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How do estate sales work?

When your parents move to an assisted living facility or pass away, you can be left with many personal items you have no room or use for. What can you do with the extra furniture, china and silver, clothing, jewelry and knick-knacks that your parents left behind? Like many California residents in the same situation, you can give these items to charity, put them in storage or haul them to the dump – or you can hold an estate sale.

What is an estate sale, you may wonder? According to HowStuffWorks, estate sales are a step up from a garage or yard sale. Often, the contents of a home are sold or auctioned off. It is not uncommon for high-end items to be listed in an estate sale. These sales are usually held after the owner of an estate dies, but if you have permission from your parents or if you have power of attorney, you may decide to sell their unnecessary items if they become incapacitated and will not use these possessions again.

Those who hold estate sales usually hire professional agents. An agent usually sets the prices, directs buyers through the home, organizes the transactions and cleans up after the sale. As you can see, it can be financially beneficial and convenient to involve an experienced agent.

Having an estate sale can give you peace of mind if you are left with items you do not want or need, but you do not want to give or throw them away. This information is not meant to serve as legal advice.

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