Selling a home through an estate sale is an often stressful process as you manage your grief, clearing out the home of your loved one’s possessions, and deal with the legal proceedings necessary when dealing with a loved one’s death and their property.
If the deceased had a well-planned estate, this process should be relatively smooth, but in cases where the death was unexpected or they hadn’t yet made plans for their estate, things can be more complicated.
Whether you’re dealing with the former or the latter, this article will guide you through the steps necessary to sell the home through an estate sale.
How to Sell a Home Through an Estate Sale in Massachusetts
Step 1: Determine if your loved one had a will
If you have the will, move on to step 2. If you can’t find a will, or have found one that is not considered legal in the eyes of the law, you can petition for the estate to be represented as intestate. (You can do this by filing form MPC 162, provided you are the surviving spouse or heir) The title of the real estate will then automatically transfer to the heirs of the deceased. A Personal Representative will be appointed to handle the probate of the estate. It’s best to find and work with an estate attorney during this time to smooth the process and guide you through the necessary steps to keep the process moving in a timely manner.
Step 2: Make sure someone’s taking care of the home
The probate process can sometimes be lengthy, so make sure someone is taking care of the home. Make sure it’s secure, has the heat on in the colder months to prevent damage, and any other care necessary to keep the home in good condition in freezing temperatures.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this step – there’s a much higher risk of vandalism and burglary in this period, and insurance companies know this. To avoid paying higher rates on the property, try to move forward with the sale quickly or ask a family member to live in the home temporarily to care for it.
Step 3: Distribute personal property
This step can be a smooth one if you are the only heir, or if you get on well with the other heirs and are content to divide up your loved one’s possessions as they wished on their will, or between yourselves. However, if you think there may be some trouble here, make sure you’re working with an attorney to help facilitate this process.
Step 4: Determine if the estate has debt to pay off
The last hurdle before deciding how to proceed forward with the estate sale is to determine how much debt (if any) an estate has to settle. In some cases, you can use the savings or investments of the deceased to pay off these debts, but you may realize you need to sell the home quickly to pay off their debt, and so keep this in mind as you move forward into step 5.
Step 5: Decide how to sell the home
Once you’ve been given authority to sell the home, it’s time to decide how to sell. Generally, you have three options:
- Traditional sale
- Sell to a cash buyer
Selling by auction is generally only a good option if the home is in serious disrepair and you simply want to get it off of your hands as soon as possible.
A traditional sale would mean you need to stage the home, find a realtor to work with, and put the home on the open market. This can be a good option if the home is in excellent condition (and doesn’t need much in the way of updating), you’re going to be ready to sell in spring or summer, you’re not in a rush to sell, and you know the home will sell easily.
Sell to a cash buyer
Selling to a cash buyer, often in the form of a cash buying company, is by far the easiest and fastest way to sell a home. With this method, you can contact a cash buying company like ours and they’ll come out to view the home and assess the general condition. This is not an in-depth inspection, but much closer to what an appraiser would do.
Once they’ve inspected the home, they’ll offer you a cash offer for you to accept or reject. If you accept, the sale will move forward as normal, often completing in as little as 7-14 days. If you reject, you can continue on to sell or keep the home as you prefer, with no strings attached.
This is also a good option if you find the process stressful and want to be free to move on with your life quickly, or if the timing of the sale is not good (i.e., in December – February when the market is generally slow and you don’t want to be stuck paying for the property for months to come.
Once you’ve decided how to sell the home, talk to the right professionals to help you move forward and get the home sold.
Sell a Home Fast in Massachusetts
If you’re looking to sell an inherited home quickly in Massachusetts, we’re here to help. We cash-buy homes fast in as-is condition, ensuring you can move on with your life quickly, offload the responsibility of paying for two properties, or have the cash to pay off your loved one’s debts.
Whatever the reason for the sale, we’ll come to inspect the property, give you a no-strings cash offer, and you can accept or reject as you see fit. If you accept, you’ll have the cash in just days or weeks, rather than weeks or months as is so common when you sell a home on the open market. Learn how we buy houses by clicking here.