One of life’s most difficult trials is the death of a loved one. As if dealing with the loss of a person who meant so much to you and your family wasn’t difficult enough, there is the inevitable question of what comes next? Once the initial rush passes and everything calms down the family is often left to distribute and settle the estate of their loved one.  This process can be mindboggling and it’s hard to know where to even start. The disposition of your loved one’s estate can be a long, arduous process.

How to Sell Estate Property in Tennessee

How to Sell Estate Property

We’ve all seen the scenes in movies where a lawyer reads off the deceased’s will to a room full of family members, and the matter is suddenly settled. Unfortunately, life isn’t as simple as the movies make it seem. In real life, the disposition of a loved one’s estate must go through a long, complex process that typically involves probate court.  And while preparations such as wills and living trusts can help the process go smoother, it is rarely fast. In fact, selling estate property can take months or even years! Here are some tips to help guide you through the process.

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    Determining Who Has an Interest in the Home

    The first step to selling estate property is determining who has an interest in the home.  If you’re an only child, this is a fairly simple process. If you have siblings or other families, each person may have an interest in the proceeds from selling an estate property (unless the will says otherwise). There will often be an executor who is responsible for following the instructions of the will and probate court, leaving the family with limited control over the speed and outcome of selling the estate property. If it is unclear who maintains an interest in the property or multiple people make a claim then it is up to the probate court judge to decide who receives what share.

    Read More: 6 Tips to Sell a House Before Moving to Another State

    Avoid Legal Hazards

    While much of the process of selling the estate property will be handled between probate court, the will, and the executor, it’s important to understand how outstanding liabilities can affect the sale of estate property in Tennessee and Kentucky. Because the estate property is likely being used as security for a mortgage, it is crucial to find out how much the principal remains due. This amount will reduce the proceeds of the sale and must continue to be paid to avoid foreclosure before selling the estate property. Even worse, if you fail to pay off the mortgage or make arrangements for the mortgage to be paid off at closing it can hold up the closing process and potentially cause significant legal problems down the road.

    Similarly, other outstanding debts reduce the amount of the proceeds of the sale of the estate property.  Since typically the home is the largest asset in the estate, naturally, the estate’s outstanding debts will need to be paid largely from the sale of the estate property. Understanding the assets and liabilities of the estate is essential to planning the sale of estate property so you know a minimum value to sell the estate property and still receive the proceeds without losing them all to debt repayment. Other liabilities will include property tax, taxes on the sale of the home (selling an estate property is not subject to the home sale tax exclusion), home equity loans, and more.  Running a title search and consulting with an accountant can help you determine exactly what is due.

    Once all of that is said and done, and you’ve determined your share of the proceeds from the sale of the estate property by establishing a minimum value, reducing that amount by the number of outstanding debts not being paid off via another source, and splitting it between other parties who have an interest in the home, it’s time to prepare the estate property for sale. A good start to reducing the amount owed and determining exactly what you have is to hold an estate sale. Cleaning out the personal possessions and selling what the family doesn’t want can be a great way to not only generate additional income for the estate and process the passing of your loved one but can also help stage the home for sale. Clearing out old personal possessions and staging the home will make the estate property more appealing to potential buyers, raising the value of the home and your proceeds from the sale of the estate property.

    Sell Estate Property

    Once the estate is through probate and the courts have determined who is responsible for the sale as well as who is entitled the proceeds, then it’s time to determine what you want to do with the estate property. Some people will move into the home their family left them, assuming the mortgage and liabilities. Other families will come to the decision to hold it as a rental property, but that comes with a lot of work and the potential to lose money, not to mention family squabbles between parties with different opinions and competing interests. For most people, selling the property is the right decision.

    But Where to Sell an Estate Property?

    Selling Through a Real Estate Agent

    There are several ways to go about selling estate property. The traditional way is to list through a real estate agent experienced in selling estate properties. This will often entail making overdue repairs to the house and bringing the home up to code before selling to make it more appealing to buyers and sell for a higher value.  It also often includes deep cleaning the house and paying a designer to come and stage the house for sale.

    In total, selling an estate property through a real estate broker can cost thousands and thousands of dollars in extra, unnecessary fees.

    Once the home is ready to sell, you’ll need to hire a listing agent to list the house for sale, show the house to potential buyers and solicit offers. Depending on the condition of the home, this can take anywhere from a few weeks to years.  The longer this process goes on, the more likely the final offers are to be below asking price. According to online real estate brokerage Redfin, it is to be expected to accept a price below asking price when selling estate property.  Then, once the estate property is finally sold you will be hit with thousands of dollars in commissions and fees from the brokers and title agents. Most sales will take at least another 30 days, often longer, to close as the buyer has to go through underwriting to obtain a new mortgage.  Finally, after months of waiting, the estate property is sold, and you can finally find some closure.

    Selling Through Real Estate Investing Companies

    The other method of selling an estate property is to sell it directly to a real estate investor. Real estate investors buy estate property to redevelop or renovate to sell or to hold and rent. Real estate investors typically buy estate properties as-is without requiring costly repairs or the seller to bring the estate property up to code.  Many investors even buy unused lots. When selling an estate property to a real estate investor there are no commissions or fees because there are no agents. Instead, the real estate investor makes an offer on the property directly to the seller and the transaction is carried out without listing or buyer’s real estate agents involved in the sale of the estate property. While the standard title searches and insurance will still be mandatory, those fees are minor in comparison with the thousands of dollars saved by selling the estate property directly to the real estate investor.

    The other benefit of selling an estate property to a real estate investor is that the transaction is completed in as little as a week.  Since real estate investors buy houses as-is, often without inspections or repairs, you can skip the long closing process of waiting for offers, mortgage underwriting, inspections, and appraisals and get your estate property sold fast.  Real estate investors can make a fair, cash offer on estate properties in a matter of days. The best part is that without a mortgage to underwrite the sale can close in as little as a week.

    Selling an estate property is a long, complex, frustrating process.  As if losing a loved one wasn’t hard enough, you’re often forced to go through probate court, work with an executor and decide how to settle the outstanding assets and debts of the estate all while going through the grieving process. Don’t make what is often the biggest, most difficult part of settling your loved one’s estate any more difficult than it has to be. Aniya Equity is a local Clarksville, TN real estate investor that specializes in buying estate properties throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. Aniya Equity takes the stress out of selling estate property. We want to help you settle your loved one’s estate fast and easily so you can focus on what’s important – being there for your friends, families, and loved ones in this trying time.

    Sell Your House Fast | We Buy Houses

    For a free, no-obligation consultation call: 615-669-1610, or Fill Out This Form For Your FAIR Offer