Selling an estate requires the same amount of expertise in all the same aspects as selling any other home, such as pricing based on recently sold similar homes, strong marketing and web presence. However, there are two fairly unique aspects of selling estates. One is understanding how the sale can be affected by a few […]

Selling an estate requires the same amount of expertise in all the same aspects as selling any other home, such as pricing based on recently sold similar homes, strong marketing and web presence. However, there are two fairly unique aspects of selling estates. One is understanding how the sale can be affected by a few sometimes unexpected conditions.  The other is not only a requirement,  it is mandatory.  Sympathy and empathy.

Losing a family member can be one of the most difficult life experiences we encounter as humans . Having to deal with selling that family member's home can be the most painful part of grieving.  The home represents memories of childhood, holidays so many firsts in life often happen in a parent or grandparents home.  It is almost impossible to step into a family member's home and not feel as if those events are still alive and replaying as you walk through the halls.  You can almost smell your favorite dinner as you step into the kitchen and hear the five o'clock news from twenty years ago as you enter the living room.  Everyone involved in the process of selling that home, must, I repeat must, be aware and empathetic of that.

There is also a common misunderstanding of behavior of some family members during the course of the sale.  A necessary recognition is that the value of the home is often directly connected emotionally to the value of the passed family member.  It isn't fair to accuse anyone of being greedy, again a grain of empathy will go a long way.

Now for the logistical side of estates.  Everyone connected to that property will have to sign all forms, and being in Missouri, so will their spouses.  How the law works.  When the home does sell, here are a few things to know.

Debt- If debt is connected to an heir (or heirs spouse) social security number that debt will have to be proven paid or incorrectly attached.  If it is not, the debt amount will come out of that individuals proceeds from the sale.

Medicaid-  A Medicaid affidavit will have to be signed if closing on the property less than one year since the family member has deceased.  To check to see if any Medicaid is owed, you can call : 1-573-751-2005

One last and final note concerning estate sales: these homes are gaining more interest from investors. We are about at normal foreclosure rates, which means that those investor bargains aren't as plentiful as they were a couple years ago.  Some buyers know that this can be an emotional and stressful situation for families and will attempt to purchase the home for much less than it is worth. Always consult a professional before accepting an offer.

Audrey L Elder

Keller Williams Platinum Partners