Estate Sales - It's Different

Pretend this is you... suddenly you're alone and responsible for administering the estate and selling the house in your loved one's estate.  You've not done this before - it's not something that you've trained for.  Who would?  So, now you have grief coupled with responsibility.  You think, where do I begin?  Who can help?  Who has done this for other people?  You know that you need someone with experience.  I'm just like you.  When I'm faced with unusual, unexpected or hard challenges, I reach out to those with experience to help me.  But both you and I probably want more than that.  Whether we say it or not, we want someone with empathy - someone who can identify with us - someone who talks like a human being and doesn't treat us like a number.  That's one of the reasons that I love to work with family members in trust and estate matterrs.  I get in and I'm experienced and trained in it.  Other realtors often refer me their estate business.  But, all that matters for nothing if I don't care for the real needs of my client.  An estate trustee, heir or beneficiary has enough going on without wondering whether the property that they need to sell is being handled by an experienced professional.  If I'm going to surgery, I don't want to go to someone that just got out of medical school or doing their first procedure.

So, how does experience count in estate sales?  Well, they are different.  Over the last few years I've handled issues like property management while the property is being prepared for sale, sometimes contentious tenants (even some related parties who won't leave the house intended to be sold), estate bidding that far exceeded our expectations and out of state trustees who relied on me to be their ears and eyes here in the Sacramento area.

There's more to estate sales that cleaning out a home and readying it for sale.  Homes contain rich and moving memories of family life.  This must be respected.  Family members need to decide how heirlooms and personal property is to be distributed.  This process may take patience as we deal with family emotions and memories.

If you find yourself with the unexpected responsibility of selling your loved one's home or real estate properties, you will want someone who is experienced, trusted and respectful in accomplishing what needs to be done.  Should you desire further information on how the process is conducted, please contact me at 916.591.1376.

 The Title Company's Role

Each transaction in a probate or estate/trustee sale will have different requirements, but here the most needed in Escrow:

  1. If there is a loan to be paid off on the property, the mortgage lender name, loan account number and social security number associated with the loan.  If a reverse mortgage company is involved or if a loan is in default, the payoff demand may take weeks to receive.
  2. Social Security numbers for all parties (even if deceased) to clear possible liens with persons of same or similar names.  The title company will run names for IRS, State, Child Support, etc. -- these are done securely and will not reflect on the preliminary title report unless absolutely sure they are same party for security reasons.
  3. If vesting in a Trust, the sale proceeds must be payable to the Trust name only.  A bank account should be previously set up for this purpose.
  4. Trust Tax ID number
  5. Original Death Certificate
  6. Do not throw out any paperwork from the past... sometimes there are old loans that have not been cleared on county records.
  7. A Power of Attorney CANNOT be used to sign on behalf of a Trust for selling the home.  The Trust must be set up to indicate who can sign if there is a death or the Trustor is incapacitated.
  8. Court certified/stamped Order for a probate sale is needed to record sale.
  9. We, at times, find a property that heirs thought was included in the trust, but never recorded with the county.  Attorney can approach the courts to obtain a Hegestead Court Order to transfer from the individual to the Trust.  This takes time and should be done before Escrow is opened.

Again, each transaction is different, so it is best to obtain a title search as soon as possible.

When A Reverse Mortgage is Involved