If a person dies or has to enter a nursing home, the question remains on what to do with their material possessions. If there is a great deal of things to deal with, it is economically wise to sell them and recoup some funds. Here is a primer on how to conduct an estate sale.
First of all, there are many reputable companies that will conduct an estate sale for a fee. That fee is based on how much “stuff” you are dealing with. It is a fee plus percentage in most cases.
If you want to avoid fees and percentages, you can conduct the estate sale. First of all, you have to deal with the survivors and have them take what they want. After that, you know what you are working with in terms of how much and what.
If the house is vacant, you can set things up in several rooms of the house. This makes for easy viewing and convenience for both customers and those who are conducting the sale. If not, you can set the sale up as a yard or garage sale.
Go through the house and mark prices on items. You can purchase sticky labels and put them on where they can be seen. These are better than masking tape, as the tape sometimes comes undone. Try to place furniture in the rooms, or if outside, in a visible spot. Furniture or large items are a draw to people driving by.
Knickknacks and glassware should all be grouped together. Dishes should be displayed in complete sets, along with silverware.
Relatives or friends should be stationed in various locations of the house or in the yard to assist prospective buyers. Sometimes a story behind a knickknack might sell it faster. This also prevents shoplifting. Yes, even in estate sales, things disappear without being paid for.
Fair pricing is another aspect of the sale. Money making is the object but you don’t want to deal with items leftover, so if there is a person really interested in something, bargain.
Make sure that you have enough change in coin and paper money. Do not take checks, if you don’t want to risk a bad check and fees added to your account. The amount of change depends on the amount of things that you have to sell. Try to mark prices in even amounts, so all that you will need in coin will be quarters.
Advertise the sale in a newspaper and on the Internet. Some communities have trading posts, where you can place the sale notice. Tell your friends about the sale.
If you want to sell items quickly, you can contact a flea market dealer and have them come the night before the sale. Remember you will not get the amount you request from this customer, as they are in the business of resale. Remember, also, that you want to sell these items so that you do not have to deal with disposing them in another method.
The leftovers could be donated to a charitable organization, so that the estate can receive a tax credit. Be sure and get a tax slip from the organization, so that it can be filed with the final tax return of the estate.