estate sale professional, this process can be much easier. You can decide what you want to keep and let the professionals take over the rest.
Most people just see the outcome of an estate sale, but there are numerous steps before and after the day of the sale. You can read about this process on the Estate Sales of Virginia site, but most sales start with a walk-through. This time gives the professionals, many times certified appraisers, the opportunity to price your items. Based on what they understand of the local market and the worth of your things, they will fairly price your stuff.
Once everything you’re selling has a price, you can remove the things you’re keeping. Then the company will take over cleaning and organize the house. After the house is clean, they will stage the house for the sale, including arranging items in appealing displays. You can view pictures of previous sales at TNT Treasures. The company will also handle advertising to draw in customers.
When the day of the sale arrives, employees will care for everything. They will interact with customers by answering their questions and completing transactions. They will also oversee security for the sale and run any auctions planned for the estate. It is also fine to stick around during the sale, but it isn’t required.
There are a few steps at the end of the sale to wrap everything up. First, if there is anything leftover, the professionals will help you decide what to do with it. They can refer you to local charities if you wish to donate things. Then, they will meet with the executor of the will and go over the sale. Once that is complete, they will write a check for your portion of the sale, minus their commission. These steps could take a few days to finalize.
There are a few costs involved with hiring an estate sale company. First, some might charge for the initial consultation by the hour, but others offer this service free of charge. They will also take a commission from your sales, usually around 35%. There could also be additional fees like a cleaning charge if the house is particularly messy. You can discuss all these costs before you choose a company for your needs.
Your attorney, along with friends and neighbors, might have a few suggestions. Online reviews are helpful but be careful that you only read reviews from former clients and not shoppers from the local sales. The BBB of Hampton Roads has one listing in the area, but there are a few more not listed. If you can, choose a business certified by the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. When you make your decision, sign a contract before work starts and make sure you understand all service charges.
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