What to Do if You Become a Guardian or Conservator in Massachusetts When Selling a House

If you’re a guardian or conservator over someone, you might have questions when it comes to selling property on their behalf.

A guardian has control over a person’s personal, day-to-day decisions, while a conservatorship gives you authority to control someone’s financial decisions. In some states, a guardian gets appointed with there is a minor child involved, while a conservator applies to an incompetent or incapacitated adult’s care.

A guardian cannot mortgage, sell, lease or encumber any property without a court order. If a sale occurs without the proper authority, the sale will not be valid.

These are the steps that need to get followed when a guardian or conservator sells a house in Massachusetts:

Step 1: Fill out the Application For the Sale of Real Estate

A guardian or conservator needs to apply with the court to get their approval to sell a property. When applying, they will need to state the reason for wanting to sell the home. They can explain why it’s in the person’s or child’s best interest, such as not living in the home or needing more liquidity in the estate to pay for bills. After the petition gets filed, the court will schedule a hearing.

Once the hearing is complete and the court has agreed to the property’s sale, an order will get issued describing the property to get sold. The guardian or conservator will then have up to one year from the date of the order to get the property sold in a private sale.

Step 2: Order of Sale

It’s essential to get the home appraised by two disinterested appraisers before selling the property. The appraisal must get filed with the court, and a purchase agreement can’t get signed at a value less than the appraised value.

The application to sell gets reviewed by the court and will then issue an order giving the guardian or conservator permission to sell the property.

Steps one and two need to get done before a real estate agent can market the property. The guardian or conservator won’t have the authority to sell the property, so any contract they sign can be unenforceable if the court decides not to give the power to sell.

Step 3: File a Report of Sale

After completing steps one and two, the guardian can get started towards closing. Closing and funding don’t occur on the same day, although documents can get signed by all the parties. They will close into escrow, and funding the transaction will only happen once the rest of the steps have been completed.

Once a buyer wants to purchase the property, the conservator or guardian needs to file a Report of Sale with the court. Once it’s submitted to the court, no changes can get made to the Closing Disclosure. This means that all parties involved consent at closing not to prorate based on the funding and only on closing day.

The court will then confirm the sale and get the conservator or guardian to execute and deliver a conservator’s deed for the property’s transfer.

If selling is not an option, a guardian or conservator can ask the court to mortgage or lease the home. Whatever needs to get done, consult with an attorney for specific information.

Step 4: Obtain a Decree Confirming the Sale

The final step is to get the Decree Confirming the Sale. This court order authorizes the property’s sale and gets issued after a waiting period.

The terms of the sale will get outlined in the decree, to which the sale must comply. The waiting period is dependant on the guardian’s or conservator’s timeliness to get all the documents to the judge.

A real estate agent will set realistic expectations for the buyer as the waiting period is up to the court. In larger counties, expect 5 to 10 business days, and in smaller counties, it can take longer.

Have Realistic Expectations

Selling a house while you are a guardian or conservator is different from what people can expect, and you need to be aware of what’s required throughout the process and what role the court plays at each step.

If a buyer has a move-in date, you may experience complications if the sale requires guardianship or conservatorship.

A Licensed and Professional Real Estate Agent Can Help You

Any transaction that involves a guardian or conservator is complex, and it can benefit you if you have a real estate agent to guide you through each step until the transaction is closed.

Our real estate agents are licensed and have extensive knowledge of how to handle each step. They can take care of all the hard work to get a house listed and sold in no time.

If you’d like a free home valuation, call or text us today at 781-309-7085.

If you’d like to skip the traditional home selling process and choose to sell the home for cash to make the whole process run quicker, we will make a no-obligation cash offer. This can be a quick step if you need money fast to pay bills within an estate.

Contact us, and we can help you every step of the way.

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