Working With an Estate

When a homeowner dies, the home changes hands. It could pass to a surviving spouse or child whose name is on the deed, or be bequeathed to the family as part of the homeowner’s estate. Often, the family wants to sell the home. 

If you are working with an estate to sell property, keep these things in mind:

Talk to the Executor

The deceased homeowner’s will should have named an executor. Only that person can make financial decisions for the estate, including setting the asking price.

If No Will …

If the homeowner died without a will, the estate may go to probate court. The purpose of court involvement is to protect the rights of the family, those entitled to receive property, and the creditors of the deceased person’s estate, according to the Texas Bar Association. State law governs who inherits what if the estate has no will.

Bills to Pay?

The estate is required to pay outstanding debts. The executor must make sure the estate has enough money to cover them. Texas is one of nine community property states, meaning relatives may be required to pay off the deceased person’s debt. Make sure there is nothing preventing the sale of the property.

Be Sensitive

Your client has lost an important person. It is stressful to handle paperwork and make decisions while mourning. Be understanding and sympathetic.

Source: Texas REALTORS®