Going through someone’s belongings is never easy following a loss. How do you get rid of things while you are still mourning? LA Times reported the average person has about 300,000 different things in his or her possession. If your loved one was a collector or did not purge items regularly, this number may be even higher.
Hiring an estate sales company can reduce your stress because they complete all the work for you. Take the items you and your family want, and the company sorts things, arranges the sale, manages purchases, and donates remaining items.
It’s crucial for you to keep everything before you meet with an estate sale company. There may be some valuable items that you think is trash. These companies know the market and can find out if items are worth anything. The process will move much more quickly with a company than if you are your family tried to handle the sale.
Integrity Estate Sales outlines the process for an estate sale. First, you will meet with the estate sales company for a consultation to review items and discuss needed services. The company will then prepare the home for the estate sale by displaying items, setting up tables, pricing, and turning the house into a marketplace. They will advertise with their customer base to drive traffic to the sale. Also, the company will complete additional advertising such as signs, newspaper ads, websites, social media, and emails.
Preparing for a sale typically takes about one to two weeks. The estate sale usually lasts three days and will be held over a weekend.
At the sale, the estate sale staff will be available to assist shoppers, handle transactions, and offer security. They may auction off larger items at the sale. Most estate sales companies can process credit card payments to increase sales. You can attend the sale, but estate sales companies discourage you from going because it can be emotional and may also discourage shoppers.
After the sale, the company can assist you with donations to charities of your choice. They can help with packing, organizing, and getting receipts.
The company will give you an itemized statement of your sale. You will receive your payment, typically a few days after the sale.
Fees vary by the company and also by the services you select. Some companies will charge for the initial evaluation while others do not charge. The average commission runs about 35-40 percent of the sale proceeds. If your loved one’s home needs a lot of cleaning due to clutter, the prices could be higher. Ask for a list of all the fees before you sign the contract to avoid any surprises.
Get recommendations from your family attorney and friends. Online reviews can also provide valuable insight.
The Minnesota Better Business Bureau website has a search function find BBB-accredited businesses. When selecting a company, look for a business that has either the American Society of Appraisers or International Society of Appraisers Certification. You should also interview multiple businesses to compare costs and services.
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