As an agent, I have yet to take a class that touches on all the things we need to know to handle this type of real estate sale, so I am going to offer up some key pieces of advice on how to have an estate sale.
1. Don't rely on what the family tells you. Do some homework yourself. Very often the family survivors have no idea what kind of debt was involved in their family estates. Often times home equity lines of credit have been taken out without anyone knowing.
2. Find out the extended family. Do the 3 family members have spouses and children? They may come in to play sooner rather than later and have to also sign documents.
3. Has everyone paid their taxes? Fastest way to kill a estate sale is to find out 1 of the 3 heirs has tax liens against them. OUCH!
4. Clean out that property. Oversee the work even though you don't think it is your job. If you leave the task to 4 people...they won't coordinate and it will never get done!
5. Have a good estate attorney on hand. They will be needed at some point or another, and they often need to work hand in hand with the closing attorney to get things done.
Having an estate sale will never will be easy, but if you follow these simple tips, you can make it smoother for all parties involved.