How to Sell a House when Someone Dies

“How to Sell a House in Queens when Someone Dies”, by George Herrera, Realtor and Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty. 

We do a lot of property sales related to estates here in Queens, and while they can very sad and sensitive situations, they can also be some of the most fulfilling transactions for us because we get to help family members through a very rough time in their lives. Most of the time we are meeting with sons, daughters, or heirs of the decedent(s) and they are usually still grieving as they are trying to get things in order. In Queens, these sales can get somewhat complicated depending on the situation and probate/administration status. On top of that, many times the heir(s) who are handling everything live outside of Queens so that can also make it very burdensome and overwhelming. Whatever the situation, our goal is always to take the reigns and handle as much as we can for them so that they can grieve and rest knowing that their family member’s estate is being taken care of as desired. For this reason, we set out to create a guide on how to sell a house when someone dies. If you have been placed with the responsibility of handling an estate sale for a deceased loved one, this will help you make sure that you have all your ducks in a row.

The first thing you have to know in these situations is that In New York State, the Surrogate’s Court decides what happens to a person’s property when that person dies. The judge in Surrogate’s Court is called the Surrogate, and the person who died is called the Decedent. That person’s property is called the estate. When a person dies and leaves a Will then they died testate. If the person died without leaving a Will, then they died intestate.

Estate Proceedings

There are three different kinds of estate proceedings in Surrogate’s Court, however, one of them is for descendants who had personal property of $30K or less so for the purposes of this article we will focus on probate and administration proceedings.

Summary:

  • If the Decedent had a will, then you file for probate.
  • If the Decedent didn’t have a will, then you file for administration.

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How to Sell your House in Queens NY

How to sell your house in Queens NY, by George Herrera, Realtor and Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

If you want to know how to sell your house in Queens NY, you’re in the right place. Whether you’re thinking of selling now or in the future, you’ve probably wondered what the steps to selling are and what you should do in preparation for the sale. Fortunately for you we’ve sold over 200 houses in Queens so we’re extremely familiar with the process, and we understand all of the steps involved for different scenarios, situations and property types.

With that said, below are 24 of the most common steps involved with selling a house in Queens NY. Some steps may vary, but most of these will apply every time. If you have any questions or would like some advice on selling, feel free to contact us anytime.

Step 1

Find out How much your Home is Worth

The first step to selling a house in Queens is obviously knowing how much the property is worth. This valuation is vital because it helps you and your family plan for the next steps with a realistic sale price expectation. You can go about this in one of two ways: 1) You can hire an independent appraiser to conduct an appraisal for you (this typically costs about $300-$400). Or 2) You can have a local Realtor come by and tell you what the property is worth (typically free of charge). If you decide to go the Realtor route, make sure you get at least three opinions because some agents are more thorough than others. Either eay, this should give you a good idea of the value. Also, keep in mind that “Appraised Value” is different from “Market Value” so the idea is just to get an idea of the appraised value. Ultimately you won’t know the true “market value” until you hit the market and open the bidding up to all interested parties. This is your first step in knowing how to sell your house in queens ny.

Step 2

Calculate your Net Profit, Potential Tax Burden, Tax Options, etc.

Once you have a good idea of the property’s value, the next thing you want to do is find out how much you would walk away with after the sale. This is the number that really matters because your net profit is what you will have left over to proceed with the next chapter in your life. Seller closing costs in Queens include: NYC transfer taxes, NYS transfer taxes, your Attorney fee(s), Listing broker commission, Buyer broker commission, Mortgage payoff(s), Home Equity Loan Payoff(s), Title Fees, etc. Once you have an idea of your estimated net profit, you can then speak with a tax advisor regarding your potential tax burden (i.e. Capital Gains) and different Tax Options available (i.e. 1031 exchange). For a complete breakdown of this step on How to Sell your House in Queens NY, contact us and we can send you a Queens closing costs spreadsheet.

Step 3

Decide whether or not to Sell

At this point, you should have a family discussion and decide whether now is indeed the right time to sell. You should have all of the information you need to make this decision so it ultimately comes down to selling, or holding. Try not to speculate as to where the market is going to be 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year from now because at the end of the day, it is just that, speculation. We tell all of the homeowners we meet, selling is all about timing. Usually when people sell, it is because they are ready to unload their property, take their equity, and move in to a new chapter. Either that, or they are in a situation that requires them to sell. Either way, the decision to sell is usually pretty clear.

Step 4

Get your Ducks in a Row

Once you’ve decided to sell, now you need to get your things in order. A lot of these Queens’ houses are very old, and depending on whether you inherited the property or purchased it, there are a lot of documents that you want to gather in order to streamline the sale. You definitely want to locate your old title report, your property deed, any mortgage records, payoff statements, ownership/transfer documents, violation documents, lien documents, wills, administration/probate documents, surveys, certificate of occupancies, etc.

Tips: If you are handling an estate sale, you will need to make sure that the proper probate or administration proceeding is filed with the surrogates court before listing the house. If the person who passed away lived out of state and the probate was done in that state, you will still need to file an ancillary probate in New York State so you will need to get that filed before listing. If you are a non-resident of New York, you will need to pay capital gains at closing so you should get an idea of the amount from a local CPA. If you have tenants, you should notify them of the sale asap and if they don’t have a lease or the lease has ended, we would advise sending a notice of termination and starting a holdover case if necessary.

We have seen so many issues pop up because these things were not looked into ahead of time. For more advice on this step of how to sell your house in Queens NY, feel free to reach out to us and we can give you some general advice.

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Queens Real Estate Market: 2016 Year in Review + 2017 Market Outlook

tmiqre_headerBy George Herrera, Realtor and Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

Year in Review

When it comes to the Queens real estate market, 2016 was an interesting year to say the least. Interest rates remained very low for most of the year, home sales were consistently below 2015 levels, home prices continued to increase at double digit levels, and inventory remained very tight for most areas of Queens. As you can imagine, demand remained very strong last year, especially with all of the publicity that Queens has been receiving.

Most of the houses/apts we sold last year still had multiple offers and ended up selling at or above asking price so the buyers were definitely out there. Constrained inventory however, made it tough for a lot of buyers to purchase and that is likely why home sales were down even with the still low interest rates.

2017 Market Outlook

It’s pretty evident that entry level buyers are looking for affordability, while investors are following the train lines for good rental income and appreciation. We noticed last year that some of our higher priced listings weren’t getting as many offers as they did the year before which was very interesting. On the flipside of that, some of our listings in less talked about neighborhoods were extremely hot and ended up going well over asking price with multiple offers. We expect that trend to continue this year because based on what we see, most Queens’ home buyers are looking for value rather than just to be in the hottest neighborhood.

All in all, even though prices were still rising last year, it wasn’t at the dramatic pace of 2015 and in our opinion that is healthy for the market. 2016 seemed to be more stable, and towards the end of the year, changes were made which could have a significant impact on the Queens real estate market in 2017. With the new administration in office, it will be important to see what housing policies go into effect because they can obviously have an impact on our local Queens’ market.

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How to Read Addresses in Queens NYC

by George Herrera, Realtor & Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

Queens is a very unique county in New York City. Not only is it the most diverse county in the world, but we also have a very unique way of navigating through the borough. If you’re not familiar with the address system it can be a pain to find addresses in Queens New York, however, once you know how the grid works, it’s smooth sailing. With that said, here are a few things you should know about Queens addresses, the street grid basics, and general theory behind the whole thing…

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How to find Queens Property Records

By George Herrera, Realtor & Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

Whether you’re a homeowner, absentee owner, estate executor, or potential home buyer, you may need to access your Queens County NY property records for one reason or another. Lucky for you, many property records are public record here in Queens and all you have to know is how to access these records in order to get all of the information you need. Below is a list of sites that we use when researching a property that one of our clients is looking to buy or sell. The legwork upfront is always worth it because there are so many issues and items that can come up once you dive into the history of a property. We hope you find this information helpful and useful in your Queens real estate endeavors!

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Seller Concession: What is it and How does it Work?

by George Herrera, Realtor & Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty. Supporting content provided by Robert Kaplan, P.C.

What is a Seller Concession?

Put simply, a seller concession is when the buyer and seller of a property agree on a purchase price and then also agree to an additional amount (the concession) to help the buyer with their closing costs. For example, let’s say a buyer and seller agree to the purchase price of $500K but the buyer also requested a 6% ($30K) Seller’s Concession in order to assist them with closing costs. If the Seller agrees to offer them a concession, the actual contracted price would be $530K, however, the additional $30K would not go to the seller, it would actually go towards the buyer’s closing costs. Now, in Western, Central, and Northern Queens, Seller’s Concessions are not very common. However, in South Central Queens and in Southeast Queens it is not uncommon to see offers come in with seller concessions included as part of the terms.

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Queens Real Estate Market: NOV 2016

queens_real_estate_market_nov_2016

by George Herrera, Realtor & Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

November 2016 Market Update

The Queens housing market continued on the same path in October with sales declining and prices on a steady rise. Sales have been down (year-over-year) in 7 of the last 10 months signifying that there is probably a lot of buyers who are being priced out as a result of the constrained inventory. Low inventory continues to play a key factor in Queens market conditions because while rates are still low and demand is still high, there just aren’t enough homes on the market for buyers to absorb them. As a result, there is fierce competition for well priced homes, coops, and condos and that is driving prices up significantly. The rate of price growth in Queens is a concern for some because while wages are also increasing, they are nowhere near the percentage increases we are seeing in home prices and that will ultimately affect affordability for first time buyers.

queens_real_estate_market_snapshot

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