My wife and I need to turn my Mother-in-Law's estate into cash to fund her long term Alzheimer's care. Should I plan to call one of those estate sale companies or are there better options (an ebay seller service, maybe)? What should I know ahead of time and what scams should I watch out for? What is fair to pay for a fee or percentage? And any recommendations for the Houston area?
We cared for Joyce, who has Alzheimers' disease, for about 10 years in our home. But her disease progressed to the point that she needed 24 hour care, more than we could provide and take care of four kids. The good news is that she has moved to a great care situation -- she is living with her beloved nurse who has just opened up a private elder care home. My wife's sister happens to be a probate lawyer who keeps up the legal and financial side of Joyce's case. So, as things go for families affected by Alzheimer's, we have it pretty good. Praise God.
Her children have agreed that we should sell her things to fund her ongoing care. We decided that, if any child wants an item to keep, they will buy it in the sale so that she can get the maximum funds from her estate. We're hoping to have some time between the pricing of everything and the public sale for the kids and grandkids to all get first dibs. But we need to make as much money as possible so Joyce can continue to live in her relatively happy care situation as long as possible.
So what options are best? One of those estate sale companies who conduct a sale on-site? Or one of those companies that try to sell everything online? Does anybody do the hybrid approach? What is a reasonable percentage for the company to take off the top of the sale? And is there any way that I can verify the prices they put on the items independently so I can be assured that we're not getting ripped off?
Also, specifically, the first number I found to call in Houston was a company called "Caring Transitions
." The cheesy name and the fact that they papered Houston Craigslist services section with ads makes me wonder if they are a scam. Anybody have experience with this company? Are they legit?
Totally noob to this whole thing. Who out there has been through this and can help us?