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Home Downsizing to Sell

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on February 15, 2016 at 12:00 PM
Most of us recognize that homes that are correctly priced tend to sell quickly, while those that aren’t often languish on the market. Of course, there is more to consider than price when placing a home on the market. Among those factors, it is important to evaluate the overall appearance and condition of a home.If you are one of many home sellers who wonder why the house down the street just sold at an asking price similar to yours, while yours r...

Family Advice from the Senior Living Experts: “Begin the Conversation Early”

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on January 22, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Guest Blog by Adele Lund, Director, Community & Business Relations, Laureate Group “I’ve had the pleasure of working with thousands of adult children as they navigate the transition of a loved one from their home of many years to a senior community or care facility. I have observed that when a family hasn’t had an ongoing dialogue with their parent about possible changes in the future, siblings often form different ideas of what would be ...

Securing Valuables

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on December 5, 2015 at 5:35 PM
Once you make a decision to move or store some of your belongings or even remodel your home, it is important to evaluate whether any of your personal valuables could be at risk for damage or theft. If you are one of the thousands of people who will move  next year and have not yet considered how to organize or protect your valuables, the following suggestions may help you secure important papers, small valuables, coins, jewelry, passpo...

The Five Things We Can Learn From a 70-Year-Old Home Buyer

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on November 12, 2015 at 11:33 AM
Mature home buyers between the ages of 69-89 (the Silent Generation) make up only 10 percent of the recent home purchases in the United States according to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report. What are the motivations of this age group to purchase real estate at this time in their life and what do they desire as home owners? SRES® conducted an interview with a 70-year-old home buyer to fin...

Communicating with Older Parents

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on October 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM
Often times family members hesitate to talk with their aging parents about common topics of concern such as changes to health, transportation, home care, legal and financial issues as well as retirement housing.   Geriatric professionals suggest it is much better to have these parent conversations sooner rather than later. It is often too late to make informed decisions or be sensitive to everyone’s point of view once a personal or medic...

The Caring Transitions Move Calendar

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on August 31, 2015 at 10:00 AM
A company sponsored relocation can be a great moving experience, especially when your company has provided a personal coordinator to assist you with every step. But, for those who may be moving on their own or coordinating a move for an older parent, relocation logistics may be overwhelming. Caring Transitions® is designed specifically to support your family much the same way a corporate relocation counselor does. We offer the professional help...

"Green Moving" Practices

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on July 20, 2015 at 10:11 AM
At Caring Transitions we also encourage consumers to consider “green moving” practices as they prepare for your next move or relocation:  Packing materials: When consumers shred documents in preparation for a household move, they can place the paper shreds in cloth, paper or plastic bags that are already in the home. Seal the bags and use the entire package as protective packing material instead of toxic “peanuts” or bubble wrap.  The bags and pa...

What Families Should Know: Online Auction Fraud

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on June 9, 2015 at 2:51 PM

Over the past few years increased activity in online sales has also attracted those elements interested in committing fraud. According to the FBI’s latest report of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), approximately one in every four complaints involve online auction scams. Learn more about what the The FBI recommends to help protect yourself from online fraud.

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Estate Sale Professional

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on May 29, 2015 at 9:43 AM

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Estate Sale Professional

When seeking an estate sale company, the following questions may help you hire the right professional for your task.

#1 – How long will it take to set up a sale in my home?

The amount of time needed to set up a sale may depend on the quantity and condition of your possessions. Obtaining an estimate is important. Ask your estate sales representative how they perform their estimates. Companies should not guarantee the total value of your sale, as the success of the sale is subject to the amount of traffic and competitive bids received during the sale. These factors which are often influenced by weather or the number of competitive sales that fall on the same day or weekend.

Caring Transitions® has the ability to provide a free, electronic, in-home estimate for all of your projects. Our “Project Accelerator” estimates are based on the size of your home, the volume of goods and the services you require.

#2 – What is your commission structure?

All Estate Sale companies base their fees on a percent of the sale. Percentages in the U.S. range from 30% to 60%, depending on services provided and the overall estimated value of the sale.

Hiring a company that offers the lowest percentage does not mean you will make more money. A skilled professional, who can advertise directly to a list of interested buyers may in fact increase your overall profit, even while charging a higher percentage.

Caring Transitions® commissions include services to  categorize goods and stage your home, price your items, provide any necessary research or professional resources for high value items, set up the sale, advertise, optimize our EstateSales.net membership, take promotional photos, provide tables and other merchandising fixtures, set up displays, schedule employees to manage the sale, secure permits, arrange for security, place signage, send invitations to known buyers,  provide oversight and traffic control during the sale, manage financial transactions and provide a final reconciliation and accounting of sale items.

#3 – Are there fees besides your commission?

Many companies charge an administrative fee to account for miscellaneous items such as travel and sorting/cleaning inventory. Credit card fees may also be billed separately, although not all providers are able to accept credit cards.

Caring Transitions®  may charge an administration fee or a “minimum” fee.   Minimums are common for professional organizations, especially, as mentioned above, when the value of the sale is expected to be low and labor is expected to be high.  Caring Transitions does accept credit cards in order to encourage larger transactions.

#4 – Are you insured, trained and certified? Is your staff?

The Estate Sale industry is unregulated and can be a haven for scam artists and unethical companies. It is important to understand how providers are qualified to serve you. Many companies do not have regular staff, but hire contract workers or friends to help with a sale.

Caring Transitions® has completed a rigorous corporate training program in addition to our own field expertise.  We employ regular W-2 employees, all of whom are corporately trained and subject to a security background screening. Staffing will be discussed with you as the size of the sale is determined. Our office is also accountable to a parent corporation and must meet all professional standards including liability insurance, worker’s compensation, corporate oversight on legal matters, industry training and independent industry certification.

How do you Choose a Mover That’s Best for Your Move?

 Posted by Sherri Gillette on May 13, 2015 at 7:18 PM

Caring Transitions manages everything before and after the moving van drives away, but…

“How do you Choose a Mover That’s Best for Your Move?”

By the American Moving and Storage Association

Are you getting ready to move? Worried about what could go wrong? Well, the answer is “a lot!”–especially if you try to do it all yourself.

“Do it yourself” costs can add up quickly, from truck and equipment rental, to boxes and tape, to fuel for your truck, and more. Not to mention the possibility of seriously injuring yourself or someone you love from lifting heavy furniture, or the worry and hassle of being responsible for everything that goes wrong.

That’s why hiring a professional mover — a ProMover — is  a smart decision that saves you time and effort while providing the best protection for your household goods or business assets.

ProMover takes the worry and hassle out of moving by helping you quickly and easily find a qualified, reputable mover near you. The program was also launched to fight back against moving company imposters — criminals pretending to be a moving company who are out to make a quick buck at your expense.

The American Moving and Storage Association verifies that all ProMovers are fully licensed and insured. We even go one step further to conduct a background check, and we review the company’s website to make sure they’re using proper advertising. The nearly 3,000 ProMovers are truly among the industry’s best, and they have committed themselves to honest and ethical business practices.

The ProMover program has been recognized by Consumer Reports, AARP, Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau. In fact, the Council of Better Business Bureaus has said, “Consumers can rely on ProMovers to receive honest and reliable household goods moves.”

So what should you do before choosing a mover to avoid being scammed?

First, do some comparison shopping. Even if you are considering handling the move yourself, you should get at least three written, in-home estimates so you can make an informed decision. These are free estimates, so you have nothing to lose by inviting a mover into your home so you can find out if a professional move is the best option for you.

Make sure you show the mover everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement, including any sheds, garages and storage areas. Avoid any unusually high or low estimates, and if someone says they can give you an estimate over the phone or by email, it’s possible you’re being scammed.

If the mover asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance, that also can be a warning sign. Consider a mover with a physical location near you, and ask if you can visit their facility.

Finally, read everything carefully and make sure you have it all in writing, along with copies of everything you sign. And don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If you’re not getting the answers you need, it may be time to talk to another mover.

Remember: it’s important to trust your possessions with a professional — a certified ProMover. For a wealth of tips and resources that can help you plan your move, and to find a ProMover, go to Moving.org.

©American Moving and Storage Association

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