When the seller is an estate…
Yesterday I closed a listing of mine in Jamesburg that was an estate sale. That is, the legal owner of the property had died and the house was part of his estate. The executrix of the estate, who was effectively my client, was the owner’s sister. I once read somewhere that being the executor or executrix of someone’s estate is one of the most stressful things you can do, especially if there is real property to be disposed of. The role demands a lot of responsibility; there are typically creditors who need to be paid and heirs who need to be satisfied everything is being done as fairly and quickly as possible. It can be a challenging time for families.
Estate sales offer opportunities for willing buyers
For buyers, an estate sale can offer opportunities. Most homes sold in estate sales are sold in “as is” condition, because the seller is deceased, the home is usually unoccupied, and there is no one in a position to supervise any repairs. In addition, because the property is typically vacant, sellers generally want to sell it as fast as possible and may take a lower price for a quick closing.
Remember the house is costing the sellers (i.e. the heirs) money every month. Even if there is no mortgage on the home, the estate must still keep up with the property taxes, homeowners’ insurance and utility bills until closing. If there’s still a mortgage to be paid, there’s even more urgency to sell. Therefore, buyers who are okay buying a house that needs some work (knowing they will have to do that work themselves) and are able to settle quickly can get a bargain by buying an estate sale.
We were very lucky with this deal in that it sold to the first buyer who saw it on the first day it was on the market, and we got almost 95% of our asking price. Well, we were lucky and it was priced right and it showed well.