Estate sales are sometimes much like garage sales. These types are best for liquidating a house full of furniture and other items that are somewhat unremarkable and might be found in anyone’s home. These sales typically do not include items of exceptional value such as jewelry and antiques.

However, when more valuable items are involved, estate sales usually take the form of auctions. While typically for liquidating the assets of a person who has passed on, these sales can also be held if the owner has a need to dispossess themselves of their personal property in order to relocate or raise cash.

Formal estate sales are complex to plan and facilitate. They require cataloging, organizing, appraising, and auctioneering. These are far more complicated than garage or yard sales. For this reason, individuals usually hire a company that specializes in such sales. These companies coordinate the efforts, inventory the property, value said items, promote the sale and comply with legal issues such as probating assets. What’s more, estate sale businesses have an established following which practically guarantees customers.

In order to choose a reputable company to hold an Estate sales near me, online searches are helpful, as are referrals from friends or relatives. You’ll want to find a company that is both insured and bonded. Once you have two or three prospects, interview them and ask if they will provide a detailed contract for your review. Typical commission for auction companies ranges from 20 to 35 percent. Alternately, they may charge a flat fee, or a combination of both. Also, ask for references, and investigate their Better Business Bureau standing.

It’s also a good idea to take the time to visit an estate sale (preferably by one or more of the companies being considered) and take notes on how the sale was conducted. Things to note are security, customer service, the fluidity of the event and overall presentation. This will likewise help determine which company offers the best service, regardless of their commission or fees.

Before and during the sale, the company will offer a number of services that are key to a well managed and successful event. These services can include targeted advertising, professionally organizing all the items, properly appraising them for fair market value (many people mistakenly throw away valuable items), clearly labeling all prices, cleaning and displaying all items to bring better prices, and the auctioneering and collection of monies. Moreover, these services will be able to determine the true value of known valuable and rare items.

The sale itself can run from a couple of weekends to several days. You should expect there to be a presale for friends and family before the sale to the general public. On the last day of the sale, significant discounts might be offered to clear remaining items. If items still remain unsold, many estate sale companies offer a “cash buyout” as part of their contract and it is usually based on a percentage of the asking price. If there isn’t a buyout provision, consider donating the items to a favorite charity, and don’t forget to get a receipt.

For sold items, the service should present an itemized accounting and monies will be settled at that time. Tax assessments on estates vary from year to year and state to state, so consult with a tax professional for more information. Professional services will greatly benefit individuals both in planning and maximizing sales.

By Olivia

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