How Long Does an Executor Have to Sell a House?

If you’ve been appointed the executor of an estate, one of your jobs is to sell the home of the deceased. To do this, you must first file the will in probate court, and each state has its own rules regarding the deadline to file. You will most likely need to consult an estate attorney to help you with the process.

 

How Long Do You Have to Sell an Inherited Home?

When a loved one passes away, there are countless items that need to be addressed and dealt with. Selling their home and belongings might be the farthest thing from your mind, but it does need to be dealt with at some point. Granted, you are not obligated to sell the home right away, so don’t feel like you have to rush straight to probate court.

Each state has its own laws surrounding probate timelines and must be adhered to. The process of submitting the will and distributing assets can take anywhere from weeks to years, depending on the state and other conditions.

It’s important to check with your state’s probate laws to find out exactly how much time you have. It’s always best to file as soon as possible to make sure you are covered. Otherwise, other beneficiaries could contest your role as executor of the estate and you could be held liable if beneficiaries are financially harmed by your resistance.

Understanding Your Role as the Executor

As the executor, it’s your job to handle and manage all of the deceased person’s assets, including any real estate. But even if a loved one has named you as the executor in the will, you’re not authorized to proceed with a real estate sale until the will goes through probate.

As the executor, you are required to submit the will to probate court. If there is no will, assets will pass through intestate succession. The probate court’s first priority is to determine the validity of the will so that the executor can proceed with settling the estate.

To start a real estate transaction, you’ll first need to contact the IRS to have the property released from probate. While the property is in probate, you are unable to list the home for sale or proceed with any transaction.

Getting Ready To Sell The Property

Many times, you will have to get the property ready to sell. For example, you may need to make minor repairs to the home, keep the grass cut, and give the home a deep cleaning. You may also need to rent a dumpster to clean out any excess clutter or debris that was stored in the home.

You should also use this time to make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork you need for selling the home. This includes the property’s deed, proof of homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes. If necessary, you will need to pay the property taxes to avoid penalties or issues with the transaction.

Also, you should contact the homeowner’s insurance company to let them know the home is no longer occupied by the tenant. Some insurance companies advise you to increase coverage in case something happens to the home before you can sell it.

Finally, before you sell a home as the executor, you must come to an agreement with any other beneficiaries. For example, if the home is to be split between three beneficiaries, all three must decide to sell the home. Once you gain approval, you are free to proceed with selling the home.

Take Control of the Property

Executors should take control of the property as soon as possible for many reasons. First, you want to ensure the property is well taken care of, especially if the home will be unoccupied for a period of time. It’s a good idea to change the locks and reroute the mail delivery to reduce the potential of tampering.

This also gives you a chance to collect the necessary documents related to the estate so you can pay off final debts (e.g. property taxes, bills for the home, etc.).

Ideally, you will either clear out everything in the home or have it professionally staged for viewing. At the minimum, you should remove any personal belongings that might hinder the sale of the home. If there are other beneficiaries in the will, you should set aside the items you remove so that they can be dealt with later.

Are You Ready to Sell an Inherited Property?

Undoubtedly, dealing with selling a deceased family member’s home can be very stressful during an already difficult time. Of course, you don’t have to go through the process yourself.

If you’re selling an inherited home, Property Buyer Connect can help. We will buy the property directly from you, as-is. Call us today at 215-770-3122 or send us a message so we can discuss your inherited New Jersey property.