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What to do first


What to Do First

As the executor for an estate, you’ll complete many tasks under the supervision of the probate court.  Probably the largest and most important task will be selling the house. When preparing to sell the house there are many important factors to take into consideration:

Is the house empty of personal property?  If not, you’ll want to get the court’s permission to distribute items as per the will.  When specific provision is made in the will in regard to personal property, many families will choose to meet at the property and divide the items as they see fit.  Other times an estate sale is held, all of the personal property is sold and the proceeds are deposited into the estate’s account to be distributed later per the will.  Either way, you’ll want everything gone before listing the property for sale.

Are the utilities on?  It’s almost impossible to sell a property if the utilities are off.  Since the property will likely be vacant, you can avoid any chance of a plumbing leak by turning the water on to the property, but shutting it off right before it enters the house.  This way, if there is a leak, it won’t cause damage to the house while it’s vacant.

Do you have someone to maintain the yard or property while the house is still held by the estate before the new owner takes possession?  If you’re not in a position to do this yourself, I can refer you to a local vendor who can arrange to mow the grass if necessary.

Most estate properties are sold in their “as is condition” with no repairs made, but occasionally making a few small repairs results in a property selling for a much higher price in a shorter period of time.   If you’re not sure whether to sell the house “as is” or with repairs, I’d be happy to visit the property, perform a quick visual inspection, and give you my professional opinion.  Of course this service would be free of charge or obligation.

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