Losing a loved one can be devastating, and selling the property they left behind can add more stress. If you’re the chosen executor of an estate, this will be one of the most important tasks you have to do to honor your deceased loved one’s wishes.
Selling a deceased person’s estate can be very emotional, so it’s best you know what steps to take to avoid getting overwhelmed by the process. To help you go through this daunting task, here are seven steps to prepare a deceased estate for sale.
Sort Through The Possessions And Make An Inventory
When preparing to sell a deceased estate, the first thing to do is sort through all the possessions they left behind. Going through all the memories of a deceased loved one can make one emotional, so be prepared for the flurry of emotions you may encounter when deciding whether to sell or give away mementos you find on the property. And if you find old junk that are available and tucked in a corner of the property, you may have these disposed of.
Creating an inventory or making a list of the items will give you a clearer idea of the size of the estate. This step should uncover any remaining debts or taxes to be paid by the deceased.
Have The Will Probated
After sorting through the remaining possessions of the deceased, you must make sure that the deceased’s last will and testament are already probated. Probate is a court process wherein a judge verifies and approves the authenticity of a will.
The will must be probated before an executor can sell, divide, transfer, or transact any property from the deceased’s estate. If you’re the appointed executor in the will, it is your duty to apply for probate in court.If, on the other hand, there is no will, then the court will appoint the next of kin, who will then be the executor.
Distribute Properties According To The Will
When the will is probated, what you must do—as the executor—is to execute what was written by the deceased. Most likely, the deceased would bequeath certain properties to a spouse, child, relative, or a good friend. These properties must first be distributed accordingly and transferred to their name, so there won’t be any issues once the properties would be put for sale.
Work With A Real Estate Agent
Hiring a real estate agent will make the selling process easier for the beneficiaries. Selling real estate properties can be complicated, especially if you don’t have prior experience in them. So, it’s best to hire someone who has the right network and is already knowledgeable of the necessary legwork.
Choosing a reputable real estate agent means trusting someone to market the properties, negotiating prices and terms on your behalf, and having someone deal with potential buyers who wants to inspect the property. Having a professional handle all of these can help you focus on other important family matters.
Determine Sale Price
The next thing to do is to determine the sale price. If you’ve already hired a real estate agent at this point, then you already have half of the work done for you. Real estate agents can give you an idea about how much properties cost and help you set realistic expectations.
Method Of Sale
Depending on the circumstances of the estate, the method of sale would vary. Common methods are fixed date sale, private sale, or auction. Again, it’s best to consult with your real estate agent and legal counsel before choosing a method of sale.
If the deceased left unpaid debts, the sale would be most likely done via an auction. This way, creditors can still be paid from the proceeds. Whatever that’s left will then be divided among the heirs or beneficiaries.
A vendor’s statement is a document that discloses information about the property. This is done for the benefit of a prospective buyer who must know all the necessary information and terms before they purchase the property and sign a contract. A lawyer may also be tapped to help create this document.
Managing a deceased loved one’s estate can be overwhelming, especially if there are unexpected complications. But the process can be less stressful if you work with the right people. A lawyer and real estate agent can assist and guide you in many of these processes.
Lawyers can assist you during probate and even help create contracts for the sale of the estate. On the other hand, real estate agents are responsible for marketing and negotiating with potential buyers of the estate. You need to work hand in hand with these professionals for a successful transaction.