How Long Does An Executor Have To Sell A House?

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“As an executor, one of your responsibilities is to manage and sell the deceased person’s property. This may include selling their house. But how long do you have to sell the house, and when do you need an attorney? This article explores in more detail how long does an Executor has to Sell a House.”

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How Long Does An Executor Have To Sell A House?

What Is an Executor?

An executor is the legal name assigned to an individual tasked with taking care of the estate of a deceased individual. The estate comprises things left behind after the person’s death, including house furniture, automobiles, jewelry, family heirlooms, and many more.

When the will names you as executor, the document will specify how you will manage the estate. It may instruct you to divide things among different relatives, sell assets, and then donate the proceeds to charities.

If there’s no will, you’ll have to distribute the estate by probate under the process known as intestate succession. Therefore, intestate succession is there is no will. It is the transfer of assets by rules of law in the particular state that the deceased person was a citizen of.


A Bit About Probate

As an executor, you must know the basics of probate. This is the procedure of a judge looking through the assets of the deceased estate. They use the assets to pay off unpaid taxes or debts and ensure that the remaining assets are divided by the will. Probate is often long-winded, generally lasting between 24 months after the estate’s death.

Some assets do not need to be subject to probate, however. As per Estate Planning, the following assets are typically distributed outside of probate:

  • A deceased owner could transfer jointly owned assets.
  • Assets that are a part of a trust
  • We have assigned the assets to the correct beneficiary.

Probate laws vary from state to state, and consultation with an attorney, real estate agent, or lawyer who understands specific rules in the state and regulations is highly recommended.


What is the Time Limit for an Executor to Sell a House?

The time an executor has to sell a house can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the property, the state of the real estate market, and any outstanding debts or liabilities of the estate. In general, selling the property as soon as possible is advisable to avoid additional expenses, such as property taxes and maintenance costs.

However, ensuring that the sale goes properly and by the law is also important. In some states, specific timelines must apply when selling a house as part of an estate. For example, in California, an executor has up to one year to sell the house before it becomes subject to a reassessment of property taxes. In other states, there may be different deadlines or requirements.


The executor must take on the management of the real estate

As stated, the executor must take on the management of the property. If the house is not occupied, the executor must take care of the property rep, lace the locks, and alter the delivery address for mail to their address. Rerouting mail is an effective way to get all the necessary documents to settle the estate.

Removing all furniture, valuables, and decorations from the house is an excellent idea. The home must then be professionally arranged for viewings. Put away all personal possessions and valuables, then divide the items among the estate’s beneficiaries.


How to sell a house by an executor in Basic and Easy Steps?

The process of selling a property in the capacity of executor is similar in all states in the U.S. However, the probate laws and procedures can differ. This is what could affect the timing and selling of the house.

Can the executor sell my house? However, here’s how you can sell a house using these steps:


Send the will to the probate court.

The initial and most crucial first step should be to make the will public before the probate court to confirm the will’s authenticity. After you have the process going through the court of probate, you can begin taking charge of the property and preparing for its sale. You have 30 days to file a probate court after you have received the will of the deceased.

Making a will public in probate court is not an obligation. However, it’s mandatory when the legal title of inherited property passes to the next generation. If you’re the only beneficiary on the property, the court could give you the authority to sell the house while the property is being administered.


Determine the most efficient method of selling the home.

If you need clarification on whether it’s a good idea to sell your home in the marketplace, it’s a good idea. As the executor of a will, you are also the fiduciary for the estate. It’s in the best interest of the other beneficiaries to sell the property for profit. Also, you’ll need to choose based on the best method to market your house.

If, for instance, you must sell the property quickly, you can enlist the expertise of iBuyer. They provide a hassle-free home selling service with a short turnaround time. If you are working with an agent for real estate, be sure they’re well-versed in selling inherited homes.


It is essential to have a contract signed for the sale.

If you can find a suitable buyer for your property, it is essential to have a contract signed for the sale and then send it to the probate court as quickly as possible. Also, you must provide a copy of the buyer’s offer to get the court’s approval for you to complete the sale of your home.

If the house is divided among more than one beneficiary, you must obtain their consent for the sale. Each beneficiary must sign a waiver expressing their satisfaction with the price of the house. After you’ve submitted your documents and the court has reviewed them, they will consider them.


Waiting for the approval of the sale by the probate judge.

In this stage, it is essentially waiting for the approval of the sale by the probate judge. Once you’ve received the approval, you can complete and close the sale of your home. To close the sale, you have to execute the executor’s title. You sign on behalf of the estate in your capacity as executor.

Remember that if you have beneficiaries in the deal, you’ll have to get their approval before you agree.


Receive and distribute profits.

After you have put up the property for sale, you need to open an additional bank account to hold the estate. You should distribute the funds you earn from selling your home similarly. You must pay the creditors and any outstanding owed amounts first. 

You must transfer the remaining funds into the estate’s bank account. If you are the sole beneficiary, we can move the remainder of the proceeds into your account after settling all debts. You will usually receive a check from the real estate lawyer who handles the finalization of your transaction. The check is in the name of your estate. The executor or a probate court administrator deposits it into the estate account.

The method by which you will receive the proceeds is contingent upon the decision of the probate court judge and the probate court. If your attorney supervises the sale of your home, then they will put the proceeds into their trust account. Account. If you do not go through probate court, the beneficiaries must sign and agree on allocating the money.


The Process of Selling a House by an Executor

How does an executor sell a house? As an executor, selling a house as part of an estate can be complex. In general, the process involves the following steps:


Determine the property’s value:

Before selling the house, it is important to appraise it to determine its value. This will help you choose an appropriate asking price and ensure the sale is fair to all beneficiaries.


Obtain necessary approvals:

Depending on the state and local laws, you may need certain approvals before selling the house. For example, you may need approval from the probate court or the estate’s beneficiaries.


Hire a real estate agent:

Hiring a real estate agent to help with the sale is often advisable. A real estate agent can help market the property, find potential buyers, and navigate the sale process.


Prepare the house for sale:

This may involve making repairs, cleaning, and staging the house to make it more attractive to potential buyers.


List the house for sale:

Once it is ready, you can list it for sale with the help of your real estate agent. You must provide information about the property, such as its features, location, and asking price.


Negotiate with potential buyers:

Once you receive offers from potential buyers, you must negotiate with them to reach an agreement.


Complete the sale:

Once an agreement arrives, you must complete the sale process. This may involve inspections, appraisals, and closing procedures. An attorney can help ensure that everything happens correctly and by the law.


Distribute the proceeds:

Once the sale is complete, you must distribute the sale proceeds to the estate’s beneficiaries. There may be a need to pay off any outstanding debts or liabilities of the estate and divide the remaining proceeds among the beneficiaries.


Why Need an Attorney When Executor Selling House?

Executors may need an attorney when selling a house for several reasons:


Why Do Executors Need an Attorney When Selling a House?


Legal obligations:

Executors have legal obligations to ensure that the house sale follows the law. An attorney can help meet all necessary legal requirements, such as obtaining approvals and completing the appropriate paperwork.


Complexities of the sale process:

Selling a house can involve negotiations with potential buyers, inspections, and closing procedures. An attorney can help guide the executor through the process and ensure everything goes.



If there are disputes among the beneficiaries or other parties involved in the estate, an attorney can help mediate and resolve the issues.



Executors may be liable for any errors or omissions in the sale process. An attorney can help minimize liability risk and protect the executor.


Frequently Asked Questions


How long will an executor need to sell the house following the probate?

An executor’s clock starts ticking when they initiate probate. The executor should attempt to sell the home before completing the probate process. How long will that take? It could be as short as a few months or over a year. 

It all depends on factors such as the condition of the will, disputes regarding the will, and the laws of the state in which they reside.


Do beneficiaries consent to the estate property transfer through an executor?

Although an executor may sell estate property without consent from each beneficiary, contacting all involved is best. Ensuring that everyone is informed builds trust. It also prevents sudden hiccups or confusion in the future.


Does an executor have the right to purchase estate property on their own?

Executors can look into purchasing the property of the estate. But, they must be cautious. They must pay the right price and be transparent at each step. Ultimately, it’s the issue of maintaining trust and honesty within their job.


What happens if an executor refuses to sell the house?

If an executor appears stuck on selling a house and needs help explaining, the beneficiaries may go to the probate court. They may ask the court to replace the executor they have in place for an alternative. 

It is, however, always better to seek some common ground and peacefully settle issues before proceeding to the courtroom since fixing issues outside of court is typically more manageable and less stressful.


Can executors sell property without having to go through probate?

There are a few circumstances where an executor may skip probate to sell a home. For instance, if the deceased person was a joint owner that included joint tenancy or tenants, the property’s ownership will naturally shift to the owner who is not dead. However, in most other situations, selling a house usually requires the probate process.



In conclusion, an executor is responsible for selling a house as part of the estate, but the timeline for doing so can vary depending on the location and circumstances. Executors must work with an attorney to ensure the sale goes properly and by the law and protect themselves from liability.


Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  Bio...

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