Sathya, Home Buyer in 10012

what is an estate sale and what should I be aware of?

Asked by Sathya, 10012 Sun Sep 11, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


An estate sale is a sale that occurs when a homeowner dies. Those who inherit the home get the proceeds from the sale. If the owner dies without naming someone in the will to sell the house, an estate sale is called a probate sale, because a probate court appoints a relative or friend of the deceased to handle the sale.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
An "estate sale" means a person has died and the party/parties that inherited the property are selling it. "Estate condition" is a euphamism to gently say that nothing has been updated in a very long time and that the property probably needs updating and renovation. An estate sale may or may not be in estate condition. Estate properties usually are priced well to reflect that fact that they need work. Another "hidden danger" so to speak is that if there are multiple parties involved, they may not always agree on what price or terms they'll accept and there may be delays in responses due to their needing to negotiate among each other, though hopefully that is not the case.
I would strongly suggest you use an experienced agent to work with you and help you get the best price and terms.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268 for all NYC listings
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Thanks for explaining that bit of real estate jargon. "Estate condition" is a term that I often see in listings. I suspected that it was a euphemism, but I was unsure of its meaning. A little updating and renovating doesn't scare me, so I will not shy away from properties that are in estate condition.
Flag Fri Jan 16, 2015
While I usually work with buyers, I once had the opportunity to work on the other end of what was virtually an estate sale. I say virtually because the lady who lived in the apartment was a close personal friend of a buddy of mine. Here's a little about my experience and the situation as it happened...

A good friend of mine approached me as I was dining at a local restaurant here on the upper east side, and asked me if I was interested in handling his grandmother's estate sale. This was a bit of a shock to me because he was acting as if everything was fine, but meanwhile this was the first I was hearing about his grandmother's passing, or so I thought. What he really meant to say was that his grandmother was voluntarily moving to an elder care home, and he was put in charge of liquidating her estate to raise money so they can afford to get her the best care possible. After I caught my breath, I told him I would be more than happy to help. We set up an appointment for me to see the apartment that week, and much to my surprise, it was in fairly good condition. While it was true of most estate sales, that there were no significant upgrades done to the interior of the apartment in a long time, it was definitely in livable condition. This is the first misconception about estate sales, and is why I mentioned it. Most estate sales do involve an apartment that is in poor to fair condition, there will be the occasional property that is well-maintained and with new modern fixtures.

After I got the little loose ends in the apartment repaired, such as making sure all the light bulbs matched in a room, tightened handles on drawers and cabinets, the unit was put on the market at a slightly lower than market value price, for a quick sale. As it turned out, a few people showed up to the first open house with their own Buyer's Brokers, which I always recommend buyers have their own representation. By the next day, we started to receive offers, and the apartment, because it was not in unlivable condition, sold for a fair market-value price.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it, LOL!!! If you should have any further Real Estate questions, I am happy to help.

Lindsey Newman
Senior Real Estate Sales Associate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 11, 2012
The home I want has some major fixes, new furnace, new air cond. and a few others. The main issue is it still has a fuse box vs. breaker. The roof is newer, , yet the upper deck ceiling is sagging a lot. There are some other large issues but many are things that I can manage. The house is listed, if I make an offer, is it usual that "the estate"should pay for the electric panel upgrade and or the falling upper deck ceiling? I am 65. My husband has died but we have remodeled and added on to several homes in our time together. I am on SS/disability from an accident but able to do a lot of things. These two items not so much. I don't think I could get insurance on a fuse box home. I know the executor is far away and has not seen the house but has given the listing to a realtor who also auctions homes. Is there a usual with a case like this with respect to repairs. Thank you Pj.
Flag Sat Jul 9, 2016
is the sale price in a estate sale negotiable ? can i make a lower offer based on the condition of the property? This sale states i must get the C/O too?
Flag Wed Nov 5, 2014
Yes, an estate sale is the sale of property whose owner is deceased. The sale will be handled bt the executor in the event of a Will or an administrator appointed by the court in the absence of a Will. The most important issue is to make sure that the estate passes through the probate process so ensure a clean Title for you (the current buyer) and all future buyers (so you have no problems when you sell). It might be a good idea to purchase Title Insurance as the buyer. If you have a mortgage the bank will have Title Insurance but that will not help you in the event of a Title issue in the future. All other aspects of the sale are the same as any other and you should follow normal procedures - work with an experienced real estate professional, have the property inspected by a qualifed home inspector, use an experienced real estate attorney to ensure you are protected legally.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
An estate sale is a sale or auction of property owned by a person who is recently deceased or who may be going in to assisted living. The most common reason for an estate sale is the death of the property owner, and the consequent need to quickly liquidate the deceased's belongings.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
An estate sale is where someone is selling the property of someone else and they may not have any knowedge about the property. Be sure to have inspections done to veryify the condition of the property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
An estate sale is where an owner (often an Heir) decides to sell most, if not all, of the belongings owned by them. The estate sale typically takes place in the home of the owner (deceased or not) and can be a great tool for someone who is looking to downsize in order to move to a new location, like a nursing home. More often than not an estate sale company in your local area is contacted who will typically handle the light cleaning, pricing, staging, promoting and selling of the items in the estate.
Here is an email that I recently sent to a client:
Greetings Ms. ,

First, thank you for emailing us! Second, I would be more than happy to discuss the in's and out's of the estate sale business. However, there is so much that goes into it that what I provide below will be a cursory overview of the process. Keep in mind too that located on our website there is an Estate Sales 101 tab that will provide you with a great deal of information on estate sales. Also please keep in mind that I am not familiar with your situation therefore some of this information may not apply to you specifically.

Typically when I meet with a client it is to either downsize their estate because they are moving and want to leave most, if not all, of their items for sale. The other situation is because there has been a death in the family and their family member(s) have decided to sell the belongings in the house.

Once I receive a phone call I schedule a meeting so that I may view the estate to make certain that an estate sale would be a good fit for both the client and for my company. I bring with me a folder containing a great deal of information about A Belle Estate Sale, an example of Before and After pictures, a company profile, a list of suggested questions to help you receive the information you need, and a contract. At the first meeting I would discuss the contract and what each other's expectations are so that we can see, beyond your items, if we are a good fit as well. We believe the relationship between client and estate sale company is a symbiotic one!

A Belle Estate Sale operates a bit differently than most estate sale companies. I have made it a primary focus for the company and our employees to have balance in their lives and as such I do not "slam" estate sales back to back in order to maximize company profits. In my experience it has proven better to pick and choose no more than two estate sales per month. The reasons for this are threefold: 1. Marketing is of extreme importance and from the moment the client signs the contract I immediately begin to take pictures and get the sale listed; more time for marketing equals more income for all concerned, 2. By only scheduling two estate sales per month my appraisers/pricers take the necessary to properly price items, which also maximizing income, and 3. each of my team members have families and I want them to have balance in their personal and professional lives. By setting a limit to the number of sales, my team looks forward to our next adventure, because we do truly enjoy what we do, instead of dreading next week because it will consist of an 80-90 hour work week. We honestly enjoy what we do and want to keep it that way.

Estate sale companies will offer a range of options depending on the particular situation, including cleaning before the sale, clean-up after the sale, different marketing strategies, different commission rates depending on the dollar value and volume of items in the house, etc. etc. In order to offer you a percentage my partner, Mr. Posey, and I would need to evaluate the estate. It might be easier to have a blanket percentage that we offer but this would be a disservice to our clients as the estate may be of higher value which would allow for a lowers commission percentage. Further, if we offered a blanket percentage we would not necessarily be competitive with the market.

If the client and the company decide this will be a successful venture together, the team begins to clean, photograph in detail items, itemize the house, research and price the items and begin contacting our buyers to let them know about the sale. Our buyers consist of the following that typically goes to estate sales (which is in the 1000's), a list of buyers who resell the items, collectors and antique stores. We do not give these people first shot at the items because we believe that the items should first be offered for the price we have on the item. However, we do allow buyers who want to pay the asking price to purchase these items via a preview sale. Once the items sale, we remove it from our marketing material in an effort to not mislead other buyers.

Depending on your situation A Belle Estate Sale can simply perform a service where we sell as much of the estate as possible and then the remaining items stay with the family. If your choice is to liquidate the estate to receive as ... read more at (due to post limit).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
An estate sale is a home and property that was owned by someone who is deceased. Usually the famiiy or heirs sell the possessions as the inheritance. My suggestion would be to make sure and attrorney is involved who understands that process. Thinks like Death Certificates and closing out of federal I.D's (social security etc) is very important.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 8, 2012

What you need to know about any estate sale property is EVERYTHING there is to know about it. No two properties are alike, going on the assumption that because the property is part of an estate and therefore is a great deal may cloud your judgement. Have your attorney and your agent do complete due diligence before moving on it. Treat it like any other property. As far as the condition is concerned, adjust the value accordingly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Generally an estate occurs once an owner(s) has passed on; for any necessry legal information/advice as it applies to the specific property, consult with your attorney....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Estate sales are often a chance to buy a property at a great price. When someone passes away their property belongs to the estate, unless they have a living trust. The property usually needs work therefore the price will reflect an "as is" condition. Many times that involves cosmetic work and updating and the price you pay for it should take that into account.
As a broker I like Estate properties because they usually are exceptional properties at very good prices. That also means that there will be more competition if the property is priced right.
The negative side of estate sales is that sometimes the estate of course wants too much money. Since expenses are running while the sale process is going on, they usually can not hold out that long. They also want the proceeds so they often are more eager to sell than private sellers.
The other negative aspect of estate sales is they often take time. The legalities and paperwork needed sometimes increases the time of the transaction.
For more help on Living Trusts, please feel free to contact me at READY GROUP -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer