The death of a parent is often a devastating, heart-breaking shock. You may feel like hiding from the world in the midst of your grief, but unfortunately there are practical matters to attend to. One of the most overwhelming of these practical issues can be selling your deceased parent's home.
Not only is this likely to be financially and legally complex, but it can also be emotionally difficult. In order to make selling your deceased parent's home as relatively easy and straightforward as possible, you need to make a decent game plan. Here are five tips for selling your parent's home after they die:
Sort through Items with Siblings First
In order to avoid family disputes, it's a good idea to sort through your parent's stuff with any siblings or other close family members right away. The idea is to allow each of you to claim any sentimental or practical items you'd like to keep before they are sold or donated to charity. In order to simplify things, it's probably a good idea to set a limit or maximum dollar amount for how many items each of you will keep. This might prevent the sorting process from dragging out, especially if you or any of your siblings have pack rat tendencies.
Enlist the Help of an Estate Attorney
Selling and paying taxes on an inherited home can be legally and financially tricky, and subject to many variables such as whether or not the home was a primary or secondary residence, whether you alone inherited the home or co-own it with siblings, and the estimated value of the home.
Rather than attempt to muddle through these details on your own, which could potentially cause yourself and your family financial problems, it's best to hire an estate attorney. Estate lawyers specialize in just this situation, and will be able to help navigate it with you in an efficient and legally sound manner.
Hire an Estate Sale Company
Selling your parent's estate goes beyond just selling the house. You also have to deal with all the stuff inside the house. This entails sorting through your parent's personal and household items, deciding what to sell or donate, accurately pricing items, and then finding the most appropriate avenues for sale.
Hiring an estate sale company means delegating these complicated, time-consuming tasks to efficient experts with plenty of experience. Because estate sale companies are experts in this area, they will most likely earn the maximum amount of money on the sale of your parent's belongings.
Hire Junk Removers
After the estate sale company does their magic you will most likely still have old "junk" to deal with- things that can't be sold or donated and simply need to be tossed. Rather than add more stress to your life and spending time driving back and forth to the dump, hire a junk removal company. They'll clear the house, yard, garage, etc. out and transport all the unwanted stuff away so you don't even have to deal with it.
Grieving the loss of a parent is already emotionally challenging. Sorting through their things and then selling their house can amplify your feelings of grief. You may experience guilt about selling the home they lived in, and the finality of the sale itself can dredge up painful feelings. A good counselor can help you sort through these feelings in a healthy and functional way.
By following these five tips, selling your deceased parent's home should be a relatively streamlined process. Hopefully this will allow you more time to process your grief and cherish memories of your beloved parent.