I Inherited A House I Need To Sell, Now What?

Wednesday Jan 04th, 2023


I Inherited A House I Need To Sell, Now What?

Have you and or your siblings inherited a home from your parents and are not sure where to start? I’m Meegan Dennie, a real estate agent in Toronto Ontario Canada, and and In this video, I have 3 simple steps that will get you on the right track, including my own personal experience with an inherited property.   

I have dealt with this personally and professionally several times before.  My meme (French for Grandmother) passed away in 2015.  She had 5 children but decided to make me and another granddaughter executor of her Will.  She had a house and we had decided to sell it and split the funds among the children as per my meme’s wishes. 

#1 - If you are planning on going through probate court, I would suggest you get that started as early as possible.  In Toronto, there is often a backlog and it is taking on average, 4 to 7 months but 6-8 weeks is typically the average in Ontario. You can still sell a house while it is in probate.  However, there are some risks if the Will is contested, as an example. 

#2 - Start looking for a Realtor.  It’s always good to interview more than one agent, if you don’t already have someone in mind.  In three cases, I was up against multiple agents before I was chosen. This is actually something I wish I would have done when I sold my meme’s property.  I went with the agent my meme told us to contact and unfortunately it was not a good experience, at all.  But it taught me what not to do as an agent and what the client actually needs. so I did gain a lot from that experience.  What I learned was, my expectations of an agent and what the agent was providing were not communicated clearly or respected. 

The best advice I could give you, it’s not about the commission.  You want someone that has great communication skills, especially if there are multiple people making decisions.  That often comes with managing different personality types and the different expectations.  You will need someone that will look after the property since no one is currently living there.  Things like locking up at the end of the day and turning off all of the lights.  Asking a neighbour to keep a car in the garage,  Mopping and sweeping the house (daily if needed) after showings are done for the day.  Simple things like this, go a very long way for a client that isn’t living in the home and or lives out of town.  Last but not least, someone that is considerate and empathetic to all emotions involved in this type of sale.  

#3 Executing the Prep work.  My clients and I go through every room and talk about what needs to go and what can stay (if anything).  I need to know if there is a budget and if any money can be put into the house before we go to market.  As an example, in my meme’s home we had new carpet installed in the lower level because she had cats and unfortunately, it smelled like cat pee.  I’m just being honest.  We also gave the whole house a fresh coat of paint. 

On another listing I recently had, the executors were 3 siblings and we decided a fresh coat of paint was needed.  We also added new light fixtures to the home at their request.  This will have a significant impact on what the home sells for.  I’m not saying a whole reno is in your best interest.  But cleaning it up and making it look and feel fresh, goes a long way.

As an agent, we should also have resources that can help with all the tasks involved in this.  Ex. Storage facilities, people that dispose of hazardous household items, an appraiser for valuables, moving companies, organizers, painters, cleaners, etc… Everything needs to be well organized and expectations need to be communicated properly with everyone involved. 

Don’t hesitate to call me for anything real estate related In Toronto or the GTA.


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