DO YOU EVER TAKE A "FOR SALE BY COMMITTEE" LISTING?...IF SO READ ON...
FOR SALE BY COMMITTEE...Your Good guidance is crucial in a Trust or Estate real estate sale. After recently handling several listings of this sort, I figured I would share a little of what I have learned from those and give you all a heads up just in case you have not had this kind of experience:
WHEN YOU LIST A HOME that is part of an estate or is in a Trust, you need to know what this will mean in terms of your time and your efforts. There are so many ways that the listing that you agree to handle for a Trust or an Estate is so very different than a typical home sale listing. First of all, you need to establish what is required of you as the listing agent:
- Who do you report to?
- Who will be handling negotiations from the selling side of a deal?
- Will it be multiple family members or beneficiaries?
- How does the dispersal of funds get handled when a property is sold for an estate or Trust? (your commission, in other words)
- Will the trust handle any inspection issues if you have a buyer who wants to do an inspection before making an offer?
Then there are the BIG differences when you are dealing with multiple parties on a listing:
- The trust or "committee" will want to set their own price and it can be substantially different than what you know the market will pay.
- Rarely will you get all "on board" when it comes to a price change or a even a counter to an offer. Driving this is the usual need for the beneficiaries to realize a certain dollar figure so they can buy something else or so they can payoff big bills.
- In my experience, unless you have a very open and willing team that you are dealing with, it will be one of the more difficult listings you will ever handle.
- It will take a collective agreement to handle any problems that arise on the property. Timing can be thrown way off by one individual's foot dragging.
- There is a vested interest on the part of all involved to get the exact asking price or very close to it.
- If you are accustomed to negotiating on an offer from a buyer, be prepared for a very different sort of negotiating.
- Your flexibility is essential when handling an estate or a trust for a family--your understanding is required because there is usually a death involved with the listing.
- In an estate or trust you will be dealing with a different mindset than an individual homeowner who is trying to list and sell his or her home.
- On the other hand you may be dealing with a sibling or siblings that have no tolerance for the necessary time frame involved in selling an estate...They may want or need an immediate sale and as we all know that is not predictable.
THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF "SALES BY COMMITTEE"
In the last year I have handled 3 different types of estate sales:
- A Trust where I had a team of lawyers or legal professionals that I had to work with, or a board of trustees.
- An estate sale where I was dealing with the 5 siblings of the deceased parents. Each sibling had their own needs that had to be met...It was a committee that met each time an open house was to be held; each family member had the use of the house every third weekend. So there was a constant interruption of a relaxing weekend that had to be dealt with....Not easy with 5 different personalities! One of them in particular was in a chronic bad mood and confronted me each time I tried to show the house or hold an open house..
- A Living Trust where the offspring were left to handle the dispersal of the property so the very elderly parent could get the medical care they needed. This was the saddest case for me; the Mother was very ill and needed money to pay for the medical treatment, the nursing home and the doctors who were making visits to the home until she could enter the nursing home.
6 months into the listing, the Mother died and all 4 of the siblings were laid low by her death. No one wanted to sell the house--no one had the final say as to what would happen if it did not sell and with their heads in the sand, all 4 of them decided to pull the listing and I watched as they slowly slid into lispendens, foreclosure and then lost the house.
In today's "Graying" of America with so many elderly parents and with siblings sharing the care of the parents, there are more and more of these listings coming available.
HAVE YOU HAD SIMILAR SITUATIONS? HOW DO YOU HANDLE THIS TYPE OF LISTING? PLEASE SHARE A STORY IN YOUR COMMENT BELOW: