Advice for Executors Selling Real Property

What you need to know when listing real property as an executor of an estate

Check with a reputable Real Estate Agent in your area. Experience is key when selecting an agent for an estate property. You need someone who has been around long enough to help you navigate the transaction and make recommendations for vendors you will need.

Inspections: Should you inspect the property before listing? Double edge sword… If there is a structural problem you need to know before you have a buyer; it might scare them away. But once you know you must disclose (actually you can claim “no representation” but a real estate agent must disclose any material fact of which they have knowledge in NC). I recommend you have a home inspector perform a structural components only inspection. This means they go in the crawl space and attic and report the findings. Examples of major issue: Water intrusion, rotted band sill, missing piers, moving foundation, etc. (All can be repaired but are likely to scare off a buyer if found during inspection).

Appraisal: I don’t normally recommend getting a property appraised when listing a home but when a property is in an estate and you have heirs to answer to it is a must, for your protection. You will probably list the property a little higher than the appraisal value because it is not an exact science and you want to leave some room for negotiations (not too much, look to your agent for a recommendation), but you are looking to justify the sold price to the heirs. Also if a family member is interested in purchasing the property, it the burden off you to determine a price the other heirs will be happy with.

Personal Property: The contents of the home will have to be dealt with and usually it is sooner rather than later. Depending on the amount and value of the “stuff”, you may need to hire an auction company or you may be able to call a local charity and they will take it all. With regard to selling the property, take a recommendation from your Real Estate agent… will the home show better vacant, partially vacant or with the current furnishings and personal items removed?

Navigating these unfamiliar waters can be stressful, so take some of the burden off of you and turn to a professional for help.