What to do About Selling a Parent or Sibling Home After They Pass

Selling a home brings to light a lot of responsibility and financial decisions for yourself. There is also an option of renting it for an income stream. If you have never been a landlord this is not a great time to start on your own. Get some help if you are entertaining this thought.

When you have the responsibility of a close relative’s home, the stress can magnify. There are feelings of grief that add to the thought process to the point where it can be overwhelming. In a poll I recently conducted of 100+ people over the age of 50 on what information they would like to learn about in this article this was the number one request:
What do I do if there is a reverse mortgage on the property?

If there is a reverse mortgage on the property, know that you have time to get it sold. The first letter received by the family from the mortgage company after a passing is to try to get it done as quickly as possible. Understand that there are people, who in their grief, can be so overwhelmed that they freeze in their tracks. Talking to a Realtor who specializes in this field is a great asset of information.
As to what to do to get ready to sell there are too many variables to directly answer, so here are some basic ideas:

1. Cleaning out the house to the walls if possible and giving it a fresh paint job with neutral colors is always a good idea. It provides a prospective buyer an idea of it being their home. This is strong in helping the house look its best and is actually inexpensive to do in the grand scheme of things.

2. Make sure the plumbing is free of leaks and that the electrical system is in good order.

3. If the flooring is dated or worn and tattered, then replace again with a nice neutral carpet. If wood floors, then have them professionally cleaned or refinished.

4. The curb appeal is also important. Make sure the outside paint is in good shape and it is not peeling or exposing any bare wood.

5. Make sure the lawn is the best it can be and trees and shrubs are in good shape.

Investing money to “get ready to sell” is not always a good idea. Rarely do you get your money back 100% unless you are doing the equivalent of a flip. Even then, getting a market analysis from a realtor first will help make the decision on how much to spend so you don’t overdo it.


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