Perhaps you’ve heard of estate sales before but never really thought about what they entail and what the process entails. When you lose a loved one, or they move into an assisted living facility, you’re often left dealing with their stuff. It can be hard to decide what you want to keep, donate, sell, or throw away and if there are multiple people involved in the decision, it can get emotional quickly.
Chances are also high that you will have to sort through a lot of things. The LA Times reported in 2014 that on average, the typical US household has around 300,000 items. If your relative liked to collect things or held onto things, this number can easily grow. You might want to consider using an estate sale company to handle everything because these professionals will take care of the full process. All you must do is decide what you want to keep and they handle the rest.
The goal for most estate sale professionals is to get you the most money for your items and sell as many of them as possible. Free From Clutter details the estate sale process but most start with a consultation or walk through of the home. Many estate sale companies have certified appraisers at their disposal, and these people will price your items to sell.
After items have prices, a team will come in to set up the area for the sale. They might clean and declutter the area, and they will also set up everything for sale in appealing displays. You can see some pictures of past estate sales and staging at Done Deal Estate Sales. The company will also make sure to market your sale, so that a decent crowd shows up on sale day.
During the sale, employees of the company will assist with all sales as well as handle transactions and interact with the customers. If there is an auction along with the sale, they will handle that and provide security for the home. You can decide whether you want to be in the house while the sale is going on.
When the sale is over, you might have a few extra things which the company will help you decide what to do. They might suggest a few local charities or give you places you can sell it. Then, they will meet with the executor of the will to go over all sales and then write you a check for your portion of the sales. The final steps of an estate sale might take a few days to finalize.
There are a few costs that come with hiring an estate sale company. The initial consultation might cost an hourly fee, but some companies offer this service for free. Almost all companies work on commission and will take a portion of the sales, usually around 35%. You can read more about commissions on Tampa Estate Sales’ site. Added charges might occur if the house is messy or cluttered and needs heavy duty cleaning or there are a lot of things to sell.
Local attorneys, as well as your friends and neighbors, might have a few recommendations for businesses in the area. If you choose to read online reviews, only pay attention to those written by clients, not the shoppers. The BBB of the Tampa Bay Area has four listings for estate liquidators, just make sure to choose a place certified by the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. Before any work begins, sign a contract and ensure it details all services and charges.
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