You can use an estate sales service after the passing away of a loved one or when your loved one chooses to downsize after retirement. When faced with a fixed income, many people decide to simplify their lives by selling furniture, automobiles, and other items they no longer need or want. According to a New York Times article, the estate sales market is flooded with demand for professionals. The estate sales company handles all of the details of a sale or auction, so you can focus on your loved ones.
The estate sales team will arrive on the premises about a week before the one to three day sale to prepare. Each item is properly cleaned, documented, and researched. The company will arrange for advertising via social media, newspapers, and estate sales event websites. The company may also advertise the sale on their website with photographs and online sales services. With companies, like McNeil Liquidations, you can also view photographs for past sales as well as upcoming events.
During the event, the estate sales professionals will manage the sale and financial transactions. You are not required to be present during the sale or auction, but will be kept updated through itemized receipts, inventory lists, and other reports. You may receive these reports at the end of the sale.
When the sale concludes, the company will clean up and provide you with a list of charitable organizations you can donate the remaining items to in your loved one’s name. The estate will receive a check minus the commission fees in a few weeks.
Most estate sales companies do not charge any money out of pocket to family members of an estate. Initial consultations are used to determine if the estate needs the company’s services and are typically no charge or at a low cost. The companies earn their profit through the sale deducting an average of 10 to 25 percent of the net sales. Depending on the company, the commission fees could be 30 to 35 percent in some areas or with companies offering a number of services.
There is no need to feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of choosing an estate sales professional. You can research and compare reputable companies on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central Oklahoma’s website. The site displays 19 businesses in and around Oklahoma City within 100 miles. Of these companies, 11 are BBB accredited.
You can also contact certified appraisers through the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. The company you choose should have access to a certified appraiser to ensure your items sell at the Fair Market Value price. Your attorney or the executioner of the will (if the estate is inherited) may be able to suggest estate sales companies to you. Don’t forget to ask your friends and family for suggestions. Consider attending local estate sales in Oklahoma City to “audition” a particular company. By observing the company, you can get an idea of how their process works as well as the buyer interaction.
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