Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.
My cousin passed away, and I am the trustee of his estate. He never married and never had children. Several cousins are the beneficiaries. His home is in Oregon and there is a roof leak. I have three young children and can’t spend too much time away from my home. Do you think it’s realistic for me to find a Realtor who will oversee the roof repair and anything else that should be done prior to selling?
Dear Busy Mom,
Firstly, I am sorry for your loss. As the trustee, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. This includes making informed decisions about the management and sale of the property.
As for your question, it is certainly possible to find a Realtor who can oversee the necessary repairs and preparations for selling your cousin’s home. Many Realtors have experience managing property repairs and renovations, and they can work with the necessary vendors to ensure that the work is done correctly and efficiently.
I recently had out-of-state clients who found a caved-in ceiling in their vacation condo. The unit above had leaked into theirs, and they didn’t find out until they arrived in California for Christmas vacation. They checked into a hotel and simply handed me the keys. I oversaw the renovation with the Homeowner’s Association. Then I listed the condo and sold it all while they returned to their primary home.
You may also consider whether it is more practical for you to hire a property management company to oversee the repairs and prepare the home for sale. Either an experienced Realtor or a property manager will allow you to focus on your own family responsibilities while ensuring that the property is being properly prepared to sell.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to hire a Realtor or property management company will depend on your personal circumstances and the specific needs of the estate. It may be helpful to speak with several professionals and get their input before deciding.
Best of luck to you on the sale.