The estate, or property, liquidation business is usually supported by one of four unfortunate events in life. They are downsizing due to major lifestyle changes, death of a parent or other family member, divorce, and crippling debt. These events also often require estate cleanout services. Since the American population is quickly aging with almost 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day, there are greater numbers of folks experiencing a downsizing in lifestyle or unfortunately, are passing away.
Using An Estate Sale Company To Make Your Job Easier
In the past few years, we've noticed a significant amount of people who need help cleaning out their property. These are the ones who find themselves liquidating assets as part of downsizing, a divorce settlement, or simply moving to take on a new job. Regardless of the reasons the task of cleaning out furniture, appliances, household goods and other items can be especially challenging. The average home is about 2,500 square feet. Most of that space is typically full of belongings of one type or another.
7 Steps For An Estate Liquidation Sale
1. Due Diligence. The first most important question to ask... "Are you licensed, bonded and insured". You will want them to bring proof of this to your initial consultation. You can go to the Arizona Corporation Commission to check if a company is licensed. You can Google online what a Certificate of Insurance looks like so you know what to expect and what to look for. I cannot tell you how many times we hear how companies tell them they are bonded and insured. When it comes time to prove themselves, it's excuses or made-u documents. It's up to you to make sure they are what they say they are. It's imperative you ask them to bring you a copy of their Certificate of Insurance with them. Pay particular attention to the date coverage started and when it's due to expire. Ask them what their coverage is. For example: Our answer would be...we have coverage for the operation of our business. It also has coverage for the merchandise that will be included in the estate sale as well as liability insurance and workers compensation for our employees. We have a $ 1.5 Million Dollar Insurance policy with an umbrella policy. Your due diligence is the most important step you must follow-through with.
2. Set aside key important documents. Locate and secure any will, trusts and related documents. Look for life insurance policies and statements, real estate deeds and titles. Obtain recent bank statements. If none are in the home, retain any stock certificates, 401(k) records; tax returns and receipts. These may be necessary for filing any income tax returns. Estate sale companies will remove and hold-back any documents with your name, bank accounts, legal descriptions, and basically anything with information about you. We place them in a box and give them to you to decide whether or not to shred them.
2. Go through things carefully before hiring a company. People tend to stash things in unlikely places, or forget that something valuable has been left in a coat pocket or the back of a desk drawer. Take the time to look through everything. This would include pockets in clothing, drawers, high shelves, every container, etc. We've found money in closets stuffed in the corner under carpet. We've also found money in coolers. Although we've returned it back to the family, you won't always find someone as trusting as our company.
3. Work with family members on sharing items. One strategy that can help is to have family members create a list of the items they’d like to have from the estate. While this can work well, unfortunately there are situations where conflicts and disagreements can arise. If necessary, involving outside mediators or legal help may be helpful here.
If everyone is in agreement and there are no disagreements, it's best to have all the family take out the items they want to keep prior to hiring the estate sale company. This makes things a lot easier.
If this isn't possible, our company designates a room that will be used strictly for the items the family will keep. We ask that that room is kept locked if you cannot remove the items by the time the estate sale starts. Each and every estate sale is different from the other. You want to work with a liquidation company that will custom taylor your needs and work with your situation.
4. Try to find and keep photos and other memorabilia. Often these types of items are of little value to people outside of the family. However, they are irreplaceable for family members. The idea is to think of the future of grandchildren and others who may well find these pictures, scrapbooks, albums, etc. as a physical and tangible link to family members they may never have had to privilege to meet.
5. Do Not throw anything away. Most people think they need to clean-up and throw items away that are stained, broken or out-of-date. People buy the most unusual things you can imagine.
6. Hire an estate appraiser. If the estate is comprised of a substantial amount of furniture, jewelry and antiques it is typically worthwhile to make use of their services. Everyone seems to think that all antiques are worth a fortune. Unfortunately, 90% of estates have very common antiques. What we mean here are Louis XVI furniture. If your not sure of what that is, Google Rothchilds Furniture. This will give you an idea of very expensive furniture. If your dealing with a professional estate sale company, they will be able to tell you if you need an appraiser. An accredited professional will give you an estimate for each item and typically charges an hourly fee to do so. The cost will depend on such factors as your location and the type of appraisal you want.
7. Setting-up for the estate sale. The work can be overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. Some of the tasks are simply monotonous and lengthy, such as sorting through paperwork. Other tasks require physical exertion such as cleaning, moving furniture, pricing each and every item and hauling items and debris. This is where the services of a professional estate sale company in Arizona such as Southwest Estate Sales, LLC can be invaluable! Call us TODAY at (602) 518-7721