Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions. Email us here
I am the executor of my Uncle’s estate (he resided in Texas). He didn’t have his affairs in order. And I learned that although he has a will, the home sale must go through probate. I am the heir, but until the paperwork is finalized I can’t access any savings or checking accounts. Each time I travel to Texas I have to use my own funds and I prefer not to keep going back and forth. At the present time, I also have to use my own money for upkeep such as gardener and utilities. Handling an out of state real estate sale is a drain emotionally and financially. Do you have any suggestions on how I can cut my expenses and travel time?
I am not certain how probate works in Texas thus I am unsure how much guidance I can offer in regards to an out of state real estate sale. As far as traveling back and forth, that can end once you have the ability (legal authority) to hire a real estate agent. I often work with out of area home sellers and take care of many of the details. Find and interview a real estate agent who will agree to assist you with finding someone to hold an estate sale or someone to empty and dispose (donate, trash) the contents of the home. Your Realtor® should also be willing to coordinate any repairs you want to make to the home. Once you have the authority from the court, hire this Realtor® and let them go to work on your behalf.
How much money should you invest in the sale of your home? It depends. Each home seller has a unique situation. And not everyone has the time, money or inclination to invest in sprucing up their home. But selling for the highest possible price takes a bit more effort. Ask your Realtor® which repairs and improvements should be made prior to listing the home for sale (typically landscape clean up and paint). In many instances your Realtor® will have relationships with vendors who will agree to be paid at closing.