Often, the primary asset of an estate is a home, second home, or other real estate that the heirs want to liquidate either to pay the debts of the estate or simply to fairly split the cash of their inheritance. It is common to sell a home from an estate, but there are a few things you should be aware of during the process.
The Personal Representative as Seller
First, an estate must have moved to the point where a personal representative has been appointed and an inventory of assets and debts completed. Before you even contemplate selling an estate home, you want to make sure that it’s what makes the most sense for the estate. While there are many good reasons to sell, the home may instead have been left to a specific heir. There are also situations where a specific individual has a life estate in the home and it is only after their death that the home can be sold and the value split between the heirs. In this case, the executor will want to first work through the estate books and ensure that selling the house is the right step. Once they’ve confirmed that the sale should go forward, they can set it up as a “for sale by owner” or engage a real estate agent to work with them.
Home Repairs and Liens
Homes in estates have often been neglected during the final illness of their owners. There are often needed repairs that haven’t been seen to and liens against the homes due to unpaid taxes or expenses. The personal representative should clean up these details before listing the home for sale as having an outstanding lien or significant repair can decrease the market value of the home. You can sell the home in its current condition, or “as is” if the estate cannot bear the costs of repair.
Property in Trust
Some individuals have organized the assets of their estate into a trust. Trusts have trustees, who guide the disposition of the assets of the trust, and beneficiaries who receive the benefits from the trust. Often, the deceased person was the original trustee and at death, a successor trustee assumes the role. If the house is in a trust, then it is the responsibility of the current trustee to manage the sale. Handling an estate can be complicated, as can the real estate process. While some people do it themselves, having experienced professionals can help you get the best prices, negotiate the best deals, and ensure you’re paying attention to all the necessary details. The estate team of lawyers from Dunn Law Firm can help significantly by understanding the probate process and help personal representatives to make good decisions about estate assets. To learn more, reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 to set up a free consultation today.