When faced with the grueling task of emptying a loved one’s home of their possessions, you don’t have to go it alone. An estate sales professional can handle all of the details, down to the smallest, from cleaning to appraising to selling. With most companies, this is accomplished with no out-of-pocket expenses on your end.
An initial consultation is typically no charge as the majority of estate sales companies rely on making money through the sale or auction. Due to not requiring money upfront, the company will market your sale aggressively while holding the sale long enough to maximize the return and choose certified appraisers in order to sell items at a higher price. These appraisers are certified through either the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) or the International Society of Appraisers (ISA).
The estate sales crew will properly clean, document, and arrange each piece in displays that will appeal to the prospective buyer. Some companies advertise on their website and social media channels, as well as newspapers and other estate sales websites. Local collectors may be contacted about specific items before the sale. Some companies, like Raleigh Auction and Estate Sales, run online sales.
The company coordinates the financial transactions and furniture pick-ups, if necessary. You are not required to attend as the staff will manage the hosting, catering, clean up, and other services, like security. At the conclusion of the one to three day sale (longer if the estate is large) you should receive an accounting report with itemized receipts and an inventory list.
Some companies, such as Blue Moon Estate Sales, have a reputation of selling 90 to 95 percent of the items in the estate sale. The company may provide you with a donation list of the remaining items and a list of charity organizations accepting donations. They may also offer suggestions for donations to schools or universities in your loved one’s name.
The estate should receive a check, minus all commission and fees, in a few weeks time.
Commission fees vary, but the average is 10 to 25 percent of the total net sales, with some companies charging 35 percent for full-service, like security, heavy cleaning, and catering.
Both the ASA and the ISA provide databases to allow you to search for certified appraisers in Raleigh, throughout North Carolina, and across the country (as well as other countries). You can search by city, state, or zip code.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Eastern North Carolina displays the ratings, reviews, and contact information for 14 businesses within 100 miles of Raleigh. Two of these businesses are BBB accredited.
Senior care directories and other online listings can provide you with reviews about estate sales companies written by family members of the estate. Make a list of suggestions from online sources as well as your family and friends. You will want to research and compare companies before hiring one. Consider attending a few local estate sales to watch the company interact with buyers.
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