Coordinating Estate Liquidation

By January 29, 2015Care Planning

By Nate Morrissey

Liquidating a home and its contents after the loss of a loved one, or planning a move for the remaining spouse, can be a very difficult, time consuming and emotional experience. If you are contending with an estate and all that goes with it, you may suddenly find yourself in need of guidance and direction.

Furniture, documents, and a lifetime of possessions need to be dealt with. First and foremost, be sure to check the legal documents with family members to see if any items have been promised to anyone.

Clients often ask the following questions:
“How much will be needed in the new residence?” . . . “How will I clear out all of this stuff?” . . . “Can I sell any of this?” . . . “Should I try to have my own estate sale?” . . . “Are there companies that could do this for me?”

The answers to these questions come from those in the estate liquidation industry.

An estate liquidator will guide you through the process and help ease the burden by dealing with all the tangible assets in the estate. Most estates can be cleared out, making a profit with little or no out-of-pocket expenses. The company will assess each item’s value, organize and display your items, advertise the sale through multiple channels, and clear out the house at the end of the sale. The company takes a percentage of total earnings from the estate sale as payment. The range varies depending on total value and work needed for the sale.

The biggest mistake people make is they start going through the contents of the home prior to meeting with the estate liquidation professional.

The family spends a lot of time discarding items that could have been sold in a sale or donated. Estate sale companies need to sell enough items to cover their labor costs. If there are not enough items, your estate sale professionals will have a few options for you. One is to have brokers buy individual items of value. They can recommend local charities that will pick up a majority of the other items, which helps the community and provides a tax deduction. It is imperative to have the estate liquidation professional work closely with the real estate agent if the home is being sold as well.

Meet with the estate liquidator as soon as possible to help lower the stress of dealing with the contents of the home. This is also crucial because quality estate liquidation companies can be booked one to three months in advance.

How to Select an Estate Liquidation Company

As members of the American Society of Estate Liquidators, professionals have had training and experience to help you. They are valuable resources that shouldn’t be overlooked. Exercise caution if someone “dabbles” in estates or if the fees seem too low. Dabbling is dangerous! Get the BEST and the process will flow smoothly because they know what they are doing.

  • Interview several estate liquidators.
  • Ask for references. This is a good start, but also request to speak with a couple of references from recent sales the company has performed.
  • Before you sign, ask for a copy of the contract, proof of insurance, and a copy of the company’s business license, including the city or county where licensed.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau in that city or county and check for any complaints made against the company.
  • Make sure the home will be cleared out at the end of the sale if that is what you wish. The company would be doing a huge disservice to you if the home is still full of items at the end of the sale, and you are left to deal with them.
  • Ask how long after the sale will you be paid. It shouldn’t be longer than fifteen days after the sale.

Disposing of an estate can be a heavy burden. With research and reference checking, you will find an appropriate professional that meets your needs. 888-525-8375

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