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  • FIRST POST
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Sep 17, 11:21 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Pay for company to clear property?
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:21 PM
    Pay for company to clear property? 14th Sep 17 at 11:21 PM
    This is the first time I have had to arrange this so I wonder if any more experienced property investors could advise.

    I have to arrange clearance of a flat we own as a second home as it has been sold. Some of the furniture/contents is being gifted to friends and family but due to lack of time I have rung a property clearance company to get them to advise on clearing it. I am unsure from the advertising they do as to whether they purchase the contents from me or will bill me for clearing it. They will be selling it in their warehouse as I have looked at their website and this is what they do.

    The property in question is 13 years old and was an ex show flat with modern furnishings and it is all in pristine condition still. How do I get a fair deal and is there something I should be asking? I would expect to get a fair price (what they would get for selling it less a percentage for their efforts)and also deduct the costs of travel and labour for getting the furniture/goods from the property to their warehouse. Am I being realistic here or will I be stung for a large bill for clearing it? There is no mention of prices whatsoever on their website.
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 3.5 months to go.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Sep 17, 12:12 AM
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    G_M
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:12 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:12 AM
    Do you have a realistic estimate of the value of the contents? Have you considered it item by item? Compared against ebay values? Identified any special items of value like antiques?

    2nd hand furniture has limited value and will go for very little at an auction or warehouse sale, but of course it depends how much there is and what each item is.

    What did the clearance company say? Are they coming to make an assessment? Did they list their charges? Or say they would buy? Or give a % of whatever they sell for?

    It's hard to advise, but the starting point must be for you to value it all yourself. Only then can you see if anything they offer is reasonable, or whether the best you can hope for is for them to clear it for free and then sell it.

    But doing it in a hurry will cost you. If you had time, you could sell it yourself for the best price.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 15th Sep 17, 12:29 AM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:29 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:29 AM
    Do you have a realistic estimate of the value of the contents? Have you considered it item by item? Compared against ebay values? Identified any special items of value like antiques?

    2nd hand furniture has limited value and will go for very little at an auction or warehouse sale, but of course it depends how much there is and what each item is.

    What did the clearance company say? Are they coming to make an assessment? Did they list their charges? Or say they would buy? Or give a % of whatever they sell for?

    It's hard to advise, but the starting point must be for you to value it all yourself. Only then can you see if anything they offer is reasonable, or whether the best you can hope for is for them to clear it for free and then sell it.

    But doing it in a hurry will cost you. If you had time, you could sell it yourself for the best price.
    Originally posted by G_M
    Good advise and I will go through gum tree to try to get a rough idea. There seems to be a massive variation though and I do understand the value of 2nd hand furniture is low. No charges have yet been mentioned or any regards of whether they pay.

    I know probably the best option is to try and sell privately but with only 2 weeks between exchange and completion time is limited.

    None of it is antiques. There is a canteen of silver plated cutlery but I am not sure how much even that is worth.
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 3.5 months to go.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Sep 17, 12:38 AM
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    G_M
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:38 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 12:38 AM
    When clearing my mum's house we approached an auction company/clearance house. They came and identified items they would put in their auction (with a % of the sale price going to them). They also offered to 'clear' the remainder for £50 for their time. I have little doubt even those items would have been sold by them but for a pittance.

    But it all comes down to what the stuff is worth.

    Silver cutlery is not popular these days and its value is probably no more than the weight of the silver itself - which will be negligible in silver plate, but you could always remove that and other smaller items yourself to deal with later.
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 15th Sep 17, 2:33 AM
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    p00hsticks
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 2:33 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 2:33 AM
    I'd expect them to charge for clearing it.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 15th Sep 17, 6:30 AM
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    davidmcn
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 17, 6:30 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 17, 6:30 AM
    Any charity options? Salvation Army furniture shop took the bulk of it the last time I had furniture to dispose of.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 15th Sep 17, 7:21 AM
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    eddddy
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 17, 7:21 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 17, 7:21 AM
    I would expect to get a fair price (what they would get for selling it less a percentage for their efforts)and also deduct the costs of travel and labour for getting the furniture/goods from the property to their warehouse.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Maybe see the type of stuff they sell in the warehouse, and what price they achieve.

    Furniture shops (both new and secondhand) will expect to achieve a markup of at least 100% i.e. if they pay £25 for something, they will need to price it at least £50.

    In this case, the extra travel and labour means they would almost certainly offer you quite a bit less than half what they can sell it for.

    Perhaps the best plan is to get 2 or 3 home clearance firms to quote - and then take the best offer.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 15th Sep 17, 7:39 AM
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    glentoran99
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 17, 7:39 AM
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 17, 7:39 AM
    Can you not put whatever you don't want on the fixtures and fittings list and leave it?
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 15th Sep 17, 8:11 AM
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    getmore4less
    • #9
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:11 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:11 AM
    The property in question is 13 years old and was an ex show flat with modern furnishings and it is all in pristine condition still

    Are their really anything decent high value lifetyle items in show house dressings?

    if you still have stuff left after you and all your friends and family take what they want that will give an idea of what the rest is worth to others.

    How time poor are you?

    Any new build where people are moving in nearby?
    they may be interested in some of the bigger stuff, beds wardrobes tables but that would need time might get lucky and someone wants the lot.

    would you be prepared to spend a weekend at the place and use gumtree/freecycle/charity to get the place cleared

    We have charity warehouse near us and they get good money for their better stuff(they collect/clear) but even stuff that new cost £ks only gets low £100s as that is what their market will take so you get the odd bargain but most goes at utility prices.


    As time is critical if they know they may wait a bit to make your time pressure no choice, check out other options now.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 15th Sep 17, 8:45 AM
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    Norman Castle
    https://www.bhf.org.uk/shop/donating-goods/book-a-free-furniture-collection
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 15th Sep 17, 9:04 AM
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    00ec25
    Good advise and I will go through gum tree to try to get a rough idea. There seems to be a massive variation though and I do understand the value of 2nd hand furniture is low. No charges have yet been mentioned or any regards of whether they pay.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Gumtree will not give you any idea of what stuff actually sold for, it will merely show the wide range of expectations people priced it at.

    i think you will need to be ready for a disappointment as to how much you will get in cash, particularly if the "better" stuff has already been taken by relatives.

    what about white goods? I well recall one instance where my relatives withdrew the white goods from the collection and gave them to their children at which point the house clearance company said they would now be charged for the clearance - of a 5 bed property!

    None of it is antiques. There is a canteen of silver plated cutlery but I am not sure how much even that is worth.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    silver plated cutlery in a canteen on ebay is anywhere from £7 - £30 asking price. As GM says expect very little for it by the time the dealer takes their margin
    Last edited by 00ec25; 15-09-2017 at 9:11 AM.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 15th Sep 17, 12:01 PM
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    martindow
    Ebay is the best place to look for values but only if you log in and search for sold prices for things that have found buyers. You won't then see items from deluded sellers asking £200 for something worth 10.
    • Mutton Geoff
    • By Mutton Geoff 15th Sep 17, 12:08 PM
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    Mutton Geoff
    When I cleared my mum's house, I used a firm that does house clearances & auctions. Everything went into the auction, the smaller stuff in assorted item trays.


    What didn't sell after two auctions went into the skip.


    Then I got the settlement. It was sale price of everything minus commission (15% plus VAT). Then their fees, cataloguing, listing, collection fees, storage fees etc.


    They sent a cheque for a relatively small amount of money for a three bed house full of someones life belongings.


    Everything was cleared from the house so all I had to do was clean and decorate but I wouldn't rely on raising much money doing it this way but for me, it was a painless way (in more ways that one) to clear her possessions.
    Compensations/Refunds from Banks & Institutions - £4,165 | Stooz Profits - £7,636 | Quidco - £3,963

    All with a big thank you to Martin and MSE.com from Mutton Geoff!
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 15th Sep 17, 12:18 PM
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    Guest101
    There are typically 4 options, but it's hard to advise which and all have been mentioned, so to summarise:


    1: you pay them to clear the house, they take legal ownership of the goods and charge a relatively low rate. Approx £30-50 per room (area dependant).
    2: auction house / house clearers - they clear the house and sell the goods on your behalf. The fees a higher per room, but you recoup some of the money from the auction. This typically works out 'free' but only if the items are of any value. Unsold items are returned to you, but the cost of removals is still due
    3: companies that simply buy the goods, you pay nothing, but you only get 25-30% of the resale value. This is rarer and only typically useful on property with some value. As otherwise they will simply not quote, or quote as option 1 or 2.
    4: charities, especially hospices, will clear houses typically for free, as part of their fundraising.

    A housemates mum used to do house clearances, it was great for cheap furniture for us
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 15th Sep 17, 10:59 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Thank you all very much for your replies and a selection of suggestions there, some of which we will be doing. If I had more time and we actually lived at the property I would be doing gumtree or freecycle as we have done in the past. BHF will also take furniture but are limited on the days they will collect and have let us down in the past.

    So the option we have gone for is to spend today over there with my OH and daughter and son in law. We are back again tomorrow. A house clearance company viewed the property today and have booked us in for a day before completion and the deal is no money up front. They will auction the furniture and contents but as we expected they warned us modern furniture sometimes does not attract high prices but as it is good quality they are going to try. They will charge £40 an hour for clearing it and any proceeds from the auction will be offset across that figure. If we box as much as possible and help them clear it, it will be cheaper still.

    Books are going to charity shops as apparently they do not fetch anything at auction and linen is going to recycling centre.
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 3.5 months to go.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 15th Sep 17, 11:01 PM
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    • 7,574 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Can you not put whatever you don't want on the fixtures and fittings list and leave it?
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    We offered any of the contents to the new owner after offer accepted but he does not want any. My understanding is he is having a lot of work done before he moves in. He is also moving from a large 4 bed to a 3 bed flat so I guess he has his own junk to get rid of
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 3.5 months to go.
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