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3 things to consider when selling a house in probate

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If you’ve found yourself in the sometimes difficult position of having to manage the sale of a house during probate then you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure of where to start. Factor into this that often the person who owned the house was a close relative, whose death you are inevitably grieving, and it’s a lot to deal with.

To help you out during this time, we’ve come up with three of the most important things you’ll need to consider. Call in other family members for opinions and talk through each of these points and you should come away with a much clearer idea of where your priorities lie and what the best next steps will be.

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How quickly do you need the sale?

Probate can be a lengthy process and so of course, selling a house in probate can take time. There may be things you can do to speed up the process, so one of the first things to think about is how quickly you need the sale to go through.

If you’re waiting on the proceeds of the sale to buy your own home or to pay for things with a deadline like school fees, then a quick sale might be more important and you may need to reduce the price or use a company that will buy the property from you quickly and at a guaranteed price. If however, you’re not in any particular rush, you might prefer to spend a little bit of time and money cleaning and modernizing the property and you won’t feel under pressure to accept lower offers.

How much money do you need from the sale?

This point normally goes hand in hand with the question of timescales and if often a balancing act – if you need the money quickly, that can mean a compromise on price, whereas if you aren’t under any time pressures you can afford to wait for a better offer.

There may not be a clear black-and-white answer here, it will be a question of weighing up the pros and cons and deciding where you fall on the time versus price spectrum.

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Is it worth investing in modernization?

If your relative has lived in their home for a long time then there may well be some work to be done to bring it up to modern standards, so one important question is whether you choose to do this work yourself or market the home as a project. This will be a very individual decision and depend on your availability and skills. If you’re a builder by trade, for example, you may be able to increase the value of the property with minimal effort.

This question may require a little research into the local property market and it might be sensible to take advice from local realtors who will have more of an insight into what the appetite is for renovation projects versus homes that people can move straight into.

We hope that these questions act as a useful starting point for discussion and help you in the decision-making process. Good luck!

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