One of the most distressing and difficult times I have been through was dealing with the loss of my parents, then contending with the selling of their home and dispensing of their property. It made me appreciate—and dread—all the complex details that required addressing.
I have since found as a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist® (CPRES), it can be most rewarding and gratifying to offer my knowledge, expertise, and experience to my clients.
After a loss, there can be overwhelming strain and uncertainty as family members sort out their differences and/or individual preferences. The tasks can be daunting. Sometimes the Executor can live out of town but knowing there are “boots on the ground” can make a significant difference. My clients’ tension often melts away once they speak with me and realize that I serve as their advocate; they can trust my sincerity and commitment to act on their behalf.
You always have choices, and these should be clearly presented to you in terms of length of time, expense, and opportunity when it comes to real estate. There are several actions that you could take such as:
- Keeping the house as an investment;
- Managing the property yourself or hiring a management company;
- Restoring the house to a level that it is salable or rentable by today’s standards to attract a buyer or renter;
- Selling the home “as is” with no repairs to discharge it quickly.
What is the difference between a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist® and a licensed REALTOR®? After my CPRES® training by the U.S. Probate Services, speaking with Probate and Estate attorneys as well as with friends and clients who have gone through these strained times in selling their family’s home, there are indeed key distinctions. A real estate transaction requires more than a capable real estate agent. Executors, the person designated by the deceased to manage the estate and distribute assets to heirs, tend to face different challenges in working to close an estate.
That’s why a Certified Specialist can provide such a valuable assist when it comes time to sell a property. Not the very least of which is understanding the probate process. Some of the advantages of hiring a CPRES® are:
- Selling expertise with an eye toward minimizing risk for disagreement between heirs;
- Helping with inspections, bids, home repairs;
- Acting as trusted adviser during a difficult time;
- Providing support during the probate process;
- Demonstrating knowledge of estate settlements and wills.
Below, I have listed what we call a Probate Items of Value Inventory. My team includes another Coldwell Banker Realty CPRES® agent. Together, we have amassed a terrific network of qualified resources that can prepare the home for market. These are ways in which we go beyond what is expected from a traditional agent in an effort to take some of the burden off your shoulders. These may include:
- Estate Attorneys
- Personal Property Appraisers
- Contractors or Handymen
- Sources for Vacant Property Insurance (this is key!)
- Estate Sale Organizers
- Clean Out Services
- Storage Facilities
- Packing Supplies
- Yard Care Services
- Cleaning Services/Carpet Cleaners
- Donation Services-Pick Up/Delivery for: furniture, kitchen wares, clothes, etc.
What we offer is a turnkey practice, relieving stress, freeing up time, and hopefully, making your life easier. You will find our key strengths to be:
- Knowledge of Probate Code;
- Ability to offer and explain solutions, and options that are most beneficial to family;
- Developing a workable plan;
- No high-pressure sales tactics;
- Knowledge of this market.
To summarize, we offer 5 simple steps under your direction: we strategize the best plan of action; schedule your service providers; organize the personal property; prepare the home for sale or rent; and then market the home successfully.