What To Ask When Selecting a Business To Clear a Home - ClearSpace
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What To Ask When Selecting a Business To Clear a Home

What To Ask When Selecting a Business To Clear a Home

In this first of a series, I explore the process to sort and distribute items in the home, what to be aware of plus some useful tips.

When the situation arises that you need to clear a home of its contents because a family member has moved elsewhere or passed away, there are many businesses offering these services.  But, the approach they take when sorting and distributing the items varies quite dramatically.

At ClearSpace, 100% of the value of all items when sold are returned to the client. It really is the only justifiable outcome.

Some businesses, irrespective of their size or the time they have been operating are opportunistic and to win a job, will quote a low amount.  But in return, they will keep all the contents and therefore, the proceeds from whatever is sold.

Clients will often have little knowledge about the value of the contents and may be easily talked in to handing them over.  “There’s not much value here” is what they’ll be told.

What might look old, have some damage, seem incomplete or be buried somewhere, often will have significant value.  

Take for example the items pictured below. The sideboard is worth hundreds of dollars, despite the general condition and damage. 

This tiny sewing machine oil can sold for $200 and the small box of costume jewellery $165.

And this piece of artwork, that measured only 20cm x 9cm, sold for $700. The examples are endless.

But it’s not just the obvious, in sight, items that need to be considered.

Having been clearing homes since 2012, I regularly find significant amounts of cash, coin & stamp collections, jewellery, investment information, ingots, precious artwork and other valuable items.  That’s because older people prefer to use cash, have deliberately hidden items and sadly, because of dementia, have forgotten about these items.  And family never know.

If the contents of the home were surrendered, these found items, and their value, will be lost forever!

And should you have a role as Executor, you have a duty to ensure that all the financial assets are located, protected and then distributed to the beneficiaries.

Some of the best outcomes is also the sentimental or significant items I find that get returned – war medals, family history, Wills, authored books, financial paperwork, personal letters, family history and property titles are just some examples.

In every instance, these have been returned to the client, much to their relief and delight. 

So when selecting a business to clear a home, ask “who keeps the value of the items sold”?

Look out for the second article in the series “Donating Items Is Not What It Used To Be”