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Old 09-02-2014, 07:18 PM
1,153 posts, read 1,043,725 times
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I am trying to figure out the best way to deal with the household of an elderly relative who has gone into assisted living. This individual is a hoarder and the place is a disaster, but there is some nice furniture & other stuff under all the crud. We've got to get the house cleaned out so it can be sold. I would do it myself, but it is much too big a job for one person -- overwhelming.

I found websites for several "estate liquidators" who claim to evaluate and sell everything they can, and donate the rest, then for an additional fee will clean the house and get it ready to sell. This sounds just like what I need, but the Yelp reviews (which I always view with considerable skepticism) have the same negative comments about most of them -- they are rude, sell themselves the most valuable things for their own shops at absurdly low prices, don't price items realistically, play favorites with their buyers, etc.

Do any of you have experience (good or bad) to share working with an estate liquidator? What should I watch out for? Is there anything you would have done differently? Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:24 PM
Location: Folsom
5,101 posts, read 8,333,908 times
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My family just went though this when my uncle died, but he lived out of state & did not have a will, so things were messy. Since my mom was the only living sibling, she inherited the mess. My brother & our cousin did a lot of the initial work over 4 days, mainly to make sure any valuables were found. My uncle was known for hiding large amounts of money throughout the house as he did not believe in banks. Unfortunately, it appeared that one of the feuding cousins ransacked the place before my brother got there, but he saw the boogie trapped hiding places.

My brother & cousin filled 2 huge dumpsters with trash, some of the scrap metal was given to a friend that was helping, other things were taken to a 2nd hand store, and all the remaining stuff that was in semi decent condition went to auction. The rest was dumped. The house will be sold as is, along with the land.

My brother worked with the attorney we hired, and used the people he recommended. I've also talked to my CPA here in California who has done the same thing for other people. So, that's were I would start. I would also make sure all the locks are secure, and/or change them if needed. Not sure of there are other people around expecting a piece of the pie. or neighbors who might have a key. I would not call any company out of the phone book/Internet without a personal reference. You may also want to check with your favorite realtor to see if they recommend a company.

good luck!!
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:43 AM
1,153 posts, read 1,043,725 times
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Thanks caligirlz -- this situation is a little different since the owner is still around, but needs to sell the place to pay for the assisted living expenses. I'm the only relative within 400 miles, and it's a huge house filled with trash and cat pee. I physically can't handle the job and will have to hire someone. There is an outfit (SteriClean) that specializes in cleaning up hoarder houses and crime scenes -- I may have to have them come in first and then the estate liquidators. I am trying to figure out the best way to proceed. Thanks for the tip about asking my RE agent, since I trust her.
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