Estate sales: To sell or to donate? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Estate sales: To sell or to donate?

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Weekend estate sales are a fun way to find bargains. But if you're the seller, it can be an emotionally draining chore.

Lloyd Gordon is a top estate liquidator in Beverly Hills, California.

"A lot of people wonder if they should have a sale or donate," says Gordon. "Usually people end up doing both. The best approach is to have an estate sale first, get as much money as you can for the items that are saleable. The rest, donate and get a good tax deduction."

But Gordon says hiring a reputable estate liquidator can cost you as much as 30 percent of the profits – sometimes more. For that percentage, the company should clean the items, set up and advertise the sale, process all sales transactions and get you the highest prices. 

According to Gordon, families don't always understand the market value of what they've inherited.

"Generally what they think is worth a lot of money is not," says Lloyd. "The things they know nothing about, is exactly what is worth a lot of money. And that's the difference between having a pro and a non-pro do it."

So if you find yourself having to sell an estate, remember, professional liquidators charge up to 30 percent commission of all sales made. 

But, in the long run they can save you a lot of time and will probably make you more money than if you were to do it yourself.

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