If you’ve recently suffered a bereavement in your family, you may be searching for estate sale companies. But what is this service for, and what should you expect? We provide everything you need to know in our handy guide.
What Are Estate Sales?
Estate sales occur when a family member has passed away and their surviving relatives wish to ease the burden of handling their belongings. A house full of objects can be difficult to catalog individually, so the family contacts an expert to value and distribute the possessions.
Because the process of valuing items and finding buyers can be exhausting for a family after a bereavement, advantages of using this service include:
- Less emotional stress for surviving family members
- Expert valuation of items
- An opportunity to select which items you’d like to keep
- The family keeps most of the profits without having to invest time and effort into finding buyers
What Do Estate Sale Companies Do?
This service may include:
- An open walk-through of a property, where interested parties can walk through a property and make purchases on-site
- An auction, where belongings are sold in an auction house
- An opportunity for the family to have their own walk-through afterward to select any items they wish to keep
- A process of donating items that don’t sell
What Percentage Do Estate Sale Companies Charge?
Some companies charge a flat fee for their services in addition to commission on sales. However, this pricing model is usually a bad sign — trustworthy companies will typically only take a commission on sales. Transparency is also important, so be sure to find out what charges your provider has in place before arranging the first inspection.
The Bottom Line — Know Who You’re Working With
Reputable estate sale companies will provide a frank valuation of any items you wish to part with and be up-front about their fees from the start. Trusting local companies with years of experience in the area is usually the best way to find interested buyers while minimizing your costs