When a loved one passes away, their estate typically consists of a house, bank accounts, a vehicle, an IRA or 401K and personal and real property such as a house or land. The house is usually the most valuable asset and can pose the most difficult challenge to the estate’s Executor or Administrator during Probate.
Note that property of a deceased person that was held jointly with a surviving owner will pass outside of the estate to the surviving joint owner. So, most property owned by a married couple, for instance, normally held jointly by the husband and wife, will pass by law to the surviving spouse outside of the estate. However, if the property of a deceased person is titled in his/her name alone and no provisions are made otherwise in the Will, the Executor must list and sell the house on the open market. The proceeds from the sale of the house are then deposited in the estate bank account until they are distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate.
Selling Probate Real Estate
If real estate needs to be sold during Probate, it is better to do it sooner rather than later especially if the house is empty. Since insurance companies do not want to insure empty houses due to the higher risk for damage, the Executor of the Estate should not hold on to the house for too long for the same reason. Renting the house is an option, but usually, more than the Executor might want to handle.
While there is no requirement for an executor to hire a Certified Probate Real Estate Agent to sell the house, they do have duties and responsibilities to the Probate Court. If a real estate agent doesn’t have the specialized knowledge and training in probate sales, that agent’s lack of knowledge might cause delays that could cost the estate time and money. Hiring a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist is just as important as hiring an attorney who specializes in Probate.
Specialized Knowledge & Expertise
As a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, I am certified and trained in Probate Real Estate and the Probate sales process. Depending on the status of the property you probably want to sell it "as-is", but if need be, I could use my experience in home repairs and improvements to recommend enhancements to increase the value of the house.
If a thorough cleanout of the home is required, I have worked with and can recommend vendors such as estate sale, junk removal, and clean-out companies that can help dispose of unwanted items. Then, if necessary, I use my staging expertise to put the house in the best shape to position your property to achieve the maximum market potential. In addition, as a Pricing Strategy Advisor, I can advise the Executor in determining the list price in comparison to other houses that are for sale and have sold in the area. Finally, I will aggressively negotiate the highest and best offer for the Executor’s acceptance.
The probate process can be emotional and challenging for both executors and beneficiaries. I understand how overwhelmed people feel when tasked with the responsibility of administering an estate; dealing with a family in a state of mourning and under a great deal of stress depending on how well they get along, plus the emotional issues that can often accompany the sale of a long-time family home. My mission is to manage the details of the probate sale process, freeing you, the Executor to focus on other duties necessary in managing the estate’s assets.
Let me help you start the process. I’m just a call or click away.
1. Probate Court
Probate is a court proceeding that deals with the transfer of property from a decedent (individual who died) to the heirs.
2. Illinois Heirship Chart
How the Probate Court distributes your property if you die without a will.
3. Executor's Duties
Since estates vary greatly in size and complexity, an executor's job may be easy or challenging to carry out.