If you are considering hiring an estate sales company to help you sort and sell a loved one’s possessions, you are not alone. According to a New York Times article, there could be as many as 14,000 estate sales companies across the United States and business is continuing to grow. These estate sales professionals will handle all of the cleaning, researching, and selling of items you do not want. These items can include knick-knacks, furniture, collections, and automobiles. Sometimes an estate sale can indirectly help the sale of the home if a buyer is impressed.
Before the one to three day sale commences, the estate sales company will clean, inspect, research, and tag each piece about a week before the event. An appraiser will give an accurate value for each item so the estate will yield a higher return. All of the advertising and marketing is done by the company using social media and estate sales event pages. Some companies, like Kathy’s Estate Sales, also promote their own upcoming sales with directions and photographs to entice buyers. They may also provide online sales services.
All of the hosting, payments, and clean up is managed by the estate sales company. After the sale, the company may give you a list of charitable organizations accepting donations for any remaining items.
You should receive accounting reports, itemized receipts, and other important documents for tax purposes. You may be given two copies so your family attorney or the executioner of the will has one file.
The estate will receive a check minus the commission fees in about a month, although this could be sooner depending on the company and the size of the sale.
Companies, like Angels in the Attic Estate Sales, do not charge for the initial consultation (or charge very little) or require any upfront fees. It is not uncommon to see commission fees for estate sales services at 35 percent of the net proceeds from the event. Antique HQ reports that the average commission fee for estate liquidators is 10 to 25 percent of the net sales. This could be more depending on the services required, the length of the sale, and the size of the estate.
Finding estate sales companies in Phoenix is easier than you may think. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Arizona currently lists the ratings and reviews for 42 businesses within 100 miles of Phoenix. Four of these businesses are BBB accredited. You can also use senior care directories and online searches for estate sales or estate liquidators to find more listings and reviews.
Your friends and family may have recommendations for local companies where you can attend one of their events. By observing, you will get an idea of the company’s process.
You can also locate certified appraisers through the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. Make sure that the company you choose employs a certified professional, or at least, uses their services for high end items.
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