A bereavement is, of course, one of the saddest reasons for having to sell a residential property. With all the fond memories which are frequently associated with the house of a loved one, the temptation can often be to delay any action almost indefinitely. For both practical and emotional reasons, however, it can often be advisable to deal with the sale sooner rather than later.
1. Maintenance Issues
Clearly, when a house is unoccupied after a bereavement, the lawn doesn’t stop growing, the paint will continue to peel and, without being heated or aired properly, there is even greater potential for the weather to do its worst and for the property to fall quickly into disrepair. All the time that this is happening, the house is becoming less and less saleable and the price it is likely to fetch is decreasing. This can either mean having to spend sometimes large amounts of money further down the line to restore it to a reasonable condition before putting it on the market, or accepting perhaps much less than the property is worth in order to sell. Having a house sitting empty over the winter months of course makes it especially vulnerable if it is unheated, with the added danger of burst pipes.
An empty house, and especially one which is still packed with the deceased’s possessions, is naturally more vulnerable to break-ins. In cases where the property is in a rural or isolated situation, burglars will think nothing of turning up with a truck and stripping a property bare, and this has even been known to happen in the case of houses which are not being carefully watched in cities and towns. All too often, neighbours merely assume that the relatives of the deceased have arranged for the contents to be removed and so do not think to alert the family or the police.
3. Logistical Problems
In many cases, the house of the deceased may be at some considerable distance from the family members who are left to dispose of the property. Arranging for traditional estate agents to deal with the sale when you are perhaps hundreds of miles away can cause both stress and logistical problems in terms of access for viewings and so on.
4. Cash Tied Up
As difficult as it can often be to dispose of the property of a deceased loved one, the fact is that the house is still a disposable asset which, if sold, could free up cash to improve the lives of those left behind. In most cases, the dearly departed would rest far easier knowing that they were able to contribute, for example, to a child’s or grandchild’s education.