He Who Hesitates Is Lost

There’s no doubt about it!  The market is crazy, and in my opinion, predictable due to the economy.  While mainstream media has us believing everything is getting better, some of us have an intuition that may not be the case.

Professionals in the field of personal property will tell you that the market is soft.  Prospective buyers are buying, but at lower prices than most people want to accept or believe, and the pattern of what they are buying and for how much is shifting.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the trends and feel what’s going on.  Many families are making serious mistakes when it comes to handling an estate and its contents.  Here are some examples of what I am seeing:

1.  Many cannot bear to deal with the estate from an emotional perspective, or experiencing sibling challenges, or the executor is not doing their proper job.  As a result, the estate “sits.”  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, that home becomes a sitting duck and a welcome for thieves.  Another downside is that the home itself decays.  A home is a living, breathing thing and when no one lives in it, it begins to deteriorate very rapidly and invites unwanted guests such as critters, plumbing problems, electrical issues, flooding, etc.  Next thing you know, the value of the home (and its contents) have also deteriorated.  I see this every day.

2.  Missed opportunity.  Okay, so the market isn’t so great.  But it might be better now than in the future.  Since we don’t have a crystal ball, there is no way to know what the future holds, but it isn’t looking like “top dollar” is right around the corner.  Some families are storing items, and in the long run, get tired of doing so and decide to sell at the wrong time!  They are just tired of dealing with it and who can blame them for that?

It’s important to note that many people feel if you hold onto it long enough, the value will increase.  They may think traditional dark furniture values will go back up, or depression glass will once again be en vogue.  It could happen, but I wouldn’t hold my breath – at least for quite some time.

My advice?  Hold on to precious metals and extremely rare items that are authenticated by professionals.  Let the rest go and lighten up your life.

3.  Do not adore family lore.  Most of it is pieces of the truth that have been exaggerated through the years, though the stories are fascinating!  Family lore has us believing many of these pieces are worth a fortune, and more often than not, this is not the reality of the situation.

What to do?  Holding on to stuff is eventually going to be like holding on to a cactus … very uncomfortable.  It has a tendency to squeeze us into discomfort, cause family or marital strife, financial strife, family squabbles, etc.  The solution is easier than you think … just let go!  Your loved one’s memory is in your heart and mind, not in the things that weigh you down in life.  Your loved one would never want that for you.

© 2012 Julie Hall

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This, once again, is an excellent post! I think I am going to print this out for my prospective clients to read….I try to explain all of this, but maybe coming from a real “expert” in the field, they will listen……so, so true!

  2. Very true and thank you for the reminder! I swore I wouldn’t do to anyone what I went through with my parents’ stuff and here I am dusting it once again!

  3. Well said, my very astute friend!

  4. As a Professional Organizer I couldn’t agree more and sadly enough I see it all the time. All we can do is start awareness as well as be there to help.

  5. My sister and brother are executors of my mom’s will. I was left a third of her personal property. Can they divide personal items up without me being there? I feel they are stealing me blind.

    • All matters pertaining to the estate are pretty much in the hands of the executor, and that includes the division of personal property. Your question is a good one for a legal professional, but from an ethical standpoint, everyone should be on the same page and informed of the process so no one is left out. This is my professional opinion based on years of experience and what should be done, but this is not always the case. When everyone is on the same page, there is less tension and feelings like you are experiencing.

      ~ Julie


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