Selling a home can be an ordeal at any stage of life.
Selling a home is no small task.
It involves cleaning, repairs, and moving your things from the space.
According to a recent The Washington Post article titled “With proper planning, selling a parent’s house can be a relatively painless process,” the process can be further complicated.
You could be selling home on behalf of a deceased loved one.
In addition to the normal activities associated with putting a home on the market, you will be in a state of grief.
Can the process be simplified?
If your parents have not yet died, encourage them to get their estate planning affairs in order.
Including their home in the planning sooner rather than later will make the process proceed more smoothly.
If each of your parents do not have a last will and testament, they should begin there.
Understand money will need to be spent in the process of selling the house.
There will be minor repairs and property maintenance.
After your parents die, you should promptly make sure the property is secure.
This involves changing the locks.
By doing so, you will protect the property from both vandalism and theft.
And not all thieves are "strangers," if you know what I mean.
You should have the property valued and appraised by a professional.
Before the house goes on the market, all personal belongings should be removed.
Remember homes just sell better when well presented.
Landscaping and staging should reflect the livability of the home.
"Curb appeal" is real.
Selling a home is a process and communication is key.
The executor should serve as the point person for updating the family members on the progress of that process.
Taxes should be considered when selling a home.
This includes any inheritance, estate, and income taxes.
To minimize estate taxes, it is often advisable to do so as soon as you receive the rights to the property.
The “step-up” in basis excludes capital gains taxes on the sale of the home, if the sales price does not exceed the date of death value of the home.
In some situations a trust may be beneficial as it can simplify administration and minimize family conflict.
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help your family create a plan to best meet the goals of your family for the family home.
Reference: The Washington Post (May 16, 2019) “With proper planning, selling a parent’s house can be a relatively painless process”