Home Selling in 90650>Question Details

Rogene, Home Seller in Los Angeles, CA

My Mother recently passed away the we were wondering if we should try to sell her home now or wait to see of the market improves.

Asked by Rogene, Los Angeles, CA Tue Feb 1, 2011

The home is in Norwalk, CA. It is not necessary that the home by sold now but we would like to get it over with and move on. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

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Buy your House NOW! according to toSmart Money Magazine.

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Consumers ask the following questions: Has the market stabilized ? Is it a good time to buy my home ? Should I wait and see what happens to the housing market? Is my local market affected ?

The Smart Money Article makes the following major predictions and observations:

Fanny and Freddie exit the scene
Government backed loans are shrinking in number and size
Smaller mortgage loan amounts
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Real Estate Professionals and Mortgage lenders struggle to lead in mixed currents and muddy waters. The short answer is who knows for sure.

I think back to many storm forecasters before modern prediction tools came to bear on stormy weather. I am no storm forecaster; however, our mothers taught us to carry an umbrella just in case ....

Is the Real Estate Sky Falling or what is your opinion of buying or selling now?

"My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."
- Charles F. Kettering

Michael Chalambaga
DeRiso & Haynes Realty - Texas

All information is provided "as is" with no guarantees or warranty. M. Chalambaga © 2011 -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 17, 2011
My husband and his brother had the same decision to make about their mother's condo in Florida. I flew down and met with the realtor and saw all the comps. I know that a few years before the apartment would have been worth a lot more, but who knows how long it will be for prices to come back. I know that it was an emotional decision for them, so I helped do the math for them. I added up how much they would have to spend in taxes, insurance, HOA dues, minimum amounts for things like electric and other expenses. Then I added in a small rate of return if they were to sell at that time and invest the money. Over the course of 3-5 years, or more, waiting for the market to improve, they would have spent that difference in price, or lost it on investing the money.
You might want to look at it in that way. Figure out what your break even point is, and then get it off your back and don't worry about it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
This is an issue that many people face - and it's a very personal one. Things to consider:
1. Are you willing to sell it for CURRENT market value? This means setting aside sentimental feelings, talking to someone who knows the market in the area, and pricing it accordingly. So many people think a home is worth more than it really is. It might have been worth 35% more in 2005, but that was then and this is now.

2. Are you willing to do the upkeep on the home, pay property taxes, etc., until the market improves?

3. Are you willing to have the worry on your shoulders, because having a vacant house has risks (vandalism, lack of daily maintenance, etc.) and obviously renting a house does, too. Either way, it's a worry.

I think you answered your own question: You would like to get it over with and move on. Go with your hearts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
What I tell my clients is that this is not the best market for sellers, if you can wait 3-5 years, the market will improve. However, you did say you want to "GET IT OVER WITH AND MOVE ON". If you do not sell right now, then you will need to either find someone to live there or Lease it. My neighbor's son could not bring himself to sell his mothers house when she passed and left it vacant for 3 years. The property is in much worse condition and as you know the market has taken a nose dive.

Please let me know if you would like a no obligation market analysis consulting. Once you know all the facts and your options, it will be easier to make the right decision.

I wish you and your family the best and may God bless you all.

Best Regards,
Catherine Bedrossian
Home Sales Pro
(310) 383-4212
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
I have been through the same thing myself when my father passed away and I lived in a different state than where his home was. From my personal experience the best advice is to sell the home now. You do not want the long term problems of owning it. While it is vacant you have the problem of maintentance. Vacant houses develop problems, as well as you will need new insurance that covers a vacant house since your current policy will not. If you rent you have all the problems (financial risk) of being an out of state landlord.

Regarding the market, the consensus among bank and housing economists is that prices will slide further the first half of this year by 5-10%, reach bottom and slowly over 1-2 years climb back to Fall 2010 levels. This is all driven by the "Shadow Inventory" backlog of distressed properties and their higher sustained release by the lenders (Short Sales especially, REOs, etc.).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
Market or not, it is always a good idea to wait for awhile after a love one has passed. You are going through a lot of emotion right after so give yourself time and with time, you never know the market may even get better. Sorry for your loss!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
Hi, I sympathize with you, as I recently lost an aunt and this question was a concern with my cousins too...
I agree with Cheryl's response as best advise, and in as far as selling or waiting to see if the market improves is a good idea if your thinking of trying to maximize your gain, because if you ask around you'll see that the market is at the bottom of the cycle and prices are still quite low with all the Repos and Short-Sales on the market. However, with that being said, I think it's a personal decision that you need to weigh out the pros and cons, And if other family members are involved it should be mutually agreed between all the next-of-kins. In my 24 years experience, I've been involved in several Probate/Estate sales (in your area) and I know how sensitive these issues can be, and usually the family/estate attorney can help explain your options, tax issues and time-lines... However, if you need an experienced Probate/Estate RE Broker to answer any specifics about the property values and when the "best time" to sell is? Feel free to call or email me.
Sincerely, Carlos O.
Web Reference: http://www.coe-realty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
Hi Rogene,

I would speak with a top Realtor in your area to discuss the value of your mom's home. Find out the cost to upgrade the home should it need paint or carpet. Then ask how much rent you could collect. Gather all the facts, then make a decision on what works best for you and your wife. If renting makes more sense, speak with a property management company so you don't have to be involved. Property managers aren't as expensive as people think and they can handle everything for you.

I would also speak with your CPA to discuss your tax consequences on selling and renting.

No one knows when the market will pick up. Base your decision on what's the best thing for you and your family.

If I can help you in any way, please call me at (661) 255-3335. I work with some top Realtors and would be happy to have them call you.

Cheryl Garner, Mortgage Expert
Fairview Mortgage Capital, Inc.
Email: cheryl@cherylgarner.com
Web Reference: http://www.cherylgarner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 2, 2011
Hi Rogene, Im a Norwalk Expert. In Fact I am a South East Area Expert if its selling what you really want to do I can make sure you maximize the potential of that home. Otherwise waiting may have you sitting along other inventory thats soon to hit the market. Buyers are starting to come out so good luck in what you decide and Im sorry for your loss. God Bless!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
Hello Rogene,
So sorry about your loss. I am sure the idea of selling your mothers property is a daunting task. I have had many clients in your same situation and it is never easy. Over seeing her estate and property is a very time consuming thing and if you are the executor of her estate, all her other heirs will be looking to you for timely decisions. Most heirs do not want to become landlords and hassle keeping the property with tenants. Like you said, it is easier in the long run to sell the property and move forward.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me, as I work in and around the Norwalk area. Cell 562.665.4879 Email Ant@AntSells.com
Web Reference: http://www.AntSells.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
There is no right or wrong time to list a property. It is need based. As you mentioned, you would like to get it over with and move on. To me that says you are ready to list. Now, you may be ready but the house may not be. I would suggest giving it a good cleaning, organizing, etc. Fix up any problems you see - if you see them, a potential buyer will as well. (And a home inspector) Then meet with a Realtor of your choice and price the home well. (Listing too high will just produce waiting for you and your family. Pricing is at or below other comps in the area will move the property faster)
And I too am sorry for your loss. It is never easy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
I'm sorry for your loss. Deciding whether or not to sell your mother's home depends on alot of things:
- Did she leave a will with clear title - if not, you will have to go to probate court and you may want to rent it out while you wait for the 9-18 months probate can take.
- Do you or any of the other heirs need the money now? If so, sell and get the best price you can now.
- Does anyone in the family want to keep the house? If so, can they pay off the other heirs or refinance to buy out the other heirs.

As you can see, it depends. Don't hold on to the house hoping prices will rebound. Most experts forsee another 2-3 years of foreclosures and depressed pricing.

Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Bill Mota 626) 233-0190 Broker Associate@ FirstTeam Sns.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
Hi Rogene,
My husband recently lost his mother and then, 4 months later his father passed away. It has been a painful time. He and his sisters desparately needed closure which meant dealing with everything in the estate and putting it to rest. Since we really don't know what the market will do from one day to the next, I would say to sell the home and get on with living.
Of course, you should make sure this won't have any tax implications for you and your family.
Best Wishes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
It really depends on one thing - how long are you willing to hold onto the home. You are at or near the bottom of the market, and it is unlikely that you will see any significant appreciation over the next few years, so you'll have to be comfortable renting it for 3-5 years, before you see any change in value.

If you'd like to discuss in detail, feel free to contact me anytime.

Richard Schulman
#1 Listing and Selling Agent
Keller Williams Westside
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
Hi Rogene, I am sorry to hear about your mom. Knowing where you and the rest of your family are at right now in your lives will help you make the best decision for yourself and family. I would suggest to sit down and discuss it with your family after a couple of months to make sure everyone is on board with the decision. Then you would have to seek out competent professional advice from your accountant, estate attorney and financial planner. Then if all these stars align bring in a Realtor or 2 or 3 to get a valuation and marketing plan that will suit what you are looking for. Whether it is the best price or maximum flexibility you will want to work with someone you like and trust will do the best job for you and your family. Agents are a dime a dozen so you would want to find the one who you are most comfortable with. Best wishes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011

I am sorry for the loss of your mother, and I am sure this is a difficult time for you. I would advise you to speak with your accountant or financial planner and a good Realtor in your area. If you can rent out the home and your rent will cover property taxes, maintenance and insurance then you may choose to wait to sell. But, if your primary goal is to not have to deal with these things and there is equity in the home, selling now may be your best bet. It is hard to advise without more details, but I think an area agent will be able to provide you with comparables, rental information and a clue as to what list price will garner the quickest sale (as well as what you may need to do to get it in the best shape for sale). Ultimately you need to look at all the facts to make the best decision.

Best of luck to you,

Rachel LaMar, J.D.
LaMar Real Estate, Inc.
Web Reference: http://LaMarRealEstate.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 1, 2011
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