I Have Too Much “Stuff.” Options for Liquidation and What They Each Mean.

Life transitions often mean that we need to make decisions about what to do with years of accumulated personal property that no longer physically fits our new space, does not fit with our new lifestyle, or that needs to be liquidated to meet financial obligations. It is comforting to know there are professionals who can assist in providing effective advice and services during what is often a stressful time.  There are several options for clients to consider:

Fixed, Single Price Sale
In this option, a dealer will usually come to the home, look over the contents and offer a complete price for the entire lot. While this is the most painless and efficient method of clearing everything out, there is no way for the sellers to know if there were, in fact, items of significant value in the home nor to feel truly comfortable that they have received the “best price” for their personal property.

Auction House Placement
Placing pieces with auction houses and consignment shops allows the auction house or shop owner to likely achieve a very viable high market price for the items. However, this process takes a fair amount of time to complete the turnover of items to cash and large commissions are the norm, resulting in less cash to the client. Also, this process would only apply to a limited number of items within most households. This leaves the seller in the position of needing to find other avenues of liquidating or disposing of the remaining household items.

On-site or Estate Sales
Sales of this nature can be completed by the family or by professionals focused on that business. Items are left in the home and tagged with sale prices. The home is normally opened to the public for set hours over a two-day period while the sale is running. This option for liquidation can be emotionally and physically draining on family members and friends. In addition, most individuals are not in a position to make an educated determination on the appropriate price for pieces. Again, the seller is left in the position of needing to find other avenues of liquidating or disposing of the remaining household items.

Property Inventory
In some cases, the family, executor, or individual may simply need a comprehensive inventory of the items contained in the home along with basements, attics, garages, and other attached or detached storage areas.

High Value Items/Collections
If there are specific items or collections that you client feel are of significant value, TLS can arrange for an appraisal by a professional at Skinner Auction House or other auctioneers. If these items are determined to be of a value more in line with an auction sale, we will make arrangements for those items to be sold through auction, netting the client the best market price. Auctions may be held through one of the auction houses or on eBay, which is a web-based on-line auction center, as appropriate.

Full Liquidation
If full liquidation is needed, we will completely arrange an on-site sale. This includes the arrangement and placing of items in an appropriate display, pricing and tagging all items, staffing the sale during all hours of operation, and collecting and tracking all monies. Once the sale is completed, the client has various options for disposal of any remaining items, including donations to charity (with possible tax deductions), trash disposal, and sales to secondary market dealers which would yield further cash. Most of these post-sale options are achieved through one or more of our partners.

Transitions Liquidation Services offers an appropriate level of comprehensive service to deal with the issues inherent in the process of earmarking items for liquidation and partially or completely emptying the home of personal property. We offer a free consultation with potential clients to determine the exact nature of their situation and jointly determine, with the client, which services best suit their needs.

For more information on liquidating the family homestead, individual pieces, or collections, call Marie LeBlanc at Transitions Liquidation Services at 617-513-0433.