Beware When Downsizing and Selling Home Contents
Choose wisely. Everyone has heard the term “Buyer Beware.” In the business of helping people downsize their homes and estates, it should be “Seller Beware.”
From family members to neighbors to professionals, some individuals, unfortunately, take advantage of older loved ones who may not know the worth of their property and have not prepared themselves for the inevitable. When little thought goes into this process, it becomes the perfect formula for exploitation. When selling home content, think of the acronym BEWARE to help protect yourself and your personal property.
Be prepared to let go emotionally. For possessions you value or of value, identify them with a system that may include colored tags and also taking a photographic inventory, as well as one that is documented on paper and saved in an electronic file. Creating a list of these belongings, their current market values (not inflated appraisals from decades ago when the economy was healthy), and notate which items that you or family members would like to keep out of the estate sale
Educate yourself on the current worth of your personal property. You deserve to know the values just as you know the worth of your real estate property. Start by looking for a professional personal property appraiser to help you estimate the worth of select items. Find an estate sale professional you feel good about to use when the time is right to sell. To find such a professional, begin by asking other people, such as an attorney, accountant, financial planner, or trusted friend that has experience with these individuals.
Watch your back. Statistics indicate that those closest to you are often the ones who exploit in these kinds of situations. Neighbors, friends, even family members, and caregivers can be guilty. If you have educated yourself on which possessions truly have value, have done your due diligence in documenting them properly and making plans for them in the future, then you are the one in control and can either gift them in person or find an individual you trust to distribute them at the time of your passing.
Act prudently. Ask the appraiser and estate sale professional questions and clarify any concerns you may have related to your possessions. Take notes and ask for references. Ask how they work and how they can best assist you. Check your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if they have any unresolved complaints against the company. If others in your community have recommended the same professional repeatedly, chances are that the company has a good reputation. This takes time upfront, but it is time well spent.
React. With the resources you have gathered, you can now make an accurate decision on how to dissolve and distribute your property. Whether you decide to give possessions to relatives or sell them utilizing an estate sale, you can proceed confidently. There is nothing easy about downsizing or selling home content. Peace of mind comes to those who plan ahead.
Empower yourself. By knowing the worth of your personal property, asking the right questions of these professionals, and doing your homework, you will greatly minimize the possibility that someone will take advantage of you or your estate.