How do you sell property as an Executor?


How do you sell property as an Executor?

Nobody likes to think about a situation where you may have to sell a loved one’s home after they pass away. It is good to be prepared and knowledgeable about selling property as an Executor in the event that you are put in the situation.

The first thing on your list will be to locate a Will, if there is one, that names you as the Executor. If you are able to locate a Will, the documents will then need to be filed with the court. This process can take between 6 to 8 weeks before you have authority to manage and sign documents on behalf of the estate. Once the documents are complete this is called your Letters of Administration with (or without) a Will, or once known as “Probate”.

While you are waiting for the Will to be Probated, it is a good time to start collecting the deceased’s property tax information for the the real estate lawyer and your real estate agent. If you are unable to find this information, the lawyer can request a tax certificate from the City. If the property is a condominium, find out the amount of the monthly common expenses, and if there are any special assessments against the unit to pass along to your lawyer.

Let your real estate agent know your timeline for closing after the Will has been Probated. It is important to have clear communication with your real estate agent because if the property sells and closes before the Executor receives their Letters of Administration, the title of the property can not be transferred on that date.

Unfortunately, sometimes situations happens where Probate cannot be obtained before the closing date. You have a few different options if you are put into this scenario. As the Executor, you can amend the closing date to extend until after the Probate has been obtained.  Sometimes, buyers don’t always have this option as they may have already sold their home and are not able to push back their closing date. Another option if both parties agree, would be to enter enter an escrow agreement. This means that the buyers would move into the home on the closing date agreed on but would not become the legal owners of the home until after Probate is obtained and the title is transferred into their name.

Everyone likes a sale to go smoothly, so assuming the Probate is obtained and the transaction can be completed, the Executor will then need to meet with their lawyer and sign the necessary paperwork to complete the sale. When the property closes and the title is transferred into the buyer’s names, all the proceeds of the sale will then be deposited into the estate account.

If you are ever in this situation and have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help you.