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Deceased Estate Property Sales: A Comprehensive Guide

By Dominique McKenzie

Dealing with the sale of a home left by someone loved can be a daunting and emotional experience. However, gaining insights into how estate sales work can help alleviate some of the stress. In this article, we’ll provide you with valuable tips and information to facilitate a smoother and less stressful process.

  1. Managing Deceased Estate Property:
    The sale of a deceased estate follows a process like any other real estate transaction. The executor of the Will assumes the role of the vendor if they decide to sell the property. This usually involves obtaining a formal property valuation and enlisting a real estate agent to oversee the sale. However, there are specific legal considerations pertaining to deceased estates that need to be considered.
  2. Understanding Legal Requirements:
    The role of the executor of the Will in a deceased estate sale is pivotal, as they assume the responsibilities that typically belong to the vendor in a real estate transaction. This involves making key decisions, coordinating the sale process, and ensuring that the property is sold in accordance with the wishes outlined in the Will. Make sure to explore the legal prerequisites in your jurisdiction:

For QLD: Visit Queensland Government website here.

For NT: Visit Northern Territory Government website here.

For NSW: Visit Supreme Court of New South Wales website here.

For ACT: Visit Public Trustee & Guardian for the Australian Capital Territory website here.

For VIC: Visit Supreme Court of Victoria website here.

For SA: Visit Public Trustee South Australia website here.

For WA: Visit Western Australia Government website here.

For TAS: Visit Supreme Court of Tasmania website here.

  1. Ensuring Transparency and Appraisals:
    Determining the accurate value of a property left behind by a loved one is a crucial step in the deceased estate sales process. To establish the property’s value, the executor should obtain multiple appraisals from real estate professionals. This approach guarantees fairness and accuracy throughout the sales process.
  2. Considering an Auction:
    Auctions stand out as a preferred and effective method for selling properties from a deceased estate due to their unique ability to provide an open and transparent platform that benefits all stakeholders involved. This transparency not only simplifies the sales process but offers advantages that make auctions well-suited for deceased estate sales.
  3. Facilitating Ownership Transfer:
    It’s crucial to ensure the transfer of ownership from the deceased to the joint tenant, executor, or personal representative. Without a proper transfer, the property cannot be sold or handed over to the buyer.
  4. Navigating the Grant of Probate Requirement:
    Selling a house from a deceased estate necessitates a grant of probate or letters of administration. This legal document empowers the executor to manage the deceased’s estate according to their will. Exceptions apply for joint tenants.
  5. Executor’s Responsibilities and Considerations:
    Final tax returns might be necessary for the deceased, spanning from the start of the financial year to the date of death. Additionally, estate returns may be required from the date of death to the fiscal year’s end. An empathetic and experienced real estate agent is vital for managing the emotional aspects of a deceased estate sale.
  6. Addressing Asset Transfer, Estate Claims, Superannuation, and Trusts:
    Executors should contemplate matters like transferring assets to beneficiaries, resolving inheritance disputes, managing superannuation accounts, and overseeing family trusts and private companies.
  7. Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent:
    Given the emotional nature of handling a deceased estate sale, an agent with sensitivity and understanding can ensure a successful outcome.

By adhering to these guidelines and seeking appropriate assistance, you can streamline the sales process and manage the emotional journey more effectively during this trying time.

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