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5 things to know about selling your parents’ home

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Becoming a mother’s executor in 2014 was a difficult lesson of the complexity of selling a childhood home, Linda Concas says. Getting a home at Huntington Station, where she and her three brothers grew up to be on the market, was a lot of surprises, including a huge amount of paperwork and hiring a realtor.

“I didn’t realize I had to pay invoices for heat, electricity, etc. for months, and there was an expensive leak that had to be repaired,” said a school crossing guard at the Suffolk police station. Concus, 56, says. “It was like a full-time job in addition to the full-time job I already had while I was saddening my mother.”

Linda Concas, as the mother’s executor, recently sold her mother’s Huntington Station to her home. This is an experience that feels “like a full-time job.”
Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Handling the sale of your parents’ home after their parents have died is already a daunting situation without having to deal with unexpected work like Concus did.

If you find yourself in the position of an executor, you need to be prepared to perform the following five steps.

1. Talk to your brother

Unless you are an only child, you need to discuss what to do with your siblings, whether that means maintaining, selling, or renting a home, and signing Premier Property Authorized Christina A. Williams, a real estate associate broker, says at Garden City and a lawyer.

“Not everyone is on the same page, so it’s a good idea to have a conversation so you can quickly establish it,” said his father recently in a family’s five-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Elmont. Williams, 31, who helped sell, says. Her mother died in January.

“You’ll be amazed at how emotional you can be about your childhood home,” says Williams. “I have an attachment that I think isn’t ready yet.”
Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

“Once you sign a contract, you can’t go back, so you have to settle and agree. I know you’re a family, but money actually creates cracks, so my advice is whatever the decision is. Please submit it in writing to a lawyer. ”

Williams admits that all of this is a difficult conversation while in mourning. “You’ll be amazed at how emotional you can be about your childhood home. I have an attachment that I think isn’t ready yet.”

RebaS.MacDonald, an authorized real estate associate broker at Signature Premier Properties in Dix Hills, holds a mortgage and appraisals if a brother wants to keep a home but others don’t.

2. Know which professional to hire

For that assessment, Mary P. O’Reilly, a lawyer for Meltzer, Lippe and Goldstein & Breitstone in Mineola, recommends hiring an appraiser to get a so-called step-up base. Of death.

“If your parents bought a house for $ 50,000 40 years ago and the property sells it for $ 550,000 today, it’s a profit of $ 500,000. So when you sell that house, it’s usually Is not subject to income tax. This is good news, “she says.

A real estate lawyer can help you not only negotiate with your siblings, but about it. Concus hired it, and she said it was “one of the best decisions I made. She explained everything that was happening to me and she gave me a list of things to do. I wrote a letter following her advice and it worked very well. ”The cost of hiring a real estate lawyer varies greatly depending on the circumstances of your family, but typically ranges from $ 2,500 to $ 5,000. ..

Highmare Gillar, a licensed associate broker at Coldwell Banker American Homes in Merrick, says you should hire a realtor instead of selling your own home. “You may try to sell it to avoid having to pay a fee to an expert. But you are experiencing an emotional situation and selling a home can be a difficult task. Yes, it’s better to delegate to someone who can make rational decisions rather than emotional decisions. ”

3. Evaluate open issues

Part of the fiduciary duty of the executor is to protect the property of the real estate, which involves maintaining the home, says McDonald’s. She suggests having a home inspected so that you can deal with the problem before you put it up for sale. A typical 3,000-square-foot home costs about $ 550.

“Sometimes there is a leak you don’t know about, which can lead to other problems like mold,” she says. “All of these are issues that can delay or hinder sales.”

Another issue that can delay sales is unpaid lien. Aguilar proposes to hire a title company to search for properties. “Taxes may be delinquent, or parents may have a home equity credit line or a reverse mortgage that an adult child doesn’t know about,” he says.

According to McDonald’s, the search should include an open occupancy certificate (CO) check. Concus was unaware that his father needed CO for both the small extension and the hut he built on the backyard leaning forward. “While the house was for sale, I had to do all that paperwork,” she says. “It takes time to get them, so check them out right away.”

4. Keep the house

You have to stay on top of all the bills until you sell your house, Aguilar says. He proposes to collect all relevant documents such as oil, light and gas invoices, mortgages, property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Unoccupied homes have a high risk of intrusion and vandalism, so Tina McGowan, a quasi-real estate broker at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Cold Spring Harbor, recommends contacting an insurance company to inform them of the condition of the home. To do. .. Insurance may not cover what is free, but some companies can give you free home insurance.

“The best scenario is to be able to tell them that someone is looking at the house,” says McGowan. “If you can’t find someone to check regularly, hire a realtor. Especially during the winter, something like a ruptured pipe can happen.”

She adds that if you have the luxury of being able to keep your home for a while without selling it, you may want to rent it. “There are two benefits. Rent not only covers the cost, but some people are watching over the house.”

5. Preparation for sale

The first job in preparing a home for sale is to clean the contents, says McDonald’s. She admits that this is a painstaking process and can take some time, depending on how much her parents have saved. All the items in the house belong to real estate, says O’Reilly. “Often, beneficiaries decide what to do and hopefully amicably divide it among them.”

But you may not want to sell a completely vacant home. “Staging with furniture, making small updates such as painting, and seeking advice from realtors to let them know where to spend their money,” says O’Reilly. Thousands for renting furniture and accessories.

Mary's Floral Park House Dining Room ...

The dining room at Floral Park, the home of Mary O’Reilly’s late father-in-law, was before and after the makeover to prepare for sale.
Credit: Mary O’Reilly

For example, kitchen remodeling can take months, so it’s probably not the time to invest. In addition, according to Aguilar, they are expensive, starting at around $ 20,000. However, cosmetic changes, such as trimming the landscaping by pruning overgrowth, can enhance the appeal of the curb.

When O’Reilly’s father-in-law died in December 2020, she and her husband repainted the entire house where their parents lived in Floral Park for 35 years. They also pulled out the carpet and redone all the floors. “We didn’t replace anything, but we put in all the DIY new hardware and paint and staged the furniture,” O’Reilly recalls. Add $ 100,000. ”

Whether you pay for utilities, repairs, or minor upgrades to increase your chances of selling, Aguilar says you need to keep a record of all costs as they will be refunded from the property.

But he adds: “The goal is not to make more money on sale. It’s to solve your parents’ property. If you find a buyer as soon as you put your house on the market, the process was very smooth. Even so, it can easily take another two months. It’s important to keep in mind that time is money. ”

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