But Averill, like a growing number of inheritors, opted to hire an estate liquidation company to stage a sale.
The liquidation business "is exploding" as the greatest generation dies off and baby boomers downsize, says Julie Hall, head of the American Society of Estate Liquidators and author of several books about clearing estates.
Hall estimates about 14,000 companies currently offer estate liquidation services, but the industry is unregulated and many have little training or experience.
She recommends interviewing at least three firms and offered these suggestions for finding a credible, qualified company.
Buyers can be rude, the process can be emotional and it's too easy to say the wrong things that can spook buyers, she says. After donating what they could, the three women rented "a monster dumpster, big enough to have a party in," and hired movers to discard what was left. I do know what a burden it is."Liz Weston is an award-winning journalist and author of several money books, including the best-selling "Your Credit Score." She writes about personal finance at her site Ask Liz Weston.
"Someone will be looking at a chair and the client will say, 'Henry loved that chair. Like many who have been through this process, Averill's attitudes about her own stuff have changed. Like her on Facebook at asklizweston and follow her on Twitter @lizweston.
More valuable items can be offered on e Bay and bulkier possessions, such as furniture, are naturals for Craigslist.
In the right season, yard sales can help dispose of what's left over.
On-site Estate Sales and Liquidation: An Estate expert with an impeccable reputation and 18 years experience. Brokering: Finds buyers for fine objects of art, collections or individual items of value.Ask what credentials the liquidator has and check those out with the organization that issues them.If the liquidator is a qualified appraiser, as Hall is, they should be a member of one of the major appraisal societies, such as the American Society of Appraisers, the Appraisers Association of America, and the International Society of Appraisers.You've heard the horror stories: arguments over stuff . Services and skills are customized for each client's individual situation or professional need. an inheritance lost forever when easily deceived parents are scammed . With a turnkey process, The Estate Lady has the ability to empty the contents of an average estate within three to six working days by appropriately selling valuable contents, donating others or discarding items that can no longer be used.
The sheer volume of collections, hobby equipment, tools and household goods was overwhelming."My father was an e Bay addict," says Averill, 58, whose company Averill & Associates develops websites.