The organization of estate sales is not something most people are trained to do, yet many will executors have found themselves in the difficult position of having to manage the sale of a loved one’s belongings, even as they are still coping with fresh loss. Deceased estate sales are often difficult both emotionally and logistically. Here, we’ll look at the most important considerations for those confronted with the challenge of organizing estate and tag sales in the wake of a loved one’s death.
- Your own well-being. In many ways, the biggest challenges associated with estate sales are the personal feelings of the executor and other family members. Entering into the private life of a loved one is difficult, and so is the liquidation of that person’s assets. Do your best to separate the person from their possessions.
- Preparation. Before the real planning begins, make sure you secure all important paperwork your attorney or accountant asks for. Then, conduct a thorough search of the premises for any valuables like money, silver, jewelry, or firearms that may have been carefully hidden.
- Staging. The home should be attractively organized so that everything is displayed and easily seen. Take everything out of drawers, closets, boxes and cabinets, display items on card tables, grouping together similar items, place all high value items in one room, and avoid putting objects on top of any furniture that you’re selling.
- Pricing. The rule of thumb with estate sales is to only price on your own when you are very knowledgeable about an item’s worth. When pricing higher value items, always seek the advice of an expert. Furniture shops and companies that organize local estate sales can be helpful in this process.
- Staffing. You’ll need help to actually conduct the sale. Make sure you can have a friend or family member stationed in each room, as well as a cashier, assistant cashier, and a person to keep an eye on any glass cases or valuables.
- Advertising. Try to set your sale for a weekend, and advertise it in the local newspaper, on craigslist, on estate sale websites, on flyers in local shops, and on telephone poles in the area.
- Management. The day of the actual estate sale can be harrowing. Don’t let anyone in early, and prepare yourself for questions that may seem disrespectful. It is recommended that you only allow 20 people or so in the house at a time. Don’t begin offering discounts until the first afternoon, and increase those discounts by five or ten percent every five or six hours. Also make sure you’re keeping an item-by-item sales log or a receipt book.
It is also recommended that you seek the advice of your attorney throughout the process. Estate sales are rarely easy, but they aren’t impossible, especially with the help of local experts. Accept all the good help you can get, and don’t be afraid to share the responsibility. Research more like this.