Selling a Loved One's Estate
Here are a few things you need to know if you’re preparing to sell a loved one’s estate.
Estate PlanningIf 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.
ProbateIf 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 SellOnce 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.