How to Sell a Decedent’s Property in Tennessee

How to Sell a Decedent’s Property in Tennessee


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probate estateSelling a probate home in Tennessee isn’t as simple and easy as people initially think. Once you decide to sell an inherited house, it entails a lot of factors. Some people find the task emotional.

Not only are you letting go of a precious property of the deceased, you also have to sort through their personal belongings. This includes clearing the rooms of items that was once a reminder of the deceased. Plus, add to the fact that there is also an additional cost and a huge extra effort to sell the house should you decide.

Most of the time, the beneficiary or the heir of the estate is left with the burden. They are usually in charge of dealing with the procedures, expenses, costs of liens, and other scenarios that come with a probate estate. In many cases, disputes may arise.

How to Sell a Probate House in Tennessee

Here are some tips on how to sell an inherited house minus the headache.

1. Ask for an expert’s advice.

To ensure that everything goes smoothly without any hitch, getting professional advice should be your first step. As a beneficiary, you should fully understand everything there is to know about the property you’ve inherited. Hiring a real estate lawyer is a good place to start.

2. Make sure you have the legal authority to sell the house.

Before anything else, consult with your lawyer to make sure that you, in fact, have the authority over the probate estate. As the executor of the decedent’s inherited estate, you now have the authority over the property.

Your attorney should be able to identify if you have limitations in your authority. There are instances when an executor’s authority has certain limitations. Often times, the executor is the one responsible for the upkeep of the property for at least four months after the death of the decedent.

An executor assumes the responsibility of paying the maintenance, utilities, lawn services, and insurance. However, the representative’s scope does not include payments related to taxes on real estate, major repairs in the property, and other expenses. In the state of Tennessee, these tasks fall under the beneficiaries unless there is a will left by the decedent instructing someone else.

When it comes to selling the property, your lawyer should be able to state if you have the authority to hire the services of a real estate agent, put up the property for sale, formulate a contract to sell the estate, and close the sale. Most often, this type of process requires the consent of the probate court.

3. Set the proper time when to sell.

In Tennessee, selling an inherited property should not take place within a period of 60 days following the decedent’s date of death. It is highly advisable to make sure that the period of the creditor’s claims have passed before you sell the property.

Otherwise, the insurance company might have to delay the proceeds from the sale of the property. You may proceed as soon as you settle all taxes, debts, and other obligations.

4. Obtain the title insurance title.

Your lawyer should help you obtain these documents and other requirements apart from the list below.

Criteria for providing the title insurance:

  • The property estate should be set with the probate court.
  • The legal owner should accomplish the following:
    • Inheritance Tax Release.
    • TennCare Release.
    • EIN (Employer Identification Number).

5. Get the approval of the probate court.

In case the property is in in debt or bankrupt, you will need to obtain the probate court’s approval. This is prior to hiring the services of a real estate agent or putting up the property for sale.

You also need to get the approval first before you enter any sales contract or close the sale. The most practical thing to do is to advise your lawyer as soon as you think that the property may be insolvent.

6. Seek professional representation.

Hiring the right people to do the job is crucial in selling a probate estate. Pick professionals to help you through the process.

The real estate agent must be knowledgeable on the requirements when it comes to dealing with the selling of inherited estate. Getting your lawyer involved in the closing sale of the property may be beneficial for you. In this case, your attorney already knows the details about the property.

7. Get your property processed in probate court.

Before selling the estate, you must go through a probate court procedure. Some cities or countries allow a summarized probate which is a simple process. After passing the probate procedure, you can start putting the property for sale in the market.

8. Review the tax considerations.

Technically, the estate determines the tax on the basis of the property’s value at the time of the decedent’s death. The difference between the amount of the value and the sale refers to the tax gain that you now owe.

probate estate

Selling the Estate

Now that you are ready to sell the property in Tennessee, you must inform the executor to file for a petition in court. Once you get the approval, you may continue to proceed with the sale. A lot of the times, issues may arise when the people who share the inheritance with you have different views and wants.

For example, you may want to sell the estate but your sibling who is also a beneficiary does not agree with your plan. Once this happens, make sure you involve your real estate attorney during the early stages so he can formulate the best plan.

During the preparation stage, check the property and assess which areas requires an upgrade even before you put it on sale. Hire a professional house inspector to address any issues and ask for their recommendations on what repairs must be made. If you decide to sell the house as is without any upgrades, you might have to list it at a lower but acceptable price.

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