Losing your parents can be an overwhelming and emotional experience. Having to sell the deceased estate property while also grieving a loss adds to the challenge of the situation. Often, selling a deceased parent’s home can involve other family members, complicating the process. Despite the additional challenges, selling this property can be a feasible task. There are a few things you should consider in this circumstance.
The Executor Has the Right to Sell the House
Being the heir to an estate does not automatically qualify you to make all of the decisions when it comes to selling the house. There could be multiple heirs to the property, but only one personal representative, or executor, will have the right to authorize decisions about the house. In order to pass the ownership from the deceased parent to the executor, legal proceedings called probate will need to occur. If a will was left behind, court intervention can be bypassed. The property title ownership can fall within three categories—sole ownership, joint ownership, or joint by contract. Knowing the title of the property will help you to determine the next step for selling the property.
Debts Must First Be Settled
You may be unaware of unpaid debts still owed by the deceased. The house may need to be sold in order to pay off the mortgage or any other payments due. The executor has the responsibility of ensuring all debts are taken care of. If there are more debts than assets, known as insolvency, each state has criteria for how to proceed in paying these expenses.
Selling Your Share of the Property
If you are an heir to the estate but want to sell your portion to a family member, there are various methods for doing this. One option is to give your share of the estate to the family member and have them take out a loan to cover the cost. Another alternative is to allow a payment plan to be agreed upon between the two parties. Selling your share of the property is a great way to receive your inheritance without having to deal with the stress of managing the house.
Can an Executor Sell the Property to Himself?
Technically, an executor has every right to sell the property to himself. There are stipulations, however, for this type of arrangement. The home must be sold at a fair market value. If the executor attempts to buy it for less than, it could be deemed as theft or embezzlement. The executor does not own the property outright and is simply managing the asset for a certain period of time. In order to sell the house to himself, the executor must also obtain written consent from the other heirs or beneficiaries.
How Long Does an Executor Have to Sell the House?
In Arkansas, probate must begin within three years of the deceased’s date of death. Probate must be initiated in order to sell the house. It can be difficult to attract buyers to a house under probate due to the lengthy process of this situation. The executor is legally obligated to sell the house for the highest price possible, for the benefit of the heirs. This adds to the proceedings of selling the house.
How Does an Executor Sell the Property?
In order to sell the deceased estate property, a “License to Sell” must first be obtained through a petition to the court. A will could waive the requirement to first receive this approval. However, it might be beneficial to do so anyway if other heirs are involved. This ensures that everyone is in agreement about moving forward with the plan to sell the house.
Other steps to selling the property may include having the house appraised, performing repairs, and receiving multiple quotes. You will also need to decide what method you will use to sell the house. You can choose to work with a real estate agent, put the house on the market yourself, or sell it to a professional home buyer. Working with a real estate agent can ensure you receive the help and advice you need, but may entail a lengthy and costly process. Selling your house to a professional home buyer will allow you sell the house with fewer steps involved. The process is also much quicker, providing you with proceeds to be applied towards debt or heirs.