If someone close to you has recently passed away, and you’re not sure how to proceed with selling their home, keep reading. In this blog, I’ll go over a few important considerations for selling a loved one’s home and how the sale may be impacted if the death occurred on the property.
What Happens to the Home?
When someone dies at home, what happens to the property will depend on their personal circumstances.
If the deceased was the sole owner of the property, the home (along with the rest of their belongings) then become part of the estate. However, if the person who has passed shared the home with someone else such as a spouse or other member of the family, the deceased’s degree of ownership will determine what happens with the property. For example, If they are survived by their spouse, the spouse will inherit full ownership of the home. Or, if they co-owned the property with someone else, their portion will enter the estate.
Selling a loved one’s home after they’ve passed isn’t easy. If you’re preparing to take care of an estate in the near future, consider some of these posts from my blog.
- Selling Your Deceased Parents’ Home: First Steps
- Probate & Real Estate in Toronto
- How to Sell Your Parents’ Home on Their Behalf
Who Can Sell the Home?
Deciding what to do with a loved one’s home is a lot more complex than simply coming to an agreement with other members of the family. Instead, getting permission to sell a home that is part of an estate requires following a formal legal process.
In Ontario, when someone dies, their estate can only be managed by one person. So, only this person – called the Trustee, will have the legal right to sell their home. Where this can get a little tricky is in the steps it takes for someone to be confirmed as the trustee by the government.
Even if the homeowner has included a designated trustee in their will, it must be verified by the court before that person can proceed with selling the property. This verification process is referred to as probate and it can take multiple weeks (if not months) to complete. If no trustee was named and someone must step up and apply to take the role, probate can take even longer. With that in mind, if you are looking to be designated as a trustee in order to sell a home on behalf of someone who has passed, you shouldn’t wait too long to begin the process.
What Needs to be Disclosed to Potential Buyers?
In our day and age, there can be stigma attached to a home that someone has passed away in. For some home buyers, an in-home death can be a deterrent even though it doesn’t impact the physical qualities of the property in any way. Similar stigmas include crime being committed on the property or signs of a home being haunted. So, as a buyer, what information do you need to disclose when selling a home after someone has died in it?
Under Ontario law, you are required to report anything that would make the home unsafe or unsuitable to live in. Speaking generally, this relates to physical defects of the home such as a faulty foundation, electrical issues, pests, etc.
Because it does not impact the property’s suitability, you aren’t required to disclose any information about someone passing away in the home unless the buyer directly asks you. In this instance, you can either answer truthfully or decline to answer. However, you cannot lie or mislead a buyer.
Looking for more general home selling tips? You may want to check out these blogs next.
- How to Get Your South Etobicoke Home Ready For Sale
- Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home
- How Much Does It Cost to Sell Your House in South Etobicoke?
If you’re looking to sell a home that someone has passed away in, the best place to start is with a real estate agent who specializes in these types of transactions – like me.
There are a lot of moving parts in any home sale – let alone one where you’re selling on behalf of someone who has passed away. As your dedicated expert, it’s my goal to guide you through the process with ease and simplicity, ultimately leading to a great final result.
Throughout my career, I’ve helped countless individuals and families sell on behalf of someone who has died. I understand the unique logistics and complications involved in these transactions and how to best prepare for them. I’m also equipped to answer any of the tough questions you may have about selling a loved one’s home, providing compassionate yet transparent advice during an emotional time.
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