October 6, 2016
Estate Sale Tips:
When a relative passes away, leaves their home to live in a nursing facility or just downsizes their estate as they grow older, family members must often decide what to do with the assets of their estate. This is where an estate sale may come into play. If you’re considering holding one, here are some pointers from U.S. News & World Report to help you make an estate sale a financial success.
1. Think family first. Make sure family members get a chance to review estate items before you put items up for sale in case they want to take any mementos. Determining which items should be sold will vary according to the preferences and needs of each family. Having a proactive discussion between family members can help head off any hard feelings later.
2. Research which items may be valuable. Do your homework to discover what potentially high-value items sell for and where you can sell them. This could include online research (try Craigslist and eBay), visiting antique stores, and calling auction houses and vintage stores.
3. Evaluate whether an estate sale is worth having. If you have enough high-value items, it may be worth investing the time and effort to hold an estate sale, but if you don’t have much to sell, you might be better off donating the estate items and taking a tax deduction.
4. Consider professional help. Trying to conduct a valuation on someone else’s items is time consuming, and it may be difficult to do from an emotional standpoint. If this is the case, consider hiring an appraiser who can give you a realistic view of what items might sell for and which items are worth putting on the market.
5. Vet any company you hire to handle an estate sale. If you decide to go ahead with an estate sale, but you want to hire someone to handle it, be sure to get referrals from trusted professionals and check credentials. Also make sure to outline everything in a written contract, including what percentage the company will take and how much prices can be lowered from what has been originally discussed. Understand that this option, while the quickest, is likely to yield you the lowest return on investment. Consider hiring an appraiser who can give you a realistic view of what items might sell for and which items are worth putting on the market. Being the executor of a loved one’s estate is not an easy task, but our firm can help you determine how to handle the financial and tax implications of doing so. We are here to support you, so please contact us if you need assistance.