Many time we are brought in to take care of an estate sale on a regular basis. Either by Estate Tag Sale or By Auction, the principles are the same – the more work done, the less of the costs that will come from using the Estate Tag Option. What you need to do is just a few things that can reduce expenses and increase your profit margins. Hiring a professional estate sale company can save you a ton of time and effort. But that does come at a price. At minimum, you’ll have to pay a portion of your profits in the form of a commission rate. That said, some consider it money well spent, especially if the items for sale are not your own or you’re dealing with the death of a loved one and other challenges, such as selling a home or moving to a new place.
The Magic List!
- Do not go to a real estate broker first. More often than not, the real estate broker is interested in doing one thing, selling the real estate – no matter what. That means heaving everything out of the property, and only selling the real estate. That is a disservice to you, and it is a breach of their fiduciary duty to do such an underhanded thing.
Why? You are trusting your real estate broker to sell your property for the most profit. More often than not. the value of the personal property escapes them and they potentially dump thousands of dollars in property just for the quick sale. That is money that could very well be used to settle probate issues, or could even pay the closing costs, maximizing dollars coming to the estate.
- Do not go to a estate tag sale company first either. You want to have a full understanding of everything they do. If they take out the junk, the trash, or just sell the stuff – and the unseasonable they leave – you are looking for a company that can come in, take out the trash, sell the quality items, what is left over call in a worthy organization, and then leave the house vacuumed and ready for the real estate broker.
Why? You are trusting your personal property to a company to get you the most profit. More often than not, the value of the real estate is more than what you will get in the personal property – so you want to balance it out with items that can support obtaining the most value for your dollar. This is money that can be used for closings as well as other estate payments that often are not seen until the end of the process.
- Often times, there is a long time to grieve over the loss of an individual, or the hope that they will make it out of hospice or out of the hospital, and that never happens. What I have learned is that once the Doctors say that it is terminal, its time to prepare for the inevitable. That includes finding documents that you know you will need.
Find the Wills, Insurance Policies, IRA Documents, and any other documents that you are going to need! Also know the locations of the documents, and if they are in a safe deposit box – you need to know the codes or where they keys are to the deposit box and who has access to the boxes. Go through every single box – sometimes it is at the bottom of the boxes and some get tossed without realizing they are there.
- For the real estate, do not wait until a month or two to go into the property! Go into the property and get all of the food, trash, and other items that will start to rot out of the property as soon as possible! You also want to ensure that all medications, guns, and any other controlled substances are out of the property ASAP.
What happens commonly is that the family don’t think about the real estate until the last minute, or when the clerk of court decides that it has gone on too long. When they go in after several months of being closed up, the trash has had a chance to start rotting, the doors have been forced open, the house is turned upside down, and weapons have disappeared. Many criminals look in the obituaries and can find where people used to live in a snap, and they target those properties. A property that is sold fast keeps a few things from happening:
- The Criminal element will avoid actively monitored and visited properties.
- Mother Nature reclaims that which is neglected – it is her nature. If you are not maintaining a property, it will eventually lose value based on overgrowth.
- You don’t need to deal with property taxes or other carrying costs (such as HOA fees, Gas, Electric, etc)
- Indoor maintenance (paint, exterminators, etc)
- You may still be responsible for fixing some material facts such as termite abatement, roof, or other large issues. Commonly, selling by traditional real estate firms does require this. Selling at auction does not require this.
- Make a three pile system. The first pile is family. The Second pile is to be sold. The third pile is trash. You don’t need to physically move them into piles But you can be a label warrior!
Blue tape to go to family.
Green tape to be sold.
Red Tape to be trashed.
How do you know what color to put on a piece of property? If someone in the family wants it, put blue tape on it. If no one wants it, put green tape on it, and if it’s broken or does not work, or if it is part of our not accepted lists, put red tape on it. All mattresses that are not in plastic wrap (can not be torn) get red tape immediately.
- One you have taken the blue tape items out and the Red Tape items to the trash – then you can call a Estate Tag Sale Team or Real Estate Professional. It is always best who can do both.
When you pick a group that can do both the Estate Tag Sale and a Real Estate Sales you do a few things:
You have a single person to talk with for any issues you have.
You have a streamlined solution selling the personal property into the real estate.
You commonly get a commission break.
So when you look for a solution, Everything But the House should be Everything Including the House.