Selling the home left behind by a loved one is a difficult and emotional decision to make, but understanding how the sale of a deceased estate works can help to ease the burden and alleviate added pressure.
You should handle the sale of property from a deceased estate in a similar way as any other real estate transaction which your dedicated Raine & Horne agent can help you to do. Below, we have put together some essential things to consider while navigating an estate sale.
The legal stuff
What is an estate?
An estate is everything involving the net worth of an individual in the eyes of the law. This includes all land, property, assets, superannuation, cash, and possessions that are owned or partially owned.
Probate & Executor
When someone passes away and leaves a Will, they nominate a person to be their executor; this same person must then apply for a legal document called a ‘Grant of Probate’ from the Supreme Court. The probate document authorises the executor to deal with the estate of the deceased per the deceased’s Will and usually takes at least four weeks to process.
The executor is authorised under the effect of the Will and must sell following any specific instructions.
After probate, the executor becomes the vendor of the home and is responsible for allocating the balance to the named beneficiaries. Typically, properties from an estate are sold at auction as it is an open and transparent process; however, this is something that you can discuss with your Raine & Horne agent.
Getting ready for sale
Clearing up the home
The appointed executor is responsible for removing all possessions from your loved one’s home and safeguarding them until finalisation of the probate. They are also responsible for distributing any remaining assets with those detailed in the Will, selling any valuables and removing any unwanted items to charity shops or disposal centres.
Before completely clearing out the home, have a chat to your Raine & Horne agent - some properties sell best when they are entirely vacant. Your agent may also recommend you to keep it partially furnished or to have it styled in order to achieve the best price.
Readying the home
Freshly cut grass, clean windows and a tidy interior are all things to keep in mind when it comes to progressing with the sale of an estate. This is something that you can do yourself with the permission of the executor, or you may wish to outsource these jobs to tradespeople. If you are not local to the home, your dedicated agent will be able to recommend local service providers you can engage with.
Handling the sale
If you are the executor of the estate, you should speak with your Raine & Horne agent to ascertain timeframes for the sale to take place in as well as how you would like to sell the property. Some things to consider include:
- Will you sell by auction, private treaty or with a set asking price?
- Are there any specific instructions in the Will regarding the sale of the property? You are legally obliged to sell per these.
Our team are here for you
Usually, the sale of a property is a source of great joy and excitement. However, an estate sale can be a highly emotional time, which is why it is important to choose a sales agent who will treat your transaction with empathy, compassion and understanding.
The entire Raine & Horne team are experienced and dedicated to helping you deal with such an emotionally charged property sales. Contact any of our friendly team today for a non-committal chat about how we can help.