Skip to content
Sponsored Content

4 important ways estate sales differ from regular home sales

Whether you are selling a property or have found one you love, rely on trusted resources and professional advice

Estate sales play an often overlooked role in the real estate market. They require a bit more care, sensitivity and attention to detail to navigate.

Whether the beneficiaries of an estate have a property to sell or a buyer is interested in purchasing a home that is part of an estate, understanding how transactions of this kind differ from the rest is key.

According to REALTOR® Kyle Scali, the biggest differences to keep in mind are:

1. The process of probate

Probate is a legal process where a will is reviewed to determine whether it is valid and authentic. When someone dies and leaves their property to their heirs, that property has to pass through probate first.

A probate court reviews the assets of the property owner, decides if the will is valid and legal, and approves the transfer of estate assets to the beneficiaries. It is the executor who is named in the will (or an administrator) who administers the process of probate.

Probate can take weeks or months—it can be a long and involved process with several variables and issues that can arise unexpectedly. It is generally best to wait until probate has passed before listing a property to sell.

2. The extra importance of great legal representation

Getting advice and input from a trusted real estate lawyer is always important, but perhaps never more so than when you’re dealing with an estate sale.

Choose someone who has experience working in estate law with executors and the probate process, so that every detail will be attended to and every possible outcome anticipated.

3. Buyers may not have immediate access to all of the standard information—but there is a workaround

Because the estate is selling the home and not the homeowner themself, there may be slightly less information available. Details such as the exact age of the home, dates of any renovations or prior damage, for example, may be approximate.

For a fuller picture of the home’s history and condition, buyers may want to consider making their offer conditional upon inspection.

4. The closing date can change

If probate hasn’t been completed before the property was listed for sale, there is a very real possibility that your closing date could change. Reasons for this could be that the estate is more complicated than originally thought or that there was no will in place. The seller may even have a clause that allows the closing date to be delayed if probate has not been granted in time. If your timelines are flexible, however, this may not be an issue for you.

“I am here to help,” says Scali, who understands the unique challenges that can occur in these types of situations. With the right team in place, these transactions can be completely seamlessly. The agent’s compassionate and empathetic style helps him help families navigate the entire process efficiently and attentively, ensuring their responsibility to the estate is fulfilled.

You can reach REALTOR® Kyle Scali of Century 21 Choice Realty Inc. at 705-297-5866. You can also follow him on Facebook.