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With our ageing population here in Canada, we will likely start to see more and more estate sales in the future. When an estate home is for sale, there are a few key differences to be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at what an estate home sale is and how it may impact you.

What is an estate home?

Most homes are sold by the existing owner, but when a homeowner is deceased, the actual seller is the ‘estate’, who is represented by an estate trustee, or executor. This may be a family member or friend of the deceased, or it could be someone who was hired or appointed to that role. The role of the trustee is to sell the property for ‘fair market price’, even if there are family members or friends who are interested in buying the home for much less.In other words, don’t expect an estate sale to have rock bottom prices.

It’s all about the timing

Here’s where things can get tricky with an estate home sale. Basically, there must be official permission granted to an executor to manage the estate, which is called Letters of Administration (With or Without a Will). This is still informally called by its old name that you may have heard, “Probate”. What this means is that it can take weeks and months longer for the Will to be read and the paperwork finalized in order to sell the home. For anyone in a hurry to purchase, or who needs a specific closing date, this can be problematic.

Further, there are two typical scenarios that buyers can expect. The first is that the children or beneficiaries are eager to sell; they’ve likely been covering the home maintenance and costs such as utilities, taxes and mortgage payments, and they are ready to move forward. The second scenario is that they are not very motivated to sell, whether it’s because they are attached to the home, they want to look at alternatives to keep it in the family, or simply because it’s an emotional time for them.

Whatever the situation, it’s important to recognize that an estate sale may play out differently from a traditional home sale, so be sure to seek the guidance of your Realtor® during the process if you aren’t sure how it works.

Negotiating an estate sale

Most homes that are on the market have been carefully staged and they look fabulous, but don’t expect this at an estate sale. You may be surprised to see the home was left in ‘as is’ condition and may be in need of repair, but it could also be a total gem that’s perfect for you! Most sellers will recognize if a home is need of upgrades and repairs and it will show in the lower list price…but in a hot market, the competition can get intense and it’s anyone’s guess what the final purchase price might be.

Finally, if you are putting in an offer on an estate sale, a home inspection is even more important than ever as there may be costly repairs or upgrades needed. Your Realtor® will walk you through this step and explain how it may impact negotiations.

An estate home sale can be a perfect opportunity to break into the housing market or find that perfect home in your favourite neighbourhood. Additionally, if you are an executor or trustee in charge of selling an estate home, you’ll want someone on your side who can help you through this process. That’s where we come in! At Clairwood Real Estate, our team of experienced Realtors® knows the intricacies of estate sales and are here to help you every step of the way. Connect with our trusted team today at 705-445-7085, we’re here for you.