Preparing a deceased estate property for sale

This can be an emotional time for the family of the deceased especially if the property to be sold is the family home

Selling a deceased estate

As executor of an estate, one of your most important tasks is to sell the home of the deceased so that it can be distributed (with other assets) to the beneficiaries. This can be an emotional time for the family of the deceased especially if the property to be sold is the family home.

Before you prepare the home for sale consider the following:

Managing expectations

Does the family have an expectation of what the house might sell for? It is advisable to seek professional advice from a real estate agent to establish what the current state of the property market is. This will allow you to confirm a realistic expectation about the sale price to avoid confusion or conflict with the family or other interested parties.

Choosing a real estate agent

The real estate agent acts as a go-between for you and the buyer and helps with the negotiations to reach an agreed sale price for the property. The real estate agent, once appointed, usually begins a marketing campaign to attract potential buyers to the property and provides prospective buyers with an opportunity to view the property.

Method of sale

There is more than one method of selling a property. The most common methods are by auction, fixed date sale and private sale.  Each has a unique set of circumstances, so it’s best to discuss each method with your real estate agent to determine what type of sale suits your situation.

Contractual obligations

You will be required to sign a legally binding contract with your agent detailing items such as commission paid, sale price, advertising costs and other terms of the agreement. Consider seeking independent legal advice so you understand the nature of the contract you are about to enter into.

Providing a vendor’s statement

Before you sell the property, you are required to provide the interested buyer with a Section 32 statement. This is a document that discloses information about the property title that a buyer should know about before they sign a contract to purchase. This is usually prepared by your chosen conveyancer or lawyer.

Marketing the property

How, where and for what amount of time will the property be advertised? Do you need a floor plan created and what photos will you use to market the property? If you are engaging a photographer to take photos, who will meet the costs of this? Will the property be listed online or in print to attract potential buyers?

The sale

Your agent will mediate and negotiate between you and the potential buyers to find an acceptable sale/purchase price. Lawyers and financial institutions representing you, the vendor, and the interested buyer, will ensure all the requirements (e.g. finance approvals, length of settlement) are in order in the lead up to settlement. Once settlement has occurred, you have handed over the legal rights to the property in exchange for the money received.

Preparing a property for sale can be a daunting task especially when you are grieving the loss of a loved one.

To speak with one of our expert team about how we can help you with deceased estate administration property services call us today on 03 9667 6444.

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