When you look at your loved one’s things, you probably remember all the happy times and memories you had with them. Those emotions can make it tough to sort through their items if they have recently died or downsized into an assisted living facility. If you add multiple people into the mix, there might also be disagreements about what to do with everything.
Another problem might be the amount of stuff your loved one has accumulated over the years. The LA Times reported in 2014 that the average US home has around 300,000 items. That number might grow if your family member liked to keep everything they owned or collected things. An estate sale company can be a helpful resource during this sorting process and help you decide what to keep, sell, or donate.
You might wonder why you should use an estate sale company or what they do. These professionals want to sell as many items as they can for the most amount of money. The process of an estate sale starts with a walk-through and will include an appraisal of the items you plan to sell. Many estate sale liquidators are certified appraisers and know how to price items based on their worth and the local market. Tag Team details how to have a successful sale on their site if you want more information on this process.
Once the walk-through is complete, it’s time to set up for the sale. The company will take care of cleaning the house and arranging sale items in appealing displays. During the days leading up to the sale, they will also make sure to properly advertise the sale and draw in a good crowd with previews of the items for sale.
Once everything is set up, the sale day should run smoothly. Employees for the company will be there to take money, answer questions, and provide security for the area. If there is an auction scheduled for the items, they will run it themselves. It is up to you if you want to be on site during the sale or stay away until it’s complete.
After the sale is over, the company will help you decide what to do with the things that didn’t sell. They might refer a local charity or help you donate everything. They will consult with the executor of the will about the sale and then write a check for your profits minus their fees. Overall, this final process could take a few days.
You might be able to find companies that don’t charge for their walk-throughs or consultations, but some do charge by the hour for this part. Sales fees will vary from place to place and depend largely on the state of the house and the number of items for sale. Typically, a company will take about 35% of the profits but could charge extra fees for cleaning if the house is particularly cluttered. You can learn more about different charges on Great Lakes Estate Sales site.
Your attorney, as well as close friends and neighbors, might have some suggestions, and you can always read reviews if they are from clients, not shoppers. The BBB of Toledo lists nine companies that can handle appraisals and liquidations. Choose companies that have a certification from the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers. Finally, after you choose a business, go through and sign a contract with details on the process and various fees and charges.
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