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Wall paperIf you are in charge of an estate or the trust after somebody passed you may be wondering How to sell an estate home?  Most estate homes are dated.  It's normal that they need work or have not been updated.  It's normal that home owners in their late 50's or 60's buy a new home or update their home.  They have it all the way they want it.  Then for the next 20 or 30 years they live with that beautiful house while around them the styles and decor changes.  Either the men are too cheap and tell the wife it is perfectly fine.  Sometimes the wife doesn't need to change anything.  Or they get too old to take care of simple maintenance or just like the house the way it is.  They have comfort in the same old same old when the get in their 80's or 90's.  To do major upgrades at that age is not an option because of the contractor disarray and getting rid of what a person loves and is used too.

old carpetingMost estate homes are dated.  So what do you do?  Some heirs find solace in fixing up the house and dealing with their grief that way.  Some heirs will do a little work.  Others heirs want to do absolutely nothing.  They are worn out by just cleaning out the house.  What is the best way or the smartest way to sell an estate home?

I would recommend to fix any glaring health, safety, or environmental issue.  Below I have a picture of a bad step.  That really needs to be fixed.  It sometimes is something as simple as fixing a hanging gutter. 

old carpetIt boils down to how much work you want to do, how much time you have, and how much money you want to invest?  So let's start with the easiest way to do it. 

1.) Do nothing.  By doing nothing and the house needs updating, paint, and flooring you will have a fixer upper.  Today's home buyers want move in ready updated homes.  So if you do nothing DO NOT EXPECT TO BE AT THE TOP OF THE SOLD MARKET PRICES.  Fixer uppers usually take longer to sell and sell for LESS. 

2.) Second way of doing things is to the minimum.  I will tell you that one of the easiest and best things to do is paint and repair the flooring to sell an estate home.  A fresh paint job does wonders to help sell your house.  It is the best bang for the dollar invested.  Old carpeting should be replaced with good looking carpet.  It does not have to be the top of the line carpet or the best padding.  You just want to have it look good.  Inexpensive but looks good.

old stepWood floors if damaged should be sanded and re-varnished.  Old kitchen linoleum can be covered with inexpensive peel and stick tiles.  Remember the rule....make it look good, but do it inexpensively.  Also try to stay with neutral colors, light beiges, light yellows, or light greys.  Stay away from blue and green paint, carpeting, or tile.

3.)  The third way of doing things is going all out.  If you are a do it yourselfer, a contractor, and have time you may consider redoing the house from top to bottom.  If you have to pay contractors then it probably be a wash on what you invest and the increased price you get.  However if you have friends, family, or very inexpensive contractors you will come out ahead.

Sometimes simple fixes like putting granite over good cabinets is smart.  Or replacing an old formica vanity with a new vanity or furniture type vanity can make the bathroom look better.  If the tile is good having the bathtub re-glazed is a easy fix.  You do not need the best cabinets made.  Do not spend time fixing up basements or garages.  

It is all about you and the other heirs.  What do you really want to do and what you want to spend in time and money?                             carpet

Another item I want to touch on is about title.  You will have show you have power to sell the house.   Both the buyer's mortgage company and your title company will require written proof.  The title company will either require probate court approval, copy of the trust documents showing you have the power to sell, or that you are on title already.

If you are considering what you should do or have questions about selling an estate home feel free to call or email me.  I will be glad to walk through the house with you and talk about your options and what you could get for the estate home in different conditions.

Russ Ravary top Commerce realtor