Handle the legal property ownership issues before trying to sell my home fast after the death of a parent or spouse.
In the days and weeks following the loss of a loved one, you may need to make numerous decisions about property and finances. Although it's probably not something you want to consider, you might need to ask yourself, "How can I sell my home fast after the death of a loved one?" Putting a home on the market when it was left to you in an estate or when you are the surviving spouse comes with legal and emotional considerations that aren't involved in most real estate transactions.
Who owns the house?
Ownership is the first thing to consider when asking "Can I sell my home fast after a death in the family?" If you were the sole co-owner of the property before the death of your loved one, you can't simply assume that you are now the only owner. Property distribution falls under state and local laws, and the deceased person's will. If the deceased owned the house by himself or herself, ownership may pass to an organization, a group of heirs or a single person. All owners need to agree about selling the property.
Dealing with liens
Homes that are not fully paid off can make transfers more difficult. Before you can begin asking experts, you'll need to file appropriate paperwork transferring control of the property and loan account. Documents you might need include:
- A death certificate
- Mortgage statements
- A will or trust showing you are the executor or new property holder
Sometimes individuals add optional insurance to large loans, so find out if the mortgage is covered by a special life insurance plan. In such cases, the life insurance would pay off the mortgage, which leaves you with the ability to sell the property at a flexible price. If there isn't a life insurance policy that will cover the amount owed, beneficiaries may be forced to list the home at a firm price. Depending on the state of the market, the area could be flooded with homes for sale, making it difficult for you to sell the property quickly. You may want to consider renting the home if you need income to pay the mortgage while you try to sell the property.
Compassion for grief and memories
The home may be filled with items that spark memories. Even if you aren't emotionally attached to the property or the items within it, someone else may be. Before you throw everything out or host a bottom-price yard sale, allow close friends and family members to request mementos. You can alleviate future family feuds by being emotionally responsible during a time of grief.
A good realtor can also help you market the home. Use RealtyNow to find expert realtors in your area who can help you answer the question, "How do I sell my home fast after a death in the family?"