One of the challenges many adults face when moving to a smaller space is trying to determine what to do with their downsized possessions. Today, there are more options than ever, including charitable donations, live auctions, online auction sites, tag sales, traditional garage sales and estate sales.
For people who have a fair amount of valuable inventory but not a lot of time, an Estate Sale can be a very positive experience. When run by professionals, such as Caring Transitions, they can manage everything for you, including decluttering, home inventory, heavy lifting, pricing, advertising, marketing, and set up. This helps relieve an enormous amount of stress for adult children, especially if they live out of town, or whose senior parent may have recently passed.
Afterwards, qualified experts can also help with move management or help organize clean up, donations, transport or shipping and reconciliation of sales receipts.
But how do you decide which professionals to manage your estate sale? We’ve compiled 10 best practices for choosing an estate sale professional!
- Do ask for references from any company you employ. You may even want to attend another sale they are holding and see how smoothly it runs. Always use a professional company who regularly hosts in-person and online estate sales.
- Do ask if the company carries liability insurance for business operations and the merchandise they sell, as well as personal injury liability coverage and importantly, workers compensation for employees.
- Do hire the specialist you feel you can trust and discuss payment methods before the contract is signed. Most specialists charge an administrative fee or "minimum" to prepare the sale and others include those same fees in their commissions. Choosing a lower commission percentage does not necessarily mean you will make more money. A skilled professional, with a list of buyers, may make you more money even while charging a higher percentage.
- Do understand it can take time. Most estate sales take days, or even a couple weeks to prepare for a sale. Preparation includes, sorting, cleaning, pricing, tagging, merchandising the sale, advertising, arranging for labor and security and selling.
- Do make sure you receive an itemized list of the items in the sale and items sold, after the sale.
- Do discuss the specialist's process for turning over hidden valuables or personal items found during the sorting process.
- Do allow the specialist to clean the items. But because some items are delicate, always check they are using proper equipment so cleaning does not result in damage to your valuables.
- Do understand that age does not always equal value in an item. Authenticity is the true guide to value and the item also has to hold its value in today’s market. Your specialist has many resources to help them determine the value of special items.
- Do reserve the items your family wishes to keep and make sure everyone has a list of those items so they are not included in the sale or sales contract.
- Don't be discouraged if an estate sale isn’t right for you! At Caring Transitions, we can offer many options to help liquidate, sell, and auction your belongings!
Watch the video below to learn more about Caring Transitions!