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Navigating the Home Sale After Losing a Loved One

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Losing someone you love can feel overwhelming. Between making funeral arrangements and dealing with your own sadness and grief, it is all the more burdensome when you also have to sell his or her home. Breaking the process down into steps will help make it feel more manageable and allow you to delegate tasks to others who are willing to pitch in.

Begin by looking at these necessary items on your to-do list, courtesy of Quality Title Pro.

Clean Out the Kitchen and Pantry

The first thing that needs to be done is to get rid of all perishable food in the refrigerator before anything starts to spoil. Then, go through the cabinets and pantry to collect unopened non-perishables so you can donate them to a local food pantry or soup kitchen. Anything opened should be thrown away unless you are able to use it yourself.

Collect Sentimental Items From the House

Emotionally, this is probably the most difficult task, so it may be helpful to have some support. Bring boxes or containers with you so you can divide the items up into categories. Doing this now will save you from having to sort through everything twice, or at least make it easier later on. Go room by room, and if you have any doubts about whether or not to keep something, keep it for now. You can always change your mind later and you’ll save yourself from regretting that you got rid of it too soon.

When it’s time to donate items to a charity, Next Avenue recommends choosing the one that’s most convenient for you, rather than trying to pick out the “best one.” For your sake, this is a time to aim for simplicity, so try to avoid overthinking this phase.

Additionally, once you know what you want to keep within the family, your best bet is to simply search Angi for “furniture movers near me” and check customer ratings and reviews to find movers you can trust.

Change the Locks and Forward the Mail

Thieves will often comb neighborhoods looking for unoccupied homes to burglarize, so it’s best not to advertise the fact that the house is empty by allowing mail to accumulate. Make sure to secure the house and change the locks as an extra precaution.

Gather Important Documents

Shred anything that could potentially lead to identify theft and collect pertinent documents such as:

  • Will
  • Mortgage information
  • A copy of the sale agreement
  • Title and deed
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Property tax information
  • Bank account information
  • Investment information

Hold an Estate Sale

Once you’re sure you’ve gathered up all mementos and keepsakes, arrange to have an estate sale. If you’re up to it, you can handle this yourself or hand it over to a friend or family member to facilitate. U.S. News notes it may be easier on everyone, however, to hire an estate sale company if the household has nice quality furniture, valuables, and practical items to sell.

Additionally, this is a good time to consider creating a nonprofit organization in the name of the departed. ZenBusiness can help you through the process, which offers a twofold benefit: it honors the memory of your lost loved one, while at the same time giving the bereaved a positive outlet where they can focus their energies to the betterment of the community.

Prepare the House for Sale

By now, the house should be empty (or nearly empty) and it’s time to assess how to make it attractive to potential buyers. Old carpeting that is outdated or stained should be replaced and hardwood floors cleaned and refinished. Replace broken or outdated light fixtures and give the home a fresh coat of paint in each room. Most importantly, make sure the entire house, inside and out, is thoroughly cleaned.

Selling your loved one’s property is a huge responsibility, but following a few simple steps and connecting with the right people will make the process as painless as possible. It can also give you the chance to honor their memory, come together as a family, and say goodbye.

When purchasing or selling a home, there are an overwhelming amount of steps to get from contract binding to the closing table. Quality Title Pro is dedicated to helping you through this process, and taking stress off you by holding your hand through each and every step. Call (901) 249-4787.

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