Selling an Estate: Your Role as Representative

Many of us have been in the situation of listing our own home for sale. It’s a lot of work to pre-pack, clean, stage and show your home while your are still living in it. The effort of these tasks multiply when you are the representative for a deceased’s estate. We invite you to listen to this comprehensive video. It will prepare you for this role, and give you the confidence to trust Andrea Pettitt, and her team, to carry some of your burden during a difficult time.

“Hi, I’m Andrea Pettitt, with the Pettitt Group, and we’re going to talk a little bit today about selling an estate property. First of all, when someone passes away and leaves behind an estate to settle that includes real property, that can be some of the most emotionally difficult times in real estate, that someone is involved in a real estate transaction.

Typically, I’m working with a child of whoever has passed, maybe a sibling, an adult child, or a sibling, and that process is heart-wrenching. Often you’re saying goodbye to a family home. It’s the last step in a process of saying goodbye to a loved one. So first of all, I just want to say that if you’re watching this video and you’re going through this process, my heart with you, it’s not an easy process.

The biggest mistake that people make when they’re selling an estate property, and I see this often in our marketplace, is that the house isn’t really prepared for the market. It’s an afterthought. People just want to get it sold, and often in the listing comments there’s a note that it’s an estate property. Which can tip a buyer off in the marketplace, that the sellers are particularly motivated, or that they may be able to have some negotiating power that isn’t in the estate’s best interest.

When we work with an estate property, we want to treat it like any other sale in the marketplace. We go through a process of really getting the home ready for the market and getting it staged and marketed so that the estate can maximize that sale as an asset of the estate. Often it’s the biggest asset in an estate. In settling that process. And we want that to be emphasized and that to be a really important part of the process.

When someone has an estate property to sell, we have a pretty in-depth conversation at the very beginning of the process. There are a lot of considerations. There’s legal paperwork considerations. If there was a trust, we’ll want to have title review that. We want to understand who is in charge of the estate. If it’s a sibling group, we want to establish communication channels that work for everyone, because we want the process to be smooth and peaceful for everyone who’s involved and the last thing we want is for some sort of conflict, or trouble to erupt from the estate process.

We also like to talk about the timeline. There are a lot of timeframes in an estate process that we’ll want to make sure are met, so that the legal business is all buttoned up and taken care of, so that when you come to market, we don’t have any delays in the process for the buyer. We want to make the process as smooth as possible and that involves a lot of early communication.

The timeline for an estate process varies widely. Sometimes it’s a year after someone passes away before the heirs of the estate are really ready to dig in to that real estate process, so that it may take quite a bit of time before someone is ready. And other times last year we were doing title work with a client while they were in hospice care, which is super delicate, but it was important title work that needed to be done and they didn’t expect to be in that situation.

We can be a resource for people to consult, regardless of the stage of the process that people are in. It’s not too early to call and it’s not too much trouble. It’s a time when sometimes you need that outside professional opinion to get you the right resources. Sometimes it’s getting you connected with a great estate attorney if you need that kind of help, or sometimes it is looking at the overall condition of the property and lining up what major repairs do we need to make? What decisions do we have ahead of us? We’re really good at trying to walk hand in hand with our clients in that process and it’s important if you’re selling an estate to work with someone who has that deep experience.

When you’re selling an estate property, you not only have a real estate asset to sell, you also usually have a lot of contents that are coming with the house. Whether your parent, or friend, or family member has been in assisted living for a time and the house has been sitting, or whether they’ve passed suddenly, you may have all kinds of sentimental items or items of value to deal with. And we can help with that we work with some really great estate sales specialists in the Valley and whether you need somebody just to sell a few big items, or someone to come in and take care of everything from start to finish, we have some really great resources in Boise that can help make that process as streamlined and easy as possible for you.

Thank you so much for joining us today to talk a little bit about selling an estate property in Boise. I’m here to help if you have any questions. This is one of the most highly technical, nuanced, layered types of real estate transactions. So whoever you use in the process, let it be somebody who is deeply experienced and can help guide you. Thank you so much for joining us today. I’m Andrea Pettitt with the Pettitt Group.”

Contact the Pettitt Group at Group One Sotheby’s International Realty at (208) 917-3330, or email us at

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