The task of decluttering, cleaning, sorting, and selling a loved one’s possessions after their passing can be overwhelming, but an estate sales professional can do all of this for you as well as arrange for sales, auctions, and charitable donations. You can rest easy knowing the estate sales company is going to take care of everything and your loved one’s estate will receive a check after the commission and fees.
Estate sales companies will work hard to ensure that the estate receives a profit and high return for the items sold. The estate sales professional will typically provide a free consultation to preview the items. Once hired, the company will inspect, properly clean, and arrange the items for buyers. They may bring in a professional appraiser to appraise rare or unusual items and collections. Some companies employ appraisers that specialize in certain markets.
The company will handle all of the details of the sale which may last from one to three days and include an auction. If the company accepts major credit cards during the sale, the profit may increase to as much as 40 percent. Certain companies, like Family Heritage Estate Sales, provide security at no charge. The company takes care of hosting and the financial transactions throughout the course of the sale as well as advertising.
After the sale, the company may provide you with a list of options to remove the unsold items, including charitable organizations as a tax write-off. The executor of the will or family attorney, as well as you, will receive itemized receipts and other accounting reports at the end of the sale.
Most estate sales companies do not charge any upfront fees. These companies work on commission-only and are paid after the sale. After their fees are deducted, then the estate will receive a check. The estate can expect a check within a week of the closing of the sale or auction, if not sooner.
Average commission rates are 10 to 25 percent of the sales, however a company may charge 30 to 35 percent in large cities, for a large estate, or if heavy cleaning must be done before the sale.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) for the Metro Philadelphia area lists ratings and reviews for estate sales companies. You can find six companies within 10 miles of the city currently on the BBB’s website. You can also find reviews written by former customers on senior care directories online.
The American Society of Appraisers and the International Society of Appraisers host databases to help you locate certified professionals in your area. You will want to interview each company and ask for references before hiring an estate sales company to handle your loved one’s possessions. Neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family may also have suggestions for you. If the request for a sale or auction is from your loved one’s will, ask the attorney or executor of the will for referrals for estate sales professionals.
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