Whether your loved one is moving into an assisted living facility, or recently passed away, the task of clearing out a home is immense, especially if your loved one lived there for 40 years or was a collector. An estate sales company can manage the sorting and selling of each piece in the home.
The estate sales service companies prefer to earn their commission through the estate sale or auction rather than a set amount for each estate. Many companies, like Prestige Estate Services, employ or have access to a certified appraiser and rely on their expertise to assign value to each piece. After careful examination, proper cleaning, researching, and documenting, the items are tagged and advertised on the estate sales company’s website.
More companies are running simultaneous online sales during the event to increase their volume of sales. The company may also contact specific collectors about pieces they think the collector would purchase.
The estate sales professional will manage the marketing, cleaning, hosting, and transactions on-site and will usually not require that you or your family attend. This can make the sale emotionally easier on you. You are kept updated throughout the sale and at the conclusion will receive itemized receipts, inventory lists, and an accounting spreadsheet. Some companies provide two copies for tax purposes or for you to share with the executioner of the will.
The estate sales professional will deduct the commission and any fees from the total net sales and issue a check to the estate. You can expect to receive this check in less than 30 days, depending on the company and the size of the estate.
The average commission fee is 10 to 25 percent of the total net sales, however some companies charge 30 to 35 percent. If the company provides full-service like heavy cleaning, catering, and security, the higher rate may be worth the cost. Since most companies are commission-based only, they do not charge for the initial consultation and rely on securing those higher returns during the sale.
Look for a company that employs or works with an appraiser certified by the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. Both organizations provide a free database to locate appraisers throughout Florida and the United States.
Senior care directories and other online directories feature estate sales professionals and typically offer reviews written by family members of the estate. Before hiring any company, research and compare the estate sales professionals, including contacting their references.
You can find contact information and accreditation status on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for West Florida website for companies within a 100 mile radius of Sarasota. As of 2016, the site displays 28 estate sales organizations with two listed as BBB accredited.
Your family and friends may also offer suggestions. Consider going with a couple of friends to local estate sales to observe a few companies in action. This will give you a chance to ask questions and watch the staff and buyers interact.
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