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My mother-in-law recently moved to assisted living. Estate sales require $1500 up front and they keep a percentage of the profits, plus they take possession of ALL goods when the sale is over.

Isn't there a better way than Craig's List?

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To have this done by others will (& should) have a cost as a service is being provided. So is everybody in the family all understanding of this? Like clearly understanding of this? If not - and your are likely to hear carping from siblings or in-laws for decades to come - then you and family are just going to have to do it yourself whatever the time, drudgery, dirt or costs to empty out the house.

If everybody is kum-ba-ya on paying for others to do this, I'd suggest you take the lead on this and visit consignment shops. I'd suggest you enlist someone to drive you around to a # of shops - you run in to do a lookie lou if the shop is a good fit & if so the car gets parked! There are going to be a couple who have items similar to what is in your mom's house. Ask them about doing the estate sale of mom's house. A good consignment shop will have several "pickers" who place items in the shop and have trucks, storage, etc at the ready for the items in your mom's house and will know who to contact to do the clean-up afterwards. Some larger churches have consignment shops with a sub-group of the women's auxiliary who do estate clear-outs as well.

Auction houses (2 big established ones in my city) have to place a minimum as they don't want dreck or spend their time dealing with items that really have no real market value. Most of the time it's just an old lamp and not a true Tiffany or an old bed and not a Mallard but family expectations & lore are that it is…..Good luck.
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How big is the amount of things that need to be sold? I had a friend whose mother was a collector (hoarder) and they did not want to have an auction on site. So they rented the local community hall for weekend, recruited all family and friends and had their own tag sale. (Advertising is a must!)

Good luck! This is a daunting task.
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What about looking for a person on eBay or Etsy to contract with to sell the goods and that person would retain a certain % for their work at pricing, listing and sales? You'd have to look for someone who sells a variety of things similar to the variety of what your MIL has. I could ask the 3 woman group I'm in but I don't know if we'd be interested. I guess it depends on the main items' categories and if we have time for the work. We handle original & antique books & manuals, jewelry, pottery, name brand scarves & clothing, sports items like trading cards, some china & porcelain, smaller antiques, religious items & books, etc. We are always honest. I'm the least knowledgeable; if you just want a question answered I can relay that for you.
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I would also suggest checking with a variety of estate sale companies; I recall one that would keep a certain percentage of sales, but I don't recall that there was an up front fee involved.

Depending on the nature of the possessions, an auction house might handle disposition.

A relative had an estate sale which he and his wife handled, but he did caution that areas in which items that aren't for sale, and/or where personal items are stored, needed to be well cordoned off because he found someone snooping and rummaging through very personal possessions that weren't for sale.

If you can't sell them, you could always donate them to the Salvation Army or other reputable charities. When my sister died, I gave almost all of her furniture as well as several pieces of workout equipment to a veterans' organization.
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Have you checked with the various estate sales companies? Another option is that you could do your own estate sale. It is a lot of work, but it would help you clear the house.
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