Are you the executor of a will? Do you now need to sell off some or all of the deceased's belongings so that the money can be divided between the heirs? Holding a successful estate sale isn't difficult, but it does require some planning. If you've never needed to manage an estate sale before, here are some tips to get you started:
Set up at least a week in advance: Some people think that you can just set everything out on the day before the sale and buyers will flock to the sale. You might get a lot of buyers, but they might not actually spend much money. By sorting and setting things up ahead of time, you can make sure that nothing's been overlooked. For example, does the desk have a hidden compartment? If you don't investigate everything thoroughly, you could wind up unknowingly selling a piece of furniture that is stuffed with money, savings bonds, or other important items. Setting up ahead of time will also allow you to see whether you'll need to rent any tables to hold clothes or small knickknacks.
Get appraisals: To the untrained eye, it may at first look like the estate isn't worth much. Where you see old and worthless items, however, other people will see valuable investments. If the deceased was a fan of cooking, he or she may have collected many old and antique cooking implements. While some of these may not be worth much, others could be worth quite a bit. The fishing gear out in the garage may look like junk that you may be tempted to practically give away at the estate sale. But the right buyer may be willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for these items, depending on what's there.
Label everything: When there are a lot of buyers going through the estate sale, it can be easy to forget exactly what a certain item is or why you priced it the way that you did. Having good labels will remind you what the item is worth and can also let you know the lowest price that you wanted to take for an item. If the appraiser said that a certain dresser was worth $500, you might be willing to take $300 for it but will be less likely to accept an offer of $100. Clothes or certain books might not need labels, but you will probably want to label everything else at the sale.
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