Home Selling in 94538>Question Details

Kathy Piscio…,  in 94538

If there are 2 executors on a probate sale and they dont agree on agents to list the property, can one executor hire an agent to bring offers?

Asked by Kathy Pisciotta, 94538 Sat May 26, 2012

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When family members cannot agree, real estate dealings turn from simple transactions into minefields. It’s the same with divorce – if there is no agreement, there can ultimately be no sale. And all too often the agent ends up being the bad guy in these scenarios – not the sellers. Then you have three adversaries, not two.

You want a win-win scenario – one based on compromise for both parties so that each party has given up their ideal position and has settled on a lesser, but good solution both can agree on. Choosing a Realtor is simply the first step – if the two parties can’t even agree at this level, there will be no foundation for any agreement going forward. This is not just about a real estate transaction – it is about the lives of the executors going forward. If either person feels they were run over during any part of the process, ill feelings could grow into resentments that will affect the relationship for years to come.

There is good advice below and I concur with Brian – here is what I’d recommend:

1. It appears both parties have a preferred Realtor – agree up front that neither Realtor will be the agent of choice – regardless of their connection to either party. Set them both aside and move on.
2. Have each party prepare a short list of Realtors – use a web-based service such as HomeGain.com or AgentMachine.com to identify potential local Realtors.
3. Interview at least three Realtors TOGETHER – come to consensus as to which Realtor both individuals can both agree on – just make sure that whoever is chosen has experience with estates.
4. If there is still no agreement on a Realtor after using this process, then look to bringing in a professional mediator to help. If there is no agreement up front, the ‘loser’ will more than likely – either purposefully of even unintentionally – sabotage the transaction at key points along the way trying to ‘second-guess’ the other party and their intentions. Win-win will turn to lose-lose and it could be very ugly each step of the way.

Lastly, keep in mind that there will be more parties involved than just the executors: there will be unsuspecting buyers who will be paying hard-earned money up front for inspections and appraisals, two Realtors with commissions at stake … if everything goes south because the executors can’t agree …

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
I agree with the opinions below.

I think with so many very good agents, the two executors could agree on one. If each one has their favorite, but can't agree on either of those two agents, then move down the list and see if both can agree on another. This way both are satisfied and they won't have to bring in the lawyers.

good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
this is a legal question, contact a probate attorney to find out how it can be resolved.

Good Luck to you..
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
While you should consult an attorney about the legal aspects of this question, you should also consider exploring use of a mediator. Check out http://www.mediation.com for mediation services. My suspicion is that if the two executors cannot work out a compromise on this issue on their own, there will be other issues surrounding the sale (and the estate in general) that will prove thorny. Having access to a professional mediator familiar with the players and the situation may take the win/lose aspect out of this and future disagreements. These kinds of disagreements have torn apart families when they have gotten out of hand.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 26, 2012
Better have a meeting of the minds first before you bring more people in the equation. Without total cooperation, nothing will work without a heap of trouble. No agent will want to work under those circumstances.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 26, 2012
I list several probate properties every year and I would never accept a listing from just one executor when there are two. It has nothing to do with lawyers, it's all about not getting sucked into a fight you should have no part of.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 26, 2012
I think this depends on your state - you need to ask a real estate attorney or the probate attorney. I would think the answer is no... but seek legal advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 26, 2012
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