Estate Sales

Vancouver House by Pnwra
Vancouver House by Pnwra

If you don’t sleep, eat and breathe real estate, the words ‘estate sale’ may conjure up images of large mansions being stripped of their contents, heavy furniture and oil paintings going on the auction block, and properties being sold for cents on the dollar. While interesting, that is not what is meant by ‘estate sale’ in Vancouver, for the purposes of real estate! In fact, an estate sale simply refers to a property that is being sold not by its owner, but by executor(s) of his or her estate.

This type of real estate transaction occurs most commonly when the owner has passed away. The survivors may not want to live in the home, or they may not be able to afford it; or they may decide that the best way to share ownership of their inherited Vancouver home is to have the trustee sell it and divide the proceeds according to the will.

If no one has been appointed in a will or power of attorney document who can oversee the transactional details of selling the home, a court could order the home to be sold by way of an estate sale, with the proceeds of the sale being distributed amongst the survivors.
The next most common reason for a Vancouver estate sale occurs when the owner is no longer capable of caring for or living in the home (eg deteriorating mental or physical health causing a move to an assisted living facility), and has specified that someone else handle their affairs to dispose of the property.

How an Estate Sale Works

Estate sales, like most other real estate transactions in Vancouver, are usually conducted by a professional Realtor® who assists in the sale of the home. The process is much the same as for any other property sale: the trustee or executor of the estate seeks out a real estate agent who is experienced in selling Vancouver properties, who knows the local real estate market, and who is able to mount a successful marketing campaign for the property. Of course, a liquidator may also need to be hired – someone who can sell personal belongings, furniture, collectibles, vehicles, and other valuable personal items on behalf of the survivors, for a percentage of the revenues.

Advantages of Buying an Estate Sale

In those cases where a court orders the sale of a Vancouver property, and there are no appointed estate trustees who can oversee the process, the home can be sold by an agent appointed by the courts (i.e. a lawyer or representative of the financial institution holding the mortgage on the property, if there is a mortgage). Such individuals may not have the time or interest to personally oversee the sale; and, in order to save on real estate commissions, they may not place as great an emphasis on advertising and marketing the property; repairing, renovating or staging it; or careful pricing according to current Vancouver market value. Estates are usually vacant and may not be modernized, as often the same owner has lived in the home for a long time. Such properties may be had for a lower price than their counterparts.

Selling an Estate in Vancouver

House by Hiimniko
House by Hiimniko

If you are charged with selling a home under estate sale conditions, you are probably very concerned that you obtain the best possible price for this important asset – both to honour the owner’s wishes, and to obtain the most for all the survivors, who may be depending on the proceeds.

The first step is to obtain a home evaluation to determine the current market value of the property. The evaluation should take into account such things as the overall condition of the home; its type, location, and desirability relative to nearby homes; and also make valuable suggestions for needed changes that will increase the home’s salability (such as cleaning up unkempt grounds or fixing a broken faucet).

At this point, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, we will decide on a price. Proper pricing is key to ensure a timely and profitable sale in the busy Vancouver real estate market. Your home evaluation will include a comparative market analysis of what similar homes are selling for in the immediate area, so you can be confident that the estate will be accurately and competitively priced.

Once the house is ready for showings and the listing paperwork is signed, we will market the estate aggressively so it won’t sit unsold week after week.

Ready to get started? At this time, I am offering free home evaluations that will give you an accurate picture of the estate’s value, for properties in Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.

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