How to Liquidate an Estate – The Different Options

How to Liquidate an Estate – The Different Options

Most families feel like they are in a quandary when a loved one dies and they are left to handle an entire estate filled with personal property. How does the family begin to liquidate the contents of an estate?

The solution depends on what an estate sale professional recommends, after considering factors like location and type of estate (single-family home, high-rise, condo or patio home, in the city or rural, space for parked cars for an estate sale). The professional will also consider the content after the family has selected their items, high-value items and collections, and the needs or desires of the family.

Here are a few options to carefully consider:

Estate Sale

Conducting an estate sale is no easy task. Muscle power and organizational skills go into every sale. A good estate sales professional will answer your questions, including whether an estate sale is the most beneficial option for your situation. They will also tell you exactly what they will do and what they will not do. When they contract for an estate sale, they will research items and price accordingly. They are professionals at setting up/displaying, sorting, pulling out items, organizing, and driving traffic to the sale using multiple methods.

An estate sale is usually conducted on-site. All items in the home are organized for sale; for example, all pottery may be grouped on one table, china on another, and so on. The estate company uses its own tables to create a welcoming and open flow of buyers into the home. Estate sales are very convenient for the family because most sales are completed in a short period of time. Individual items are carefully priced; only the conducting estate sales professional can negotiate those prices.

Some estate sale professionals also offer a clean-out service post estate sale, including packing up for donation or an outright purchase of leftovers. Some are also appraisers, and many are savvy and know the values of residential contents.

Estate sales are usually conducted for a percentage of the gross proceeds of the sale (35 percent is the national average). Always inquire about what is included in that commission. Antique and collectible dealers use estate sales as one of their more important sources to buy at reasonable prices. Estate sales typically take one to three days to execute, often with a price reduction offered toward the end, depending on the liquidator’s practices.


An auction is a process of selling or buying goods by offering them up for bid. The highest bid is the successful buyer. Many feel that an auction is a true indicator of fair market value. In other words, if the maple desk sells for $100, the market has spoken. The bidding is controlled by the auctioneer, who will do his best to get the bids as high as possible. Some auctioneers are also appraisers, but not all. Like estate sales professionals, they see so much every day and have so much experience with residential contents that most are quite knowledgeable.

There are two types of auctions: absolute and reserve. Absolute means it will sell to the highest bidder regardless of what the price may be. If the highest bid is $10, the item sells for $10 regardless of its worth. A reserve auction means the seller can set a minimum price to protect the piece if it doesn’t sell for the reserve price. If your reserve price on the highboy is $1,500, and the bidding closes at $1,000, the item will not sell. The seller has the right to accept or reject the highest bid.

Auctions can be a viable way to liquidate a house full of items. Some bidders are quite enthusiastic and bid very high, and other bidders can be very slow to get started, and the sales price is less than they hoped for. An auction company will usually come and pick up the items to be sold, which can be a benefit for the family. Fees vary with auction companies and can range anywhere from 10% to 30%. They may also have buyer’s premiums, pick up fees, storage fees, and advertising fees. Ask questions.


Another option is to take unwanted items to a consignment store. The store keeps between 40 and 50 percent of the money received and gives the rest to you. Sometimes the consignment store will come and pick up from an estate, take it back to the store, price it, and sell it within three to four months, often much sooner. If an item does not sell within a certain time period (usually 90 days), the store may lower the price. If the item does not sell at all, the family may have the option of retrieving the item or it can be donated to a local charity. Be sure to ask about fees and time frames. A consignment may be a good choice for a few nice-quality items, such as china, silver plate, framed prints, decorative items, furniture; this is not a good option for a house full of things.


Families may wish to donate the entire remainder of the estate to a worthy charity. This process is straightforward and comes with a tax donation receipt. Even after an estate sale, if remaining items are older appliances, linens, kitchenware, clothing, bedding, etc., then a donation is probably the best option at that point. All items should be boxed up, so the charity can pick up all the items in a timely fashion with their hand trucks. Be sure to call them two to three weeks in advance, and call them again once or twice to reconfirm the appointment and address.

Online Auctions — eBay

Online auctions are a good way to sell and thin out items when downsizing or handling an estate. However, most people do not fully understand the amount of effort, time, and dedication it takes to successfully launch just a handful of items. First, the item must be described accurately; what is it exactly? Some items just aren’t worth selling, considering the fee schedule. At what price should the item start on auction? The time involved to pack, ship, and handle each item needs to be considered. What if the buyer decides he doesn’t like the item and wants a refund?

Before using an online auction, consider hiring an estate sale professional who uses online auctions as a good selling tool. There are also peak times to use online auctions and flatter times to avoid. Even with their commission, remember they know how to advertise and describe the items to attract buyers and maximize the selling price.

Craig’s List

“Free” is always tempting. Some items may not be worth selling, and can be given away “free at the curb.” Other items, such as furniture, etc., can be loaded on Craig’s List in hopes of attracting buyers who are searching for a particular item. Is the family comfortable meeting with strangers? Are they okay with strangers coming into the home or other places where these items are located? One downside to Craig’s List may be that people make appointments and either they don’t show up or they offer next to nothing for what the items. While this may be a good option in some cases, it may not be as productive as other solutions. Never allow someone into your home while you are alone; always have a friend there with you or meet in a public place.

Do-It-Yourself Yard Sales

There’s nothing wrong with doing-it-yourself. However, this is one task a family may not want to handle alone. Working closely with the public is hair-raising and exhausting at best. Ask honestly if the family really wants to deal with the public. Will they know how to advertise appropriately? Will they know what these items are worth or are they inadvertently selling something significant for very little? Trying to save the cost of paying a professional their commission is one thing, but losing out on the special knowledge of that professional is another. It won’t do any good to sell something for $3.00 that should be getting $50.00; it happens every day. Think twice about the do-it-yourself option, unless certain that the items have little value. Most people would be amazed at what a family thinks is junk, but professionals can sell for a small fortune.

How to liquidate an estate will be up to the family and the professional hired to offer guidance for the process ahead. Whichever option or combination of options are chosen, try your best to get all the facts, ask questions and use estate professionals who truly understand the market.

Residential Pest Control – Termite Treatment

Termites: Pest Control

In the spring of every year, the air is filled with reproductive termites as nature continues its cycle of specie survival. Many times however this event happens right in our living room and causes great panic. The homeowner who doesn’t know about termites sprays the insects and cleans them up and although they are curious about them they are soon forgotten.

What folks don’t realize is that this is a major sign of a serious problem. Sure the winged termites are dead but they don’t do any damage anyway. It’s the worker termites that the homeowner does not usually see that causes all the damage behind the walls and is happy to stay out of sight. Swarmers only come once per year usually in the spring. They represent new colonies if they can make it through all the dangers that await them but they also declare the thousands that they leave behind in their subterranean world. Only mature colonies produce swarmers so when you see them take flight you should take action. More on this website @
A mature colony of subterranean termites is about sixty thousand strong at least. It takes two to three years and favorable conditions for them to get this large. The queen who was once a swarmer herself is an egg-laying machine pumping out hundreds per day. The queen can live up to thirty years and there is always a ready stable of supplementary reproductive’s waiting to take over in case she dies. The supplemental queens also produce eggs and this really speeds up a colony’s growth.

The only termite in the colony that actually does any damage to a structure is the worker termite. Completely blind they feed and move in total darkness. They build tunnels in which to move and pack mud that holds moisture in the areas they are eating in. The workers then travel back down to the colony hub where they feed the rest of the wood they have digested. Despite not having any sight they are very adept at finding ways into a home or building. Even a tiny crack about as thick as a business card is more than enough for the pliable termite.

Even professionals can’t always see an infestation right away and for most people, why treat what you can’t see. Termites, however, may still be in the walls and the folks who are wise choose to spray before they have any outward manifestation. They say there are only two kinds of homes, those with termites and those that will get termites. You may wish to consider staying ahead of them with this in mind before you come home one spring day and have a living room alive with flying termites. Click here for more information @

Effective Tips About Your Auto Insurance Coverage

car insurance application form with car model and key remote on desk.

Car insurance is a major expense for many households, but it’s important to have. A good car insurance policy is essential when trying to get back on the road after an accident. So what should you look for when shopping for car insurance? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
With your car insurance, it is important that you know what your coverage covers. There are certain policies that only cover certain things. It is important that you understand what your plan covers so that you do not get stuck in a sticky situation where you get into trouble.

car insurance
Auto Insurance

If you are a young driver with a high rate, add a responsible older driver to your policy to help get it lowered. Insurance companies look at the age of the drivers, as well as, their driving records, so adding someone over the age of thirty, who has a clean record, will quickly drop your premiums.
Stay far away from vehicles with the word “sport” included on them. Anything that goes fast is viewed negatively by insurance companies, as these can influence drivers to take more risks, which in turn costs them more money. Steer clear of sporty vehicles unless you want your premiums to get higher.
Ask the people you know for a recommendation. Everyone who drives has insurance, and many of them have had both good and bad experiences with different companies. Ask them which company they use, and why. You may find that your friends have found better deals at a company you wouldn’t have thought to look at.
When you are shopping for auto insurance for your teenage driver, get quotes for both adding him or her to your insurance and for buying a separate insurance policy. In general it will be cheaper to add a new driver to your current insurance, but there may be circumstances when it is less expensive to buy a separate policy.
If you are a young driver paying for your own car insurance, add an older driver to you plan. Having a more experienced driver on your plan can reduce your premiums. Just make sure this older individual is willing to be added and that your car insurance provider offers the discount.
It is not always the best idea to purchase a car for your teen. It is a good idea to let them drive one of the family cars. Putting a teen on your policy is much cheaper than getting them separate insurance. If your teenager is on honor roll, it might be good enough for a discount.
A great tip for getting affordable auto insurance is to consider dropping your coverage if your car is only worth a couple of thousand dollars. Since coverage pays for damage to your vehicle, you would only need to have a couple of thousand dollars to replace the car. Therefore, there is no need in having high coverage in this instance.
When purchasing car insurance, there are many factors you need to consider. Preparing yourself beforehand will make sure you find a policy that’s right for you. Take the time to read through the advice in this article before making any decisions regarding your policy. The advice offered may very well come in handy.

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