When someone passes away, their most significant asset will often need to be sold in order to pass the proceeds from this sale to their beneficiaries. Putting a house on the market might be the last thing on your mind during such a difficult time, but it needs to be done, often as quickly as possible, unless the house has been bequeathed in its entirety to a person or persons. When you've been handed the responsibility of arranging the sale, how can you do so in a manner that's quick while still being efficient and ensuring the best price?

Choose a Real Estate Agent

This is the first and arguably the most important step. The real estate agent will do much of the legwork, although the onus is still on you to get the property ready for sale. Choosing the agent can be a combination of research and intuition. Look for an agent with extensive local experience whose pricing is accurate and reflects the local market, and be sure to enquire about the average length of time it takes them to close a sale. Beyond that, meet with a few prospective agents to talk about their marketing plans for the sale and see if you feel a rapport with them. 

Clearing the Home

The home will need to be cleared, either entirely or partially (which will be discussed shortly). You, along with a few other family members will need to go through the house, room by room, identifying what should be kept, and what should be discarded. It's helpful to be meticulous since important documents might be contained in a pile of old papers that would otherwise be destined for the recycling bin. Anything that's to be kept can be given to a family member (if it hasn't specifically been bequeathed to anyone). Alternatively, these items of value can be sold in their entirety to a deceased estates clearance company. This generates revenue which can be put toward any work the home needs.

Preparing the Home

You might wish to retain some furniture and basic decorations. Discuss the matter with your real estate agent, but they might suggest that it's preferable to have a staged home for the sale. This means that the home is made to look like a home instead of a blank space. In this instance, you might wish to sell the furniture once the home has been sold, or it could be pre-purchased by your deceased estates clearance company on the provision that it can only be collected once the sale has been finalised. You should also paint the home and perform any small maintenance tasks that contribute to the beautification of the property. Ideally, carpets can be cleaned instead of replaced. Hire a gardening company to periodically mow the lawns and perform any necessary yard work until the property has been sold.

A property can be prepared for sale and put on the market relatively quickly, and this is often the most appropriate course of action when a loved one passes away.