Working With An Estate Sale With Mold, Smoke, Pet Odor Or Dust

household cleaner with rubber gloves bucket and sponge..It is rare as an estate liquidator not to encounter a property that may have a mold, smoke, pet odor or severe dust problem occasionally.

Many estate sale companies will not conduct a sale in such an environment, but just as many companies accept these “challenges”.

Mold is a very serious issue. Just as a mold addendum is required on the sale of a home, dealing with mold is major problem. If it is a very small amount the estate sale company will have to decide if it can be dealt with by bleach or some other cleaner, however, if it is a large area, remediation may be needed and should be the cost of the seller(s). The health of the estate sale company staff as well as buyers is a prime concern along with the sellers’ health.

The smell of smoke and discoloration caused by smokers is another concern. Glass, china, wood, iron, and other non porous surfaces can be cleaned, but eliminating the odor in upholstered furniture can be next to impossible. Cleaning draperies and curtains can be expensive so the cost has to be weighed as to what the items would sell for. In many instances it is better to let them be sold “as is” at a reduced price.

Pet odors and stains are also difficult. Most require professional cleaning and sometimes cannot be removed or eliminated. One recommendation is do not try to disguise the smell. Honesty with pet odors is important.

Many properties that have had elderly owners or people with handicaps have an excessive amount of dust because the owners were unable to keep up with it.  These will require a thorough cleaning and the cleaners should wear masks.

The professional estate sale company will make judgements on these issues and proceed not only in their best interest, but in the best interest of all parties involved.

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