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If you’ve become the executor or administrator of an estate including property which needs to be sold, you will need to take some basic steps to get the home ready to go on market.
5 steps to a market ready probate home:
- Secure and insure the home. As the fiduciary, you will be responsible for preserving the property. You will want to make sure the property is adequately insured, and all doors and windows should be secured.
- Transfer utilities. Ideally heat, water, electrical and air conditioning should remain on for ease of property showings, buyers inspection and lenders appraisal. Sometimes maintaining the utilities is not possible, or the property is in danger of damages by having the utilities on (possible pipe freeze damage, for example), then the property should be properly winterized.
- Empty the property of personal belongings. Disposing of a home full of personal property can be quite challenging. There are services that will take care of this for you and your CT Probate Realtor will be able to provide referrals. Although removing personal property is not a requirement for selling the home, leaving the buyer to have to deal with this will significantly limit your buyer pool and reduce the amount the home can sell for.
- CLEAN! Clean homes sell faster and for more money! This includes the yard. Clear yard debris, keep the grass cut and the leaves raked.
- Once secure, empty and clean, its time to get listed! I generally advise against making any expensive or time-consuming improvements to homes subject to probate court approval. Simply price properly to reflect any needed updates, repairs or maintenance issues.
A home priced properly for its condition will attract plenty of buyer interest and sell quickly. The sale will still need to be approved by the probate court. Keep in mind selling probate property requires additional actions to be taken promptly to make sure that the title being passed to the buyer is clear and that no unnecessary delays are caused by someone’s inaction. For best results and ease of sale, make sure to hire a real estate agent that understands the probate process!