Inherited a House? Why a Real Estate Agent is Your Best Resource

The death of a loved one is enough of a challenge all by itself. But add an inherited home to the mix, and things can become overwhelming – fast. In addition to squabbles between heirs, attachments to a variety of “things” that may have been left behind, and emotions running on high, there can also be miles of red tape to navigate. So what’s the smartest first move?

You might be surprised that an experienced real estate agent is the best person to help you navigate those tricky waters. Between coordinating estate sales and preparing the home for sale, here’s why a real estate agent is one of your best resources and should be among one of your first calls. 

All the Right Connections

An experienced agent can help from the get-go, advising you in a multitude of decisions. Between estate planners and liquidators, cleaning crews, haulers, landscapers, general contractors, stagers, and other professional services, a good agent has the right connections to an entire network. Beyond that, they can also act as a project manager. During this particularly challenging time, having someone you trust – who isn’t emotionally involved in the decision making process – can make the process so much easier.  

Quick Tips

  • You can avoid much of the legal woes that come with the sale of a deceased parent’s home with a will or living trust. When a loved one dies without one, the process to sell can become especially long.
  • Be ready to spend money to maintain the home while it’s being prepared for sale or until a legal decision comes through. Failing to properly maintain things like plumbing can have big consequences.
  • Get a clear understanding about price. Your agent isn’t just a valuable resource for her connections. She can also run a market analysis and bring in a licensed appraiser so that all involved parties know the numbers.
  • As the executor, make sure to keep other family members in the loop. Emotions can be volatile during these situations, and money often brings out the worst in people.

The Bottom Line

The most effective thing you can do should you inherit a loved one’s home is likely the hardest – strip it of emotion and do your best to view it purely as a business transaction. Turn to your agent for guidance on decisions like cosmetic upgrades, staging, and other improvements. This likely isn’t the best time for large-scale renovations – there’s just too much going on – so knowing what can and should be done (and what you don’t have to do) to get the highest dollar amount is where a good agent really shines.  Great agents have done this before and know how overwhelming it can be. They know how to make the process go as smoothly as possible during these challenging times.

Questions? Comments? In this exact situation here in the Bay Area? Let me help.

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