Whether you are looking for a way to downsize due to a loved one moving into a residential care home, or the passing away of a family member, an estate sales company can help you with every detail of the overwhelming task.
Although the process can vary between estate sales companies, most follow a general outline. The estate sales professional will schedule an initial consultation on the premises to walk through and determine if the estate needs their help. Most companies do not charge for this consultation or at the very least, charge a low fee.
Once it is determined the company can benefit the estate, the estate sales team will begin working about one week in advance of the sale or auction. They will ask you not to throw anything away and to allow the team to properly clean each piece to avoid damage. Depending on the company, the estate liquidators will advertise the sale on their website and social media channels. They may list the sale or auction on other estate sales websites. Some companies, like The YES Company, provide their email subscribers with notifications for upcoming sales in the San Francisco area.
An appraiser certified through the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) or the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) is used to evaluate each object so the company can sell the objects at the highest price possible. This is another reason many companies do not require money upfront. They earn their profit through the estate sale’s high returns.
The company manages all of the cleaning, hosting, and financial transactions. Although you are not required to attend, you are more than welcome and will be kept updated throughout with inventory lists. At the conclusion of the sale, you can expect a copy of the itemized receipts and a list of remaining items for donation. The company may also provide you with a list of charity organizations.
After the company deducts commissions and fees, the estate should receive a check in less than 30 days.
Most companies charge upwards of 35 percent commission of the total net sales, although it is reported that the average commission rate is 10 to 25 percent. If the company offers a wide range of services like heavy cleaning and security, the commission rate may be higher.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern Coastal California lists local estate sales companies with ratings and reviews. You can find the contact information for nine organizations currently on the site with two BBB accredited businesses within 50 miles of the city. The ISA and the ASA both feature databases to help you locate certified appraisers throughout California.
Consider asking your family and friends for recommendations as well as your family attorney. If the decision to use an estate sales company is based on fulfilling the request of a will, the executioner of the will may have suggestions for companies.
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