An estate sale is one of the most efficient and effective ways to clear out a deceased loved one's home and liquidate smaller assets for the estate. But in order to have the best financial success, it's important to avoid a few common mistakes. Here are some things to watch out for as you prepare for your estate sale.
1. Clearing the House. Estate sales work best when items are left in place on the property. Not only does this facilitate displaying them to potential buyers, but it also helps frame them in a setting people can understand and evaluate. However, some families try to be helpful by packing away some or all of their belongings — which, conversely, makes things more complex.
2. Giving People Free Access. The executor of the estate should avoid letting family and friends freely take mementos, furnishings, and decorative objects before working with an estate sale provider. The executor's responsibility to the estate means that they must try to ensure fairness, get the best price for assets, and follow the deceased's wishes. Letting people take whatever they please makes all these goals harder.
3. Getting Rid of Stuff. Many families clear out items early that they presume to have little or no sentimental or financial value. Unfortunately, it can be hard for the average person to truly and accurately gauge the value of many smaller goods. You could end up keeping and discarding the wrong things. Be very conservative about discards before professional valuers arrive.
4. Not Fixing Anything. As you evaluate various objects with professionals, you may find that some things could fetch a much better price with a little assistance. This could be as simple as cleaning up an antique or fixing a clock. The estate executor has the authority to spend estate funds on repairs when it serves the best interests of the estate. So if you need a little time to boost values, don't be in an unnecessary rush.
5. Advertising Your Plans. It may seem counterintuitive, but you may not want to advertise your estate sale plans to friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and neighbors. Neighbors might seize the opportunity to plan their own garage sale, watering down your estate sale's effectiveness. Friends and acquaintances may want first dibs or early shopping opportunities. And well-meaning friends may offer unwanted advice about how to handle the sale or price items.
Want more help preparing a property for an estate sale? No matter what the property holds or what obstacles you face, you can begin by working with an estate sale service in your area. Call today to get started.