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Whether downsizing or decluttering, estate sale may be the ticket - Tri-County Times: Tri-County Times Newspaper: Fenton, Linden And Holly MI News Source

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Whether downsizing or decluttering, estate sale may be the ticket

Dispose of unwanted items while making some cash at the same time

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Posted: Monday, May 22, 2017 9:46 am

Have you lived in your house for so long and accumulated so many things that you’ve often said to yourself, “I have no idea what we’re going to do with all of this stuff if and when we ever move.”

 While some folks are accustomed to moving every few years, others have spent their entire married life in one house, raising children and pets and amassing a lifetime of furniture, household items and much more.

 Then it happens, the kids are all grown, with homes of their own now. You and your spouse decide not to spend your senior years taking care of a big house and instead, would rather downsize and take the time to have some fun and do some of the things you’ve always wanted, which could include traveling or just relaxing more.

 When you decide to downsize, or if you simply want to declutter your house, you need to decide whether you want to attempt doing it yourself, or if hiring a professional is in order.

 If you’ve been in your home 25 or more years, the task of doing it yourself may be very overwhelming. You’ll need to decide what you’re going to keep and what needs to go. A garage sale or self-managed estate sale might be in order, but it takes a lot of time and energy to pull this off alone. So you may be wise to hire a professional and save yourself lots of headaches by letting them do all the work.

 Whichever way you decide to go, there is one thing you need to do first. If you are still storing stuff for your adult children in your garage, garage rafters, attic or basement, it’s time to get tough. Tell them nicely about your plans and that they need to remove their items and store them at their own homes, rent a storage unit, or it will be sold in your estate sale. It may sound harsh, but you’ll be amazed how quickly they will come and at least take a look at what’s theirs. Nine times out of 10 they forget what they left behind.

 Then it’s time to get some help and contact a reputable estate sale professional, like Caring Transitions, for example.

 “When you invite any type of business into your home you need to make sure you are protected from theft, damage, personal injury, etc.,” said Debra Bourdeau of Caring Transitions.

 “Most people unfortunately don’t think about this when deciding who they want to hire; usually the only thing on someone’s mind is the cost. Although cost is important, there are even more important questions you need to be asking,” she said.

 “The estate sale business is unregulated in Michigan. This means anyone, even people who do not have your best interest in mind, are able to come into your home and liquidate your assets,” Bourdeau added. “Many companies offer a pricing structure which sounds very appealing (typically quoted at 30 to 35 percent of net proceeds from the sale/liquidation), but when you read the small print and ask the right questions you may find things aren’t as good as they appear.”

 Bourdeau said it is important to make sure you are dealing with a company that is transparent. If it is not provided up front, you want to ask to see their business license, liability insurance certificate, Workers Comp certificate and proof they legally pay their employees.

 “It is also important, since you are inviting someone you don’t know into your home, that you work with a company who provides background checks on their employees,” Bourdeau said. “A professional business will be happy to show you all of this and should have it with them on your first visit.”

 Bourdeau said to make sure the company you are considering allows you to view the actual money being collected from the sale. This means making sure they are using a cash register for all cash transactions, and that you have access to view the receipts and confirm the amount they have collected.

 “You also want to make sure the employees are being legally paid, and not paid at the end of sale from the proceeds in the cash drawer, or in some cases, by being given items that did not sell,” she said.

 Bourdeau said Caring Transitions employees are held to the highest standards, and maintain ongoing security and education requirements.  All are bonded, insured, and thoroughly screened, and each of their offices participates in the comprehensive Certified Relocation Transitions Specialist (CRTS) program. The CRTS credential is a professional mark of ethics and excellence.

 “Caring Transitions is not only North America’s largest provider of relocation, downsizing, and liquidation services all under one roof, but we are the only company able to offer objective, computer generated quotes based on the specific needs of the client,” said Bourdeau. “We stay away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ quote because not everyone’s needs or financial situation are the same. We offer free in-home quotes to discuss all the options we can provide.”

 Caring Transitions, whose ads can frequently be seen in the Tri-County Times, offers a vast menu of services that includes professional estate sale solutions, online auctions and buyer’s sales, donation and liquidation sales and exclusive “invitation only” sales.

 In addition to downsizing and decluttering services, they offer relocation support to include packing and unpacking, move management, space planning and new home set-up.

 Contact Caring Transitions by calling (248) 270-6822 or email dbourdea@caringtransitions.com. Their websites are www.caringtransitionsofNOC.com and www.ctonlineauctions.com/OaklandCountyNorth.

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