Preparing A Deceased Estate Property For Sale

The executor of a will can be a challenging and uncomfortable job for families, especially during the grieving process. It’s an executor’s responsibility to wrap up the personal, financial, and legal affairs of the person who has passed. This is usually a spouse or family member. One of the most important parts of settling their affairs is selling the property. 

If you’re named as an executor of an estate for the first time, there’s plenty of information available to help you during this trying period. Most executors don’t have experience, so the literature is geared towards clarifying the process for families just like yours. 

Common questions about executor of will duties 

You’re responsible for overseeing the selling of the deceased estate and probably have dozens of questions popping into your mind from the start. It’s normal to be wondering about how it might affect your relationships, taxes, and mobility. 

Executors will receive a commission on the house sale, which is usually 1-2% of the value of the asset. A maximum allowance of commission is 5% of the gross estate. For executors who live outside of Australia, you can appoint someone in the country to administer the estate. This is most commonly a solicitor.  

It’s important to speak with a financial advisor because this might attract additional tax. While all assets passed down to family members (including executors) in Australia are tax-free, there are precautions to take from a tax and superannuation standpoint. 

An executor cannot change or override the will. In the extremely unfortunate situation of the executor also passing away, another person can apply to be the estate’s administrator. This is usually granted to the beneficiary with the largest interest in the estate. 

In some cases, the responsibility can pass to someone unknown to the will maker. If time permits, families can update a will with a backup executor. Wills can include joint executors, so long as they all act in unity. If one executor fails to act, the other can’t proceed. 

Getting the home ready for market  

The process of selling a deceased estate is much the same as any other property put on the market. For any costs involved in selling the estate, part of the executor’s responsibilities is to obtain multiple quotes. This includes agents, building inspectors, and contractors for maintenance and repair work. 

It’s the executor’s responsibility to prepare the house for sale and keep all beneficiaries informed. Most deceased estates are sold by auction, as it’s the quickest, most transparent way. The asking price must be in line with market value. 

Regarding getting the property ready for the agent, executors might not have as much time as the standard seller. Take out all the belongings, prioritise any repairs and maintenance work, steam clean carpets and high-pressure clean the exterior areas. Replace old tapware, doorknobs, handles, and fittings then, finally, engage a professional interior stylist to present the property well to potential buyers. 

Whether your family’s loss was sudden or otherwise, as the executor you’re thrust into an important role even though you’re also grieving. Be patient with yourself, reach out for and accept support, and remember it’s an honour to be entrusted with executing a will.  

We help with the hard part. Finding your agent. 

Agent Select is a free, independent service that helps homeowners select the best performing real estate agent and negotiate the most desirable terms to sell their property, anywhere in Australia. 

Agent Select activates our sophisticated algorithm to find 2-3 top agents and coordinates the appraisal process. Rather than inundating you with dozens of calls from agents, like comparative websites can, we provide you with all the information you need to make an informed and empowered decision… with the complete freedom to appoint your agent of choice. 

Contact us today on 1300 040 463. Your family, the estate and its wonderful legacy will be in good hands.

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