Most people fall into the same category. They want to save or make every nickel they can when it’s time to sell a house. I know that very well because my family, friends, as well as strangers who become my clients, look for various ways to cut corners to save money.
Person A: A friend was thinking about selling her house and asked me, casually, what did I think it would bring. I ran some numbers for her and gave her a ballpark price. Then for several weeks she and I batted the price around while she tried to figure out whether to stay or move. One evening she called me over to have a drink and she said, “I’ve decided to list my house with Donna and I wanted to tell you up front why I am doing so. I want to list it much higher than you think it will sell for. And I want to be able to call my agent and hound her about why it hasn’t sold yet. I don’t want to do that to you.
“You are a dear friend and I want to keep you as my friend. When we go out for dinner or drinks, I know your stomach will be in knots as we talk about why it hasn’t sold. I want to enjoy the evening and neither of us will because my house hasn’t sold.”
Well, she was right. So, I had another drink on her and we parted as friends. It was one of the nicest things I’d ever had a friend say to me. She listed the house way over what I would have been comfortable doing and it sat there. When we went to dinner, she would talk to everyone in the place telling them her house was for sale. And I sat quietly, nursed my drink and smiled because my stomach wasn’t torn up. Eventually, unexpectedly, several months later I moved away. Her house was still for sale.
The odds are that when you price your house way high in a market that is not appreciating rapidly, it won’t sell at that price, because the market will not catch up to it. Nor will it sell later at the price you should have listed it for initially because now it is “shop worn” just as a piece of clothing becomes after hanging on the racks too long. Seller’s end up losing money because they don’t understand the market. There are lots of nuances. That’s why you need an experienced pro.
Probate Navigators is pioneering to change the way Sellers are represented by Realtors. In today’s world, people are far busier than they used to be and when there is a death in the family, well . . . it is never at a good time.
There are two significant parts to settling an estate:
1. Filing the will and creating the estate, usually with an attorney’s help
- Entering the will in Probate Court
- Determining the Personal Representative
- Valuing the estate
- Appraising the assets with a licensed appraiser
- Disposing of assets as directed by the decedent’s will
2. If selling the house and contents, usually with a Realtor’s help
- Determining a market price for the house (we will prepare two evaluations of the house, in addition to the appraisal, because you need to know what it will bring “as is” or with some improvements.)
- What to do with those items you do not need.
– Sell them
– Give them away
– Donate larger items to charity
– Garage sales
- Learn about what you are selling
– Home Inspections
– Termite inspection
– Necessary repairs
– Condition of well & septic (you really do not want surprises here)
- Deep cleaning the house
- How much more could the estate receive if some improvements are made?
– Washing windows
– Repairing rotten wood
– What to do with asbestos in basement?
– Roof condition, leaks?
– Maintain lawn
3. What Probate Navigators will do
- Customize our services to your preferences (not all homes need all services)
– Soup to nuts service
– Al la carte services
- Hire the vendors, supervise them, inspect their work and see they are paid by estate
- Send PR, attorney and any designated heirs regular updates
- Market the home
– Through the MLS
– Virtually, through the internet
– Social networking
– Open Houses, either in person or virtual – as needed
– Sell & Close the home hassle-free
1. Zoom meetings to discuss offers
2. Electronic signing of contract
3. If you cannot be at closing, arrange out-of-town or early signing
Settling through the Probate Court will usually take a minimum of six months. During that time most of your efforts will be directed toward your estate attorney and handling the myriad of details that entails. Probate Navigators would like to use that time to be working for you behind the scenes at the house, getting it ready to sell.
In the past when most PRs have asked a Realtor for help at the beginning of the process, the agent has no knowledge of what is involved and will often say, “Happy to help you. Just call me when you are ready to put the house on the market.” By that time the PR is so exhausted from the legal work and finding someone to help clean the house, to help remove things from the house, to help with this or that that when they finally call their agent, they say, “sell it as is. I’m too tired to do anything else.” And thus they lose the opportunity to sell the estate’s biggest item of value for top dollar.
We want to help you get that top dollar. We are prepared to help you from the beginning of the process. We are prepared to wait until closing on the sale of the house to be paid through our commission. And by the way, HELP YOU is our primary goal.
As trained Realtors with more than 90 years of combined experience in selling real estate there are many things we have learned over the years. One is, we are a resource to our clients. Probate Navigators wants to put that knowledge to work for you.
We can streamline the selling process so that you save time and energy…while netting more money for the estate. We have a new concept in real estate sales; we call it our concierge service. You know you will be selling the house but that can wait, you think. It takes six months to go through probate in Maryland, and while your attorney helps you, experience shows that at the end of that time when the PR looks at the house with the contents he no longer wants, the repairs and “fluffing” the house needs, you, like many other people, may throw up your hands in dismay and exhaustion and say, “Get this off
my hands! Sell it as is, I’m not doing anything more here. I need to get on with my life!” Big mistake.
“As is” sales are wholesale giveaways.
The real property is probably the estate’s greatest asset. Our concierge service can start from the beginning or the end of the process, whichever you prefer. We will handle as much or as little of the load for you as you wish. How?
Let us help you make more money for the estate than an “as is” sale will bring. We will work with you to do some of the obvious repairs, fixups, disposal of furniture and personal items no longer needed. As you begin to wonder where to start, who is there to help with this or that, we already know who to deal with, who is trustworthy, which person you can count on. More importantly, we will be there to get the estimates, oversee the work you have approved, stay within the budget you agreed to, inspect the results and see that the estate, not you, pays the bills on time . . . While you are home living your life.
And, we can net you more than if you try doing it alone. Before you give away the estate’s greatest asset, at least touch base with us to learn how we can help you improve the bottom line with very little effort on your part. We are low-pressure people working to improve our client’s returns. Touch base with us today to learn what we can do for you.
No one wants to spend another nickel on a home when they have decided to sell it. So, when it comes to a parents’ home that has that “grown-old-with-the-occupant look, many heirs do not want to fool around with it. And, they end up selling it “as is” at a price much less than they would have gotten if they spent a little money on it.
First thing: If the estate has any money: it pays for the work, not the Personal Representative. Or, worst case is: the estate reimburses the Personal Representative for money spent in getting the house ready to sell.
Second thing: Sellers should know what they are selling. Is the property in good condition? Or, are there problems waiting to show up after it goes to contract? Case in point: The “As Is” house is sold at a wholesale price because the seller is saying, “I don’t know what, if anything, needs to be repaired or replaced, you take the risk Mr. Buyer.” Then the buyer does an inspection and discovers a significant issue. He either walks away from the house and gets his deposit returned and the seller loses time. And time is money. OR, the buyer comes back to the seller and says “I need a price adjustment because of this and this.” The seller capitulates. There’s no bargaining room.
If the seller has inspectors identify the problems in the house, i.e, the furnace is kaput, the fireplace has missing bricks and is unsafe, the water heater is ancient or the roof leaks, at the minimum he should identify the cost of replacement or repair to be prepared for a buyer’s “ballpark estimates that are wrong.” More importantly, he can repair significant issues and leave the cosmetic items to the buyer. If the house is now solid, and the property can be marketed that way, the price can also be higher, and the seller is ahead. Then, if he adds some paint and judicious updating, he can get much more than the cost of the inspections and repairs. Money well spent.
BUT what about the time and effort that goes into having the inspections and getting the work completed? Suppose you didn’t have to do that work? You are busy with the attorney doing all the necessary paperwork. By the time the legal work is completed, past experiences show, there’s no time or energy left to work on the house. That’s where Probate Navigators comes to the rescue! We can have our trusted vendors give you estimates on the repairs and the selective updating, if any, to be done. We meet them at the house, show them what needs to be done. Then we review their estimates with you, and with your approval, oversee the work, keep to the agreed upon budget and when
completed, submit the bills to be paid by the estate. While you relax at home.
If you could get more for the house without the effort, would it be worth a little of your time to discuss how Probate Navigators can help you? Of course, it would. Give us a call today or drop us a text or email. We’re here to help you.