Determine a final sales price

A realtor will likely suggest an appropriate listing price and will help navigate how to handle offers that are made. Understanding the “percentage of asking price” that homes in the area have been selling for will give you additional insight as to whether your asking price will deliver your desired sales price. Share this number with beneficiaries (along with what the final proceeds would be based on that sales price, after paying off any mortgage, realtor fees, and other sales related fees).

Remember, if you price the home too high in an attempt to maximize distributions to beneficiaries, you might have to pay significant monthly expenses on the home (like mortgage payments, utilities, taxes, etc.) as you are waiting for the home to sell. Homes also are less attractive to buyers when they have been listed for an extended period of time, so price the home to sell – not sit. Share your thoughts on this with the heirs of the estate, in person, if possible, and document what was discussed in writing so you’ll have a permanent record of it.

If heirs feel like they are being consulted in the process, they can offer you quality advice and are less likely to complain later.