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Three Things To Know When Organizing An Estate Sale

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If your loved one has recently passed away or moved to a nursing home, leaving behind a houseful of possessions, you may wonder whether an estate sale is the most economical way to sell these items. Often, having everything sold in one fell swoop through an estate sale is both efficient and effective, allowing you to clear out your relative's home in anticipation of sale. But organizing an estate sale can be an overwhelming process, and it's best to bring in a professional estate sale organizer to help you decide how to proceed. Read on for the three things you'll need to know before you organize your first estate sale. 

Throw Nothing Away Until It's Been Evaluated

As any Antiques Roadshow fan knows, one person's "trash" is often another person's multimillion-dollar treasure. Even if you don't expect to discover any rare artifacts or valuable pieces among your family member's collections, an estate sale organizer will tell you to wait before you throw anything away. It can be tempting to clear out your relative's home in anticipation of the estate sale process, but having an organizer do a quick once-over before you start decluttering can prevent you from inadvertently throwing away the star of the show.

Interview Several Companies Before You Sign a Contract 

Many parts of the country have heavy competition in the estate sale arena, and simply picking the first name out of a Google search may not be the best method. Because the estate sale company you select can have a major impact on the price paid for certain items, and because the services offered can vary widely from company to company, it's worth talking to several companies to see which one fits best with your budget and philosophy. 

For example, some estate sale companies will agree to dispose of any items not sold at the sale (and not wanted by family members) for no additional fee, which can be a relief to those who were hoping to gain an empty, stage-able house at the end of the process. By knowing what will be included in your contract, you'll be better able to plan your future.

Read Your Contract Carefully

Estate sales can be complex for the uninitiated. If the contract your relative or the executor of their estate is presented contains terms that you're not familiar with or provisions that don't make sense, it's fine for you to ask the estate sale organizer to explain—or even to get some outside help from an attorney to make sure you're on board with everything you're agreeing to.

Contact companies like Remember When Estate Sales, LLC for additional information.