Til Death Do Us Part – When Death Forces the Sale of a Mission Viejo Home
What do they always tell you not to bring up at a dinner party? Religion, politics, and sex? Or is the third one money? Regardless of that list, there’s one more thing you may not want to talk about, but at some point you will have to. There’s just no getting around it – we are all going to die. And when someone close to you dies, you may be the one who gets to handle selling their house in Mission Viejo or any other Orange County community. Whether by designation as the Executor in the Will or by default as the closest living relative, when you find yourself in that unenviable position, here’s a check list for you might want to keep in mind, when selling the house is the best outcome for everyone.
1. What’s the primary objective of selling the house?
a. Do you want to get as much money as possible?
b. Do you want to get it sold as fast as possible?
c. Do you want to get it sold by putting as little money into it as possible?
d. Do you want to delay selling as long as possible?
e. Do you need to avoid a taxable event as long as possible?
2. What resources do you have to improve the condition of the house?
a. How much money do you have to put into repairs or upgrades?
b. How much time to you and your family have to spend working on getting the house ready to sell?
c. How many talented friends will sign up for a work day to get the house in shape?
3. What is the house worth in today’s market? Ask your Realtor to help you look at what it would sell for.
The answer to this question is based on the answer you have for question No.1. Only after you have answered Question No. 1 will your Realtor be able to help you place the current value of the house.
4. What needs to be done to get the home ready to put on the market to meet your No. 1 objective and have potential buyers come to look at the home?
a. Do you have 30 years of accumulated “treasures” to sort through?
b. Do you need to look at every single piece of paper to make sure you are not shredding the account number for the Swiss Bank account that will make you a billionaire?
c. What “projects” need to be completed before the house can be listed for sale?
5. What if there is no equity in the house – in other words, what if there is more left to pay on the house than what you can sell it for?
a. Do you work with the bank to Short Sale the house, when the bank is really going to decide if they will sell or not? And may take months. And months.
b. Do you let it just go to foreclosure? Let the bank make all of the choices – beginning with Question No. 1.
Hope this helps any of you out there in Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza, or Rancho Santa Margarita who are taking care of things for someone you love or may be facing these choices soon. I know exactly what you are going through. And you will get through it. I promise.