When a loved one passes away, their estate typically consists of a house, bank accounts, a vehicle, an IRA or 401K and personal and real property such as a house or land. The house is usually the most valuable asset and can pose the most difficult challenge to the estate’s Executor or Administrator during Probate.
Note that property of a deceased person that was held jointly with a surviving owner will pass outside of the estate to the surviving joint owner. So, most property owned by a married couple, for instance, normally held jointly by the husband and wife, will pass by law to the surviving spouse outside of the estate. However, if the property of a deceased person is titled in his/her name alone and no provisions are made otherwise in the Will, the Executor must list and sell the house on the open market. The proceeds from the sale of the house are then deposited in the estate bank account until they are distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate.
Specialized Knowledge & Expertise
As a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES), I am certified and trained in Probate Real Estate and the probate sales process.
While there is no requirement for an executor to hire a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist to sell the house, they do have duties and responsibilities to the Probate Court. If a real estate agent doesn’t have the specialized knowledge and training in probate sales, that agent’s lack of knowledge might cause delays that could cost the estate time and money. Hiring a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist is just as important as hiring an attorney who specializes in Probate.
Selling Probate Real Estate
Hopefully, as the executor/administrator, before opening Probate, you made sure that the estate is solvent – meaning it actually has enough assets to pay debts, and then some left to distribute. If you need help making a determination whether the estate is solvent, as a Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA), I can assist you by determining the value of the property in today’s real estate market.
If real estate needs to be sold during Probate, it is better to do it sooner rather than later especially if the house is empty. Since insurance companies do not want to insure empty houses due to the higher risk for damage, the executor/administrator of the estate should not hold on to the house for too long for the same reason. Renting the house is an option, but usually, more than the Executor might want to handle.
Your next question is probably…
What am I going to do with all the “stuff”?