Selling a property after a death in the family can be difficult for many reasons. Whoever has been named executor of the deceaseds will is forced to sort through the home of someone who was very dear to them, whilst also dealing with the many complications that come with selling a property.
To help simplify the process, weve outlined the five key stages required to sell a property after a death.
1. PROTECT THE PROPERTY
First, you must ensure that the house or property that has been left by the deceased is not easily accessible to any unauthorised people, as they may have left keys with others like neighbours, friends, tradesmen, or cleaners. Changing the locks and altering any alarm systems is the best way to secure the property and control access.
2. APPLY FOR A GRANT OF PROBATE
To apply for a grant of probate, youll need to assess the size of the estate, determine the value of the property, and find out whether it is liable for inheritance tax or not. Once you have all this information to hand, you can move forward with your application.
When applying for probate, youll need to complete a probate application form (PA1), which can be found online, then send it off to your local probate registry, where youll also have to swear an oath.
Youll also need to complete an inheritance tax form.
3. PAY OFF ANY DEBTS
Once your grant of probate has been issued, you should contact any organisations that hold the deed to the deceased persons assets (for example, their mortgage lender or bank). These organisations will release any assets that belonged to the deceased, so that you can transfer them into an executorship account.
As an executor, you have a legal responsibility to pay off any debts or outstanding payments before being able to sell the property as detailed in the persons will.
4. CHECK THE PROPERTY FOR VALUABLES
Before putting a property up for sale, its sensible to check for any hidden valuables, or items that were not included within the will, that can be shared between friends and family.
Start at one end of the house and work your way from room to room, conducting a thorough search. Dont forget to look in areas outside the main house, such as a garage, annex, or any vehicles.
5. SELL THE HOME
The sale of a probate property is the same as the sale of a normal property. Arrange for two-to-three estate agents to provide you with a valuation for the property, and carry out your own research into the local housing market, to help you decide how much to value the property at.
If no one will be living in the property while it is on the market, ensure that the house doesnt feel too damp or empty, when people are viewing it by occasionally turning on the heating, regularly cleaning the house and adding flowers or plants.
If you need to sell the property quickly for whatever reason, you can opt to sell the property through a private home-buying company. At We Buy Any Home, for example, we can provide an initial offer within 24 hours, aiming to complete a house sale in seven days.