Executing An Estate With Real Property? How To Approach 4 Common Goals

Are you the executor or personal representative for an estate with real estate property? You have a big responsibility both to the deceased homeowner and to their heirs. And while some executors have handled a real estate sale on a personal level, probate sales are unique. For one thing, you need to decide on a goal for the property. Your approach to the sale will then take one of several directions.

Here's what you need to know about four of the most common estate property goals.

1. To Sell for the Best Price

While the executor must always try to get the best price for any asset they sell on behalf of the estate, this doesn't always mean the same thing. If the heirs truly want to get top dollar, you may need to invest in fixing up the property. This comes with a cost — either to heirs or to the estate. In addition, the sale will likely take more time. Everyone must agree to be patient if necessary. 

2. To Sell Quickly

Many heirs want to wrap up probate and the distribution of assets quickly. This is understandable, as it has both financial and emotional implications. If the heirs agree that the goal should be to sell quickly, they must be realistic about the price. Have the property appraised independently. Discuss any repairs, updates, or alterations necessary for the current market. And you'll need an experienced real estate agent. 

3. To Sell to One Heir

If multiple heirs inherit one property together, one may want to live in the home instead of selling it. This is more complicated, but this heir may buy the property and essentially pay back the others. In this case, you must work hard to ensure a fair transaction. It usually must be at or close to market value. The other heirs should agree on how much — if anything — to invest in the home before selling. 

4. To Rent Out

Finally, perhaps the heirs want to turn the house into a rental. In this case, make any moves to the real estate with a view toward future renters. Most of the time, the executor will make few if any changes beyond repairs to maintain its habitability. You may also recommend that heirs work with an experienced local real estate agent to determine the viability of the property in the local rental market. 

Where to Start

No matter which goal you and the property's future owners have in mind, the best place to begin is meeting with a qualified real estate agent. They'll help you identify the best way to achieve your shared goals. Talk to a real estate agency, such as Marie Scarborough Remax Tristar, to learn more.