Estate Sales: What You Need to Know

Estate Sales: What You Need to Know

Whether a residence has been bequeathed to you or you intend to purchase a property in an estate sale, there are probably a few points you would like explained.

Inheriting a house can be very emotional and confusing as to how to settle the estate. Equally, if you are the buyer of such a property, you may have questions.  

This article should help shed some light on the matter!

Are You the Only Heir or Are There Many Legatees?

If you are the sole inheritor, then the process will be far more straightforward. You will be the only party making decisions and won’t have to divvy up the proceeds of the sale in any way.

However, if the property was bequeathed to a group of heirs, a consensus will have to be reached. Is the residence to be kept or sold? Issues typically arise when one person in the group wishes to hold on to the house. In this case, portioning the estate to the satisfaction of all involved is more complex.

There is one advantage to this situation: you can avoid the hassle of putting the home on the market. Plus, you can reconnect with cherished memories anytime you want simply by visiting.  


With or Without a Real Estate Agent?

If you have decided to sell the inherited property—the most common scenario—it will be far easier for you to do so with a real estate agent. This reduces the potential for conflict between the parties.

Indeed, without an agent, who will oversee viewings and negotiate the final price? If one of the legatees is mandated to carry out this task, will they ask to be compensated, and if yes, how much? Hiring a real estate profession can avoid many a misunderstanding and much frustration!


But What About When You Want to Acquire Such a Property?

If you are a buyer looking to purchase a home in an estate sale, be aware that the property will be sold without a legal warranty of quality. This is because the initial owner is deceased and no longer able to confirm or deny certain facts about residence. This type of acquisition does entail a certain level of risk (especially as the declaration by the seller will no doubt be incomplete).

For this reason, and because the sellers are usually in a hurry to get the property off their hands, it is normal for the house to be listed below market price. This is a good opportunity for you, and you should grasp it.

Nevertheless, occasionally, an inherited property is found to not have been renovated, or even maintained, for several years. If this is the case, before submitting an offer to purchase, review your budget to include any future work needed.

Pitfalls to Avoid

First, if you intend to sell, do not empty the house at the earliest convenience, as tempting as it may be. Many potential buyers prefer viewing a furnished residence. It helps them imagine themselves in the home and how they would use the space. This is also a golden opportunity for you to sell them pieces of furniture or decorative accessories.

Moreover, inheriting such a large asset is no small matter, and you must be 100% prepared. For example, assemble all the important documents required by the notary: death certificate, will, the deceased owner’s deed of sale, and any other papers specified by your agent. You may have to hunt down some of these documents, while others, like the certificate of location, might have to be created from scratch.


Good luck in reaching your decision! If you have any questions, contact a RE/MAX real estate agent.

RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

A leader in the real estate industry since 1982, the RE/MAX network brings together the most efficient brokers.