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If you are an Executor in someone’s will, it will fall to you to gather in and value the assets of the estate, pay off any debts and liabilities, calculate and pay any inheritance tax that is due – and distribute the estate in accordance with the will.

Additionally, unless the beneficiaries named in the will wish to have the deceased’s property transferred into their names, you as the Executor will need to sell it.

Selling a property as an Executor is slightly different from the usual process, so how should you go about it?


  1. Obtain a Grant of Probate

If the deceased owned property in their sole name, you will need to obtain a Grant of Probate. This is a legal document, which confirms the validity of the will and names the Executor who will deal with the deceased’s assets.

As an Executor, you need to be aware that obtaining a Grant of Probate can take potentially 16 weeks or more, so keep this in mind when looking to sell.


  1. Get the property valued

When applying for the Grant of Probate you will need to get a valuation for the deceased’s property.  This should reflect the value of the property at the date the owner died. An Estate Agent can carry out this valuation.


  1. Choose your Solicitor/Conveyancer

When choosing your Licensed Conveyancer/ Conveyancing Solicitor, it is important to consider a few key factors:


Reviews are one of the best ways to determine if you can trust a company. Take the time to look at the different Solicitors and see what people are saying about them.


You can make sure you are dealing with professionals by ensuring the firm is accredited. For Solicitors, this is the Quality Conveyancing Scheme. It is run by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority). For Licensed Conveyancers, it is the CLC (Council for Licensed Conveyancers).


Everyone wants their sale to be processed as quickly as possible, but that isn’t always possible. If you are on a deadline let your conveyancer know, so they can tell you if it is realistic.

Try to ask Solicitors about their timescales and express your situation. This way, you get a clear idea of how likely your move date would be with them.


One of the main ways people choose their conveyancing firm is by price. Some people are looking for the best deal; some want a price in the middle. Others are happy to pay more for a superior service.

The most important thing is to be aware of what is included in your bill. Will you be expected to pay for any extras, and when will these payments be due? Get an idea of conveyancing costs before comparing solicitors.


Here at AWD Law, we are committed to providing a high quality conveyancing service that you can rely on. As established Solicitors, we have a wide knowledge of the area, years of industry experience and have built a rapport with local Estate Agents. We aim to deal with your matter quickly and efficiently. For more information on how we can assist you, please contact us on the telephone number or email below.


  1. Check the Title

You should have your Solicitor check the title entries to see if there are any restrictions affecting the property. If there are, they will need addressing before the property can be sold e.g. there could be an outstanding mortgage that needs to be redeemed.


  1. What are your options for selling the property as an Executor?

Marketing the property with an Estate Agent

When you get the property valued as part of applying for Grant of Probate, you can talk to the Agent about putting the property on the market.


  • You should be able to get a fair price for the property.
  • Agents have access to local market information.


  • You will have to deal with the property-selling process, including the back and forth between Solicitors and Agents. This can be time-consuming and stressful.


Sell the property at auction

Probate properties are particularly well suited for sale by auction. The transparent way in which a property is marketed and sold ensures that the executor cannot be accused of any foul play, such as under-selling.


  • Selling at auction not only facilitates a fast sale but also supplies the best price at the culmination of an extensive marketing campaign.
  • Probate properties frequently need refurbishing. Fixer-uppers always do well at auction, often selling above guide price to buyers looking for projects.


  • Some buyers do not like the auction process. The competitive nature of bidding can put some people off.


  1. Obligation to sell for the open market value

Regardless of which route you choose to sell the property, you are obligated to sell for the open market value. If you sell for less than this, a beneficiary can look to you for the difference in value.


  1. Check the property is insured

Another task you need to undertake is ensuring the property is properly insured. Insurers can decide not to pay out on claims if the policy is still in the name of the person who has died, so call the insurer and ask them to amend the name. You should also inform the insurer if the house is now vacant.

Contents may also not be insured once the homeowner has died because there is a higher burglary risk. You may have to remove valuables from the house.


  1. Clear the property

You must clear the deceased’s property of all their belongings before it is sold. This can be quite a long process, so be sure to leave enough time for this.


  1. What will it cost?

When selling a property as an Executor you should not find yourself faced with any major legal fees in comparison to selling a ‘normal’ property.  While you may incur some additional costs, such as clearance of the house prior to selling, these should not be excessive.


For more information on how to sell a property as an Executor, please contact us on 01329 232314 or info@awdlaw.co.uk.


The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing (01/02/2024).