Estate Sales

Did you just inherited a property, or are you helping a family member of friend with an estate sale

Photo: Canterbury Estates Llc

 

Whether you are looking for step by step guidance, or just an overview of the current market conditions, we can help you! Without the proper professional guidance, residential estate sales can require some tricky maneuvering. Our DC, VA, and MD licensed team is ready to help make this process as easy as possible for you and your loved ones. Below are some basic steps to take to help you through the process:

Step 1: Hire a Real Estate team with experience in estate sales. Our team has helped a number of sellers with estate sales, and can help guide you through the process. You may also need to hire a qualified Trusts and Estates Attorney. Together your team will help you to sort through any legal documents, determine all pre-sale requisites, and help you to maximize the home’s sale price through proper marketing avenues.
Step 2: Determine who is the authorized party to sell the residential property. The authorized party (or executor) could be a family member, group of family members, friends, or pre-determined advisor. Before selling the property, the entire authorized party must be in agreement with the proposed selling plans.
Step 3: Determine if the property is a probate or non-probate asset. Probate assets are defined as assets that are solely in the decedent’s name and are required to be collected by court appointed fiduciary, who will then distribute the assets in accordance with the terms of the will. Non-probate assets are items that are not collected or sold by a court appointed fiduciary. In these cases, the surviving joint tenant has the power to collect or sell the property as the new owner.
Step 4: Be sure to have the proper legal documents in order, before starting the residential estate sale process. Some of the documents that your Real Estate agent and legal team may need you to gather include:
Original death certificate – proof that the original owner has passed away, thus allowing the executor to claim ownership of the property.
Copy of Will – proof of the executor(s) and their right to sell the property.
Copy of Codicil – proof of any exceptions or amendments to the will.

Photo: Geeks Buy Houses

 

Conducting a residential estate sale in DC, VA, or MD can be a much easier process when you hire a knowledgeable team that follows the above steps. To learn more about our Real Estate services and our specialty in estate sales, please contact us today! Besides providing a wealth of Real Estate knowledge, our team also offers home staging services and access to the best contractors for any property renovations and repairs that need to be completed before the sale. We look forward to answering any of your questions and helping you throughout the estate sale process.

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Tax Assessment vs Market Value

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the tax assessed value of a property, versus the fair market value? And how these two values compare to the appraisal value? You aren’t alone. Many sellers and buyers are confused about these values and how these values are determined and intertwinedimage

First, lets look at the definitions for all three:
Tax Assessment: The amount that your county assigns to your home based on the value of the land, and the building itself. The value is calculated using an algorithm of sales in your neighborhood, and county based on the size of your lot, size of your home, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and any other major upgrades (additions/decks/garages, etc). This calculated value determines the property taxes you will pay each year.  The assessed value will changed based on how strong or weak the past year’s sales were, so typically it is a lagging indicator of the market, meaning it represents past values.

Market Value: The value at which a buyer is willing to purchase and the seller is willing to sell a home. This value is more subjective, and often linked to supply and demand in the specific area. Condition and upgrades will play a factor in the value, but ultimately the market value is the amount that both parties agreed to in a contract. A buyer may be willing to pay more for a home, if its in a desirable area with limited inventory. Similarly, if there is a surplus of inventory, or the home is located on a major road or has other challenging features, it may be sold at a lower value.

Appraised Value: This value is determined by an appraiser (usually 3rd party) to confirm or validate the market value for home buyer and/or a lender. The appraised value is generally calculated by using like kind properties, within a mile or so radius, looking specifically at sales for the previous three to four months. Adjustments are usually made up/down for more square feet, additional bedrooms, bathrooms, garage spaces and other upgrades. The appraiser may take supply and demand in account, but generally they are looking primarily at the condition/amenities of the home and how it compares to other sales in the immediate neighborhood.

So, while many buyers may not want to pay more than the “assessed value” of a property, the market value is usually higher. Additionally, a seller may order an appraisal before going on the market and refuse to sell for less than the appraised value, even if that may not be the correct market value. Tax assessment values and market values may vary depending on your neighborhood, county and state. While, tax assessments may be lower than market value by $50-$100K in some areas, the assessment and market values may be the same or higher in other areas.

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If you have questions about assessed values, vs market or appraisal values, please contact us for more information!

Photo Credit: Newsday.com and epcrossing.org

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Real Estate Tax Breaks Survive Fiscal Cliff Deal

Homeowners and real estate professionals anxiously waited to see if real estate tax breaks would survive the fiscal cliff deal. In the end, the breaks for homeowners survived, at least for the time being.

The mortgage interest deduction remained intact, and the deal extended mortgage debt forgiveness for one year. Prior to 2007, if lenders forgave debt on short sales, loan modifications and foreclosures, the amount forgiven was taxable. Then in 2007, Congress passed a law making that “income” non-taxable, and that break was set to expire at the end of 2012. But when crafting the fiscal cliff deal, they extended mortgage debt forgiveness for one more year.

Also part of the package was a provision allowing homeowners to deduct the amount they pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). More homeowners are required to carry PMI by lenders because of tighter lending standards, so this is good news for those homeowners.

In the end, these three provisions will help the real estate market, at least in the time being. The measures should help lower the amount of “shadow inventory”—that is, properties that have delinquent mortgages, are in the process of foreclosure, or are already owned by banks but have not yet been put on the market. Experts expect investors to snap up this inventory and help the recovery, something that might not have happened if the real estate tax breaks failed to survive the fiscal cliff deal.

Click here for more on what’s included in the deal.

 

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