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So, you are thinking of having an estate sale!

You are retiring, downsizing, moving, an executor of an estate. There are lots of circumstances that merit an estate sale, but where do you start? Miss Sophia has some advice.

Go to estate sales.

If you have never been to an estate sale before, go check some out in your area. First, you will see what it entails and you might find a company that you like.

But I am an executor living in LA and the property is in Chicago?

Miss Sophia has dealt with this situation many times where the client is out of town. In this case, go to Google, and and look up companies located near the property where the sale is to be held. Look at their profiles, websites, read reviews with a critical eye, check their social media links. Ask for referrals from Realtors in the area, and then start making phone calls. Think of it as a phone interview. See if you get a good vibe. Are all of your questions being answered? Start making a list of the candidates that you want to continue the process with. After all, you are hiring this company, so it’s a job interview.

Have a reasonable time line.

Estate sales take time to set up and market. You know you will need an estate sale, so start planning early. Do not call up a company and expect a sale next weekend. Plan on the sale happening in at least 4 weeks. The more time everyone has to prepare, the better the sale.

And the good companies get booked in advance. Miss Sophia usually is booking 2-4 months out because her calendar is full.

What should I do to get ready for my consultations with an estate sale company?

Miss Sophia says the one thing you do not have to do is clean the house. She has seen it all and nothing shocks her (okay, a corpse in the basement would shock her).

But do locate any important personal and financial documents and either store them for safe keeping or throw them out.

But Miss Sophia would like you to organize and mark the items that you plan to keep before your appointment. Gather up and box any small items, segregate clothes and books, tag big pieces with a post-it. Any estate sale company needs to know up front what is for sale and what is not for sale.

And have a list of questions ready.

I signed a contract with an estate sale company, now what?

Let the state sale company do their job for and be available to answer questions. You interviewed several estate sale companies and hired the one that you trust, so now it is time to trust them.

Miss Sophia knows that is a hard piece of advice to follow because estate sales always come at time of crisis or change: a death, a big move, a retirement, a foreclosure, etc. You are completely stressed out! Miss Sophia realizes that all this stuff in the home is one big problem among a multitude of problems, and she will solve the stuff problem so you can concentrate on other things and move on.


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