Estate Home Sales Require Estate Home Specialists

October 5th, 2021


3 minute read time

We all use general professionals for everyday needs and specialists for special situations, whether medical, dental, business or anything else. The challenge though, is knowing when we’re in a special situation and how to find the right specialist.

Likewise, Canada has a great many realtors who do a great job in everyday situations but being charged with the task of selling a home when someone passes away is certainly not something most of us do every day!

Estate home sales are vastly different because, just to start with, in one way they’re empty and in another way, they’re full. They’re empty, in that in many cases, they’re vacant if the decedent lived alone. They’re full, in that the home is full of furniture, dishes, linens, clothes and collectibles- all the stuff that we gather over the years. Both of these aspects make a profound difference to how the sale is managed.


The first problem with vacant properties is the homeowner’s insurance isn’t valid unless steps are taken to reassure the insurance company. If the pipes freeze and cause extensive damage and the insurance isn’t in force, the executor will be held accountable.

Next is security, because no one is watching over the property, making it an easy target for criminals. In fact, if you think about public notification of funeral services, estate situations are the only time we actually advertise that the whole family will be occupied for several hours, and the home will be left unattended!

Maintenance is a huge issue. Most of us take for granted all the effort that goes into keeping up our homes, from mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and snow-shoveling, to vacuuming, window washing, dusting and more. When these tasks aren’t attended to, the property can quickly fall into disrepair.

Also, consider all the utility costs and property taxes, for which the homeowner normally benefits, but when the home is vacant, these are all sunk costs. The combination of these issues, all for which the executor can be held responsible personally, has a profound impact on the timing of the sale, while at the same time, we have another major problem.


The problem with the home being full, that is, full of everything gathered over years and years, is that it all has to go before the home can be shown, which is going to cause problems for timing, which we just determined was an important factor due to everything else!

Another problem is that once all the contents are removed, we’re going to be able to see what was underneath! In what condition are the rugs, the floors, the linoleum, and the shelves, counters, cupboards and everything else? How much of the estate’s money should the executor spend to bring the home up to the condition where it can be properly marketed without risking lawsuits from the affected heirs? It’s a real challenge.

These problems get even worse when the executor doesn’t live nearby, which is increasingly the case in most Canadian estates. Should the executor drive across the province or fly across the country to have a garage sale or two, or ten, or so a potential buyer can test-drive the car? There is no question estate home sales are special situations and they require the right specialist.


An estate home realty specialist can seamlessly manage the entire estate home sale process for the executor, often without the need for them to ever even be physically in the home. They can manage it quickly enough to avoid the challenges of the home ‘being empty’, and inexpensively and effectively enough to avoid the challenges of the home ‘being full’. They can lighten the load and remove the personal risk of litigation from the executor.

(Find estate home realty specialists at

May 24th, 2024