KC estate sales can be a minefield if you don’t know what you’re doing. To avoid losing out on sales and profits, keep this list of do’s and dont’s on hand during your next estate sale. 

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Do:

Know what debts need to be tackled

While you aren’t responsible for the debts of your parent or relative, you will be responsible if you’re a co-signer or spouse. If any debt obligations need to be tackled, then you’ll have to take care of them first before you can benefit as an heir of an estate. 

Plan before sorting

Think about what the key items are first. Don’t go from room to room and item by item. That will drain your energy quickly and you won’t have a fresh mind when you get to the most important items. 

The important items include personal communications, family photographs, medical documents, and legal documents. These should be your first priority. Go through each of your rooms and sort these items out first. 

Finally, speak to an expert on KC estate sales about what other things might be important, and then you go sorting through everything else that you have. 

Talk to an appraiser

One of the key tips for holding an estate sale is to know the value of things that you have. That can be difficult when you aren’t a professional appraiser. After all, if you inherited everything, you most likely don’t know the real value of most of it. Besides that, people often overvalue certain items and undervalue others. 

When it comes to your hobby, you might understand it very well. If building computers are your hobby, then you’ll likely know that certain kinds of parts have more value than others. You’ll know to guard these things closely until they get appraised properly. However, you might have no idea about the value of dolls or antique jewelry.

If your relative has a large doll collection, you may be just as likely to throw some of them in the bargain bin as you would be to have them appraised, leading to big losses if those dolls were rare or collectible. 

You don’t want to sell stuff that you don’t know the value of. So, in almost all circumstances, it’s a good idea to hire a professional appraiser who is knowledgeable about KC estate sales to look through your items with you. 

However, a professional appraiser might not be necessary if you instead opt to hire a professional auctioneer who provides estate sale liquidation services. 

Look everywhere

The basement and attic aren’t exactly the most pleasant places to visit. After all, they’re musty, dirty, and moldy. But these are the exact reasons why you should visit them as you can find some hidden treasures in these places. 

It’s often these out of the way places that the most valuable items are found. In fact, your relative probably didn’t know that they had something valuable stuffed away down here. 

Understand estate sale tax laws

It’s important to understand that tax-wise estate sales are different than garage sales. While garage sales can often fly under the radar of the IRS, if you’re selling many valuable items, then that’s different. You’ll want to understand the tax laws in regards to estate sales. 

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Don’t:

Let attachment cloud your judgment

Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment. Often what you care most about isn’t as valuable as you think it is. Attempting to sell something for more than what it’s worth can backfire, especially if it’s a house. You’ll find that it will sit on the market for several months without selling. This is especially the case in the current housing market. Several estates today remain unsold because younger people are not able to afford them. 

Eventually, you’ll have to lower the price or take it off the market altogether. You can sell it for more by listing it at the correct amount in the very beginning. 

Once again, an appraiser would be the best person to come up with an objective and accurate market value for your items. If you really are attached to something, you should probably keep it instead of trying to sell it for a price that no one except you would be willing to pay. 

Seek the help of friends to determine the value

Having friends helping out during this difficult time can be a great thing – if they are in the correct roles. That does not include appraising the value of items. On the other hand, friends can be a great help with running the estate sale, working as security or as an assistant. 

In short, leave appraisal to the professionals. 

Even if your friend is passionate about antiques and has watched every episode of Antiques Roadshow, that does not make him qualified to appraise all of your antiques. A professional costs money, but like in most things in life, you get what you pay for. An appraiser can determine the market value of your items – a skill that will pay you dividends after the sale. 

An auctioneer can also help establish the value of your items. Not only that, but he or she will also organize your items for display, and coordinate everything so that you’ll have a successful estate sale. 

If you also happen to have any specialty items or rare items, an estate sale expert will be vital for setting the right asking price. An expert will have access to the right people and resources for determining the right asking prices – whether it be for art, unique items, collectibles, or jewelry. 

Sell to dealers

Dealers want to make a profit, and that means buying items for prices where they can turn them around and sell them for a profit. You can expect their prices to be adequate but not as good as an individual buyer’s price. 

Dealers have their place if you’re trying to sell lots of items or want to sell items quickly. However, they should not be your go-to if you want to get the most out of your estate sale. 

In short, selling to dealers offers convenience but not the most value for your money. 

Contact the KC estate sales team at Busy Beever today for more guidance or coordinating your next big move.

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