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When should an executor sell the house of a decedent?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2024 | Estate Administration |

If a loved one dies, it is possible you will administer the estate of your deceased relative as executor. This role comes with the responsibility of carrying out the wishes in the will, which often include liquidating assets such as real estate.

Administering an estate means meeting different timelines. Naturally, you might wonder if a deadline also exists to sell the house of your family member if selling the home is part of the will.

Timelines can vary

There is no universal timeline dictating when an executor must liquidate a property in probate. The sale must occur before probate closes, but that timeframe varies widely. Probate can take anywhere from two months to over a year. The court overseeing the estate will ultimately set a closure date for probate. It is your duty as executor to sell the home before this date.

Influences on sale timeline

Several factors determine how long it will be until you sell the home. Probate itself may drag out due to will contests or any issues related to the complexity of the estate. These events can add weeks or months before you can sell the property. You should also tend to any outstanding debts and taxes involving the home and properly maintain the property so it does not lose value.

Your exact role in the inheritance could also affect the timeline. If you inherit the home as an individual, you can sell on your desired timeline if you do not wish to keep the property. However, if the will requires selling the home and distributing proceeds, you should prepare the property for sale as soon as you can.

The time for an executor to find a buyer for a house depends heavily on the specifics of the case. A thorough review of the will, an understanding of all necessary court filings and consultation with beneficiaries should provide as complete a picture as possible.