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Estate House

An “estate house” is one listed for sale by the estate of a deceased person. For the purposes of this blog post – and for your information, if you are watching real estate listings – don’t confuse the term “estate for sale”, meaning landed property (like the Biltmore Estate), with an “estate house”, which can be any type of house being sold by the estate of a deceased person.


If you are not familiar with the estate process here is a very short overview. When someone passes away with or without a will, all the person’s assets and debts are put into the legal possession of the “estate”. The estate is a temporary legal trust that executes the terms of the will, disposes of assets, and settles debts, before transferring the remaining assets to the heirs. Real estate property may be sold by the estate to meet the terms of the will, or to settle debts, or it may eventually be transferred to the heir(s).


Last month I discussed many of the issues surrounding inherited houses and why it is essential to deal with them promptly – please read my blog posts on “inherited houses”. Many of the issues also apply to estate houses. This month I will discuss more of the specifics of converting estate houses (and inherited houses) into cash.


The cash needed to prepare an estate house for sale is normally whatever assets are in the estate – that is, whatever the deceased person left behind. You may be the executor handling the estate, or you may be working with an attorney or other executor.


  • Get a thorough inspection of the house to know the true condition and what is necessary to prepare it for a traditional home-buyer sale. Especially if it was the long-time residence of the deceased person, expect a lengthy list of issues, many of them costly.


  • Have a real estate professional help you understand the local market for this house. What are recent sales prices for similar houses in various conditions, good and bad?


  • How much cash does the estate have to prepare the house for sale? Are any of the heirs willing to chip in more?


  • Is it worth it to put the cash of the estate and/or the heir(s) into the house to sell, or is it smarter to sell as-is, quickly and for cash, to a fix-and-flip company such as PDX Renovations?
    • Fixing the house may be a long process requiring knowledgeable management of sub-contractors and many choices of what and how much to fix.
    • Do you know what the building code requires, and what most benefits the house in this particular market? It is common for first-timers to put too much money into things that don’t improve marketability and overlook even small items that make an impression on home shoppers.
    • Expect hidden defects to emerge during the fixing process – even large show-stoppers. There is no control over what it may ultimately cost to get the house into the condition you are targeting.


Selling quickly for cash is frequently the best option, by far, to solve the financial and other problems of an estate house. In next week’s post, “How To Sell Your House (Very) Quickly”, I will tell you more about how to find a reputable cash buyer who will take the house as-is, and allow you to move forward with the final details of the estate.



Question or Prompt for Response – open-ended, relevant

Can you afford your best guess as to what it will cost to prepare a house you expect to inherit for sale?


Call to Action

Do you have a piece of property (house, lot, or land) you’d like to sell fast?  Fill out our Sell Fast Form and get a cash offer within one hour of us viewing the property. https://pdxrenovations.com/sell-house-quick/we-buy-homes-bring-us-a-deal/

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