This edition of The Hub is about a situation for which most are ill prepared, but many will have to face at some point … an Estate Sale. Whether dealing with the death of a loved one, or helping them move into a retirement home, following a few guidelines for efficient estate disposal can truly ease your burden.
An estate sale is in essence a whole-house garage sale held to dispose of the entire contents of a home. It is not an auction. The family will usually keep some items. but everything remaining in the house (furniture, housewares, glass, silver, tools, everything!) will be tagged (priced) and sold. This is a huge undertaking, especially for someone going through the loss of a relative, or through the stress of moving. This is why many people employ the services of an estate sale professional (more on that below).
The prospect of clearing a home that has a 50 year accumulation of furniture and housewares is seriously daunting. What to keep? What to throw away? What to donate? The most important advice at this point is DO NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY until you have had it looked at by a professional. We have heard horror stories of people throwing away or giving away articles that were later found to be worth six figures! This is a job for an experienced estate sale specialist.
People often want to clean out cabinets and get rid of junk. Well, that “junk” could be this year’s most desirable collectible. Everybody knows not to toss the silver and china, but often it will be the old postcards, political campaign buttons, or old toys that will really bring in the money. Take no action until you talk to someone that can truly separate the “trash” from the “treasure”.
Before contracting with an estate sale service however, use this checklist to make sure they have the highest standards:
- References should be provided. Ask if the client was pleased with the manner in which the sale was conducted. What condition was the house in after the sale?
- Check to see if the service is bonded.
- If time permits, visit a sale held by the estate sale company. Would your late relative be proud of the way the estate was handled?
- Discuss the disposal of items remaining after the sale. Some services will leave it to the homeowner to deal with what remains, others will offer to buy or dispose of items.
- Examine the contract and discuss it in detail. It is a good idea to ask that either another family member or your Real Estate agent be present. This is not meant in any way to demean the ability of the signee. It is just good business for the family to be aware of what is about to take place and your Real Estate agent usually has quite a bit of experience with estate sales and will help to make sure the home is in the best condition for the next step; sale of the house itself.
Here at The KC Homes 365 Team, we work with a few reputable estate liquidation services and if you find yourself in need, feel free to give us a call and we will make a recommendation and introduction based on the location, size and type of estate.
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Until next time …