Selling a Loved One's Estate

Felicia Captain March 7, 2023

Selling a Loved One's Estate

Overcome the challenges and receive expert guidance
Selling a loved one’s estate after they pass is often a difficult, complex, and emotional process. It’s hard to fully prepare for this scenario, but the following guide can help ease the burden as much as possible.

Here are a few things you need to know if you’re preparing to sell a loved one’s estate.

Estate Planning

If your loved one left behind a will or an estate plan, it may contain detailed instructions about how assets should be distributed. This will help you determine what to do with their belongings and how to proceed with the home sale. It will also help you avoid the probate process, which can be time-consuming and costly. Contact an attorney who specializes in estate planning if you have questions about how to move forward with the selling process.


If there’s not a specific beneficiary mentioned in the will, the home must go through probate before it can sell. During probate, the court will appoint an administrator or an executor to act in the best interest of the deceased. This person must then inform all other beneficiaries of the intent to sell the home. The beneficiaries have a limited amount of time to respond, with any objections to be heard in court.

The probate process also impacts what happens if multiple buyers submit an offer to purchase the home. In this scenario, all buyers must appear in court to submit their final bids. The court will choose a winning bidder since your loved one is unable to select an offer themselves. The winning bidder must typically submit a check for 10% of their offer price at this time.

Preparing the House to Sell

Once you clear all the legal hurdles of getting the home ready to sell, you’ll also need to prepare the property for success on the market. This is often an emotional endeavor that involves cleaning out the home (and the belongings) of your loved one. Feel free to allow yourself time and space to complete this challenging process. A professional stager can help you create an inviting space that appeals to buyers and can help ease the burden of staging it yourself.

Once the home is thoroughly cleaned and staged, you’ll want to ensure it’s in excellent physical condition. You may consider scheduling an inspection before you put the home on the market so that you have a chance to complete any necessary repairs ahead of time.

Home Appraisal

Ordering a home appraisal is essential when selling a loved one’s estate, especially if the home is selling in probate court. A home appraiser will assess the property to confirm that it is selling for a fair market price. This impacts the asking price and any estate taxes you may have to pay.

Consult with Professionals

You’re undoubtedly going through a lot when you sell a loved one’s estate, and there is no shame in asking for help or leaning on the wisdom of experts who can answer your questions and guide you through the process. Many people find that working with an experienced real estate agent helps them better understand all applicable laws regarding the sale of their loved one’s estate. That way, they can spend less time worrying about marketing and staging the home and more time taking care of their loved one’s last wishes. If you have questions about selling your loved one’s estate or other aspects of this journey, team up with Felicia Captain for expert guidance. Felicia is ready to lift some of the stress off your shoulders and ensure that the selling process is as streamlined as possible.

Work With Felicia

My goal is to listen to my client's needs and provide them with exceptional personalized service in a professional, honest and friendly manner. As a broker sales associate, let my experience work for you! I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate in the greater Boston area.