Selling a property left behind by a departed loved one can be a stressful time to say the least, especially when the property is a house that we ourselves have grown up in.
We at 365 property buyer understand this, and treat each of our clients with utmost respect and compassion. And to ease the burden of decision making for selling deceased estate property, we’ve compiled a guide to assist you in successfully completing the sale of the property.
The Will & The Testator
A will or testament is a legal document by which a person “The Testator” expresses their wishes as to how their property is to be handled at death, and names one or more persons “The Executor” to deal with the estate until its final distribution.
Testator: is a person who has written and executed a last Will and testament that is in effect at the time of his/her death.
Are You an Executor or Administrator?
When a deceased person leaves a valid will, the person who deals with the estate is called the deceased person’s Executor. Under governing laws within the United Kingdom, when a person is named the executor of a Will, they are specifically being asked to take legal responsibility for administering the estate of the person who made the Will.
When the deceased person did not leave a will (or left an invalid will), the person who deals with the deceased person’s estate is called an Administrator. Find out who inherits if someone dies without a will
Administering the Estate
When someone passes away, most UK citizens assume that their next of kin (wives, husbands, legal partners, children, siblings, cousins or other family members depending on the family dynamics) will sort out their legally obligated affairs. However, this may not be the case because when someone has made a Will, and assigned executors in their Will, then, it is the executor/s who are responsible for carrying out the deceased’s final wishes concerning the sale of, or transfer of a property (in legal terms this is called Administering the Estate).
Probate & Grant of Probate
Probate is a commonly used term when we are talking about the legal rights to deal with the affairs of someone who has died.
When the deceased has made a Will, the executor will need to apply for a Grant of Probate. The grant is a certificate issued by the court which confirms that you have the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets including property.
Almost in all cases a probate grant is needed when the person who died leaves any of the following
- Property (house or land) held in their own name or as a joint property ownership “Tenants in Common“
- £10,000 or more
Who is Responsible to Sell a Deceased’s Estate
The executor/s and/or administrator/s of a deceased person is responsible for selling it.
Checking The Title and Deeds
The executors should check the title of the property. If the property is registered with the HM Land Registry, this should be a straightforward process of downloading a copy of the title entries and plan, check that the property is in the deceased’s name. Search for property information from HM Land Registry.
If you cannot locate the title deed upon searching the HM Land Registry, or if the property is not registered (such as the case if the property is in a rural location and the individual who passed away had owned it for many number of years), then it may be held for safe keeping by the deceased’s lawyer, or the bank, or they may even be kept with the deceased’s belongings at his/her dwelling.
Options for Selling Deceased Estate Property in UK
When dealing with the sale of deceased property under such sensitive circumstances it’s easy to forget that you actually have several options.
Selling a Property Through Real Estate Agents in UK
Although it’s an option, estate agents aren’t particularly suited to deal with the sales process of the deceased’s property, because, almost all estate agents in the UK follow a predefined approach and process for selling properties which makes it difficult for them to be flexible according to your wants and needs.
Initially estate agents will over value the property to get your business and tie you in to a fixed contract for up to 12 months. They then start piling on the pressure to reduce the asking price, all the while time keeps ticking away. It’s a well-known fact the best prices are achieved in the first 4 weeks of a new property going on the market, by over valuing you lose this precious period.
Even worse, the agent knows after 8-12 weeks of marketing the property becomes stale and interest levels drop off so the agents lose interest and concentrate on the new instructions that come to the market, you get forgotten about.
During the marketing period the agents will allow practically ANYONE into your property. Basically, privacy and respect for you and your family is often ignored in order to make the agent look good by arranging lots of viewings in the slim hope of getting an offer.
Our many years of experience buying houses quickly at 365 Property Buyer® has proven that when selling probate property “estate agents” aren’t your best choice. This is not because we say so, but rather, many of our valued clients come to us after being disappointed, misled and let down by their estate agents not being able to sell the property after many months of assurance.
When You are Ready to Sell a Deceased Property
Contact 365 Property Buyer to discuss your specific requirements, we are able to purchase any property quickly and for cash, we can also assist you with the completion of the sale in the time scale you require.