Clearing out the estate of a loved one that has passed away can be stressful. Fortunately, you don't have to sort, clean up, price, and host the sale all on your own. Although bringing an estate sale company into the home to help you liquidate everything can be helpful, there are some things you should do before you go under contract with the company.
#1: Distribute any mementos
It's not uncommon to allow close family and friends to visit and take one or two items to remember the deceased by, but you will want to do it before you finalize any agreements with the estate company. In fact, it is best to allow this before you get the initial quote from the company. The reason is because the quote is often based upon the assessed value of the estate, which will be altered as mementos are removed. Once you have gone under contract with the company, there will likely be a stipulation that nothing can be removed from the property except via the final estate sale.
#2: Remove any important documents
One reason to hire an estate sale company is if it is emotionally difficult to sort through everything on your own. Although this may be the case, it is still a good idea to do a cursory inspection for any important documents that should be removed. This includes financial records, birth certificates, passports, or anything else that shouldn't be accidentally left on the property during the sale. Estate sale professionals are trustworthy and will generally remove any documentation they find, but items can be overlooked so it's best to be safe and do your own check first.
#3: Separate out the valuables
If there are items that you know are valuable, such as collectibles or antique items, consider pulling these out before the consultants arrive from the estate sale company. This way they are easy for the consultants to assess the value of since they won't be hidden away in a closet or drawer. Don't try to clean or restore these items, though, as this can affect their value in a negative way.
#4: Walk through with the estate consultant
It's a good idea to join the estate sale consultant as they walk through the property and assess the value of the items. This way you are on hand to point out any items that won't be sold. If possible, set aside a room for these items to be moved into during the sale. This room will then be closed off so that everything is kept safe.
For more help, contact an estate sale company in your area, such as An Estate in Time.