The ins and outs of selling the real property left by decedents

The ins and outs of selling the real property left by decedents

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2023 | Estate Planning & Probate |

Those serving as estate executors cannot sell the decedent’s real estate without taking a few steps. Since the real property is part of the estate, you must comply with North Carolina laws to sell the land or home.

In many situations, an executor must obtain permission to sell the property from the Clerk of the Superior Court. If the deceased left instructions in their will to sell the real estate, executors do not generally need to seek permission.

What else do you need to do?

You might need to file a petition to sell the property with the Clerk of Court in the county of its location. You may also need to attend a hearing with the clerk. 

Other steps you may need to take include the following:

  • Settle the estate debts: Before you can dispose of real property, you must pay any debts the decedent left behind. Sometimes, these debts outweigh the estate’s assets. In such cases, the sale of real estate can generate the funds necessary to address these debts.
  • Address property disputes: Often, heirs and beneficiaries disagree with executors about what to do with the real estate a decedent left behind. You may need to work with the court if you cannot agree. 
  • Remove IRS liens: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) liens against the property must be removed or discharged before you may sell. As you might expect, there are specific instructions and documentation requirements to satisfy before moving ahead with a sale. 

You may need to participate in special proceedings to sell or dispose of the decedent’s real estate. Legal counsel is wise anytime you are involved in official proceedings when administering the estate of a decedent.