Liquidating the Family Home
Unfortunately there may come a time in our lives and our parents’ lives that we may need to liquidate the family home. This process can be a very emotional, stressful, and physically challenging task. There are many reasons why the family home may need to be sold and possessions liquidated, for example the death of a loved one, or the need for a smaller home. How does one go about this task? There are several approaches, an estate sale where unwanted items are sold on the premises, an auction is held at the residence or an auction house, or unwanted items are donated to charity.
Families will need to to take in to consideration a number of steps.
- Time, it will take a considerable amount of time to organize a successful sale.
- Pricing, a wide range of knowledge will be needed to price antiques, collectables, and every day household items.
- Equipment, tables marking supplies, signs, cash and cash box will all be needed.
- Experience and Knowledge of how to run a successfull estate sale such as placing ads, times, and days to hold the sale.
- Energy, moving furniture, packing and unpacking boxes, arranging and pricing of items.
- Selling, being comfortable and knowledgeable in negotiating with dealers, strangers, even neighbors and family.
- Detachment, selling family heirlooms and memories can be very difficult.
As you can see there are many things to take in to consideration when wanting to hold an estate sale. One solution is to hire a professional estate liquidation company. These companies will do all of the work and will bring their expertise in selling all types of personal possessions. Many companies offer a Broom Clean service that will include the set up and conduction of the sale and dispose of all unsold items.
Things to ask a liquidation company
- What do they charge? Most work off a percentage of the gross sale.
- Do they charge sales tax at the sale as required by the Nevada State Tax Commission?
- Ask to see their license.
- Do they have available a list of references such as realtors or trust officers?
- Are they willing to provide you with documentation to meet your fiduciary requirements?
- How do they arrive at their fair market prices?
- Do they leave the house Broom Clean?
NOTE: Get every thing in writing. An agreement should be offered and read it carefully.
There are several questions to ask if you wish to sell items at auction.
- What percentage does the company charge? You will want to know of any hidden charges for example clean up charge or removal of unsold items.
- Will the auction be held on site or taken to an auction house?
- Will the family be responsible for moving all the items or will the company provide this service. Will there be a charge?
- If items are taken to an auction house who will be responsible to move items and what is the cost?
- Will the family want to have a reserve on certain items? A reserve is a set lowest price they will take for an item. What will happen to items that are not considered any fair market value?
- Will the family be responsible to take care of those items?
- Get everything in a signed agreement.
Donation to Charity
Donation to charity can be a very rewarding way to disburse of unwanted items. You may wish to have items appraised for fair market value. An appraisal will give you a good idea of what items are worth so a correct and fair amount will be placed on a tax return. The I.R.S. does not look kindly on a return that has an unrealistic amount for donated items. Fair market appraisals can also help when donating to library or museum. Appraisal can be an excellent tool when there are multiple heirs that will split an estate. Remember that Fair Market Prices are not replacement worth.
As you can see there are several choices to help a family go thru a sometimes very difficult time. Don’t forget to ask questions and weight all of your choices and Get it in writing.