Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Regina REALTOR® James Wruth Explains Selling A Deceased Family Member's Home

James Wruth is one of Regina’s most trusted and top-selling Realtors. A member of Remax Crown Real Estate since 2006, James works with families, individuals, investors, and developers in the purchase and sale of residential properties. Since 2006, James has been a consistent Top Producing Realtor, and he has been awarded numerous prestigious distinctions including Re/Max 100% Club distinction, Platinum Sales Award, and Remax Hall of Fame induction. James Wruth is a Trusted Regina Real Estate expert.

James Wruth Explains The Process When Selling The Home Of A Deceased Family Member

I believe that relationships are more important than transactions. I started a career in real estate in 2006, and since that time I have built a Regina real estate business around that philosophy. My goal is a personalized one-on-one service to fully understand you, your real estate goals, and to be 100% accountable to you. In my latest blog post, I explain the process of selling the home of a family member who has passed. 

What Is The Process Involved When Selling The Home Of A Deceased Family Member? 

Unfortunately, I am all too aware that the death of a relative is always a hard time for the family left behind. Not only do you have to navigate the emotional turmoil that is present when someone you love passes, but you may also have to deal with the inevitable real-world details – like liquidating assets and maybe even selling that person's home.

1. The Importance Of An Up To Date Will

If you think their properties will automatically pass to their descendants when they die, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise. If a homeowner dies without a will, or with a will that somehow fails to specify who the deceased’s property is meant for, what happens to the home becomes a provincial decision.

Each province has its own formula for distributing the deceased’s assets that takes priority over the dead person’s wishes.

When a person dies intestate, typically the family will act as administrator of the estate. Section 11 of The Administration of Estates Act lists the persons entitled to apply for Letters of Administration:
  • spouse; children & grandchildren;
  • parents;
  • siblings; nephews and nieces;
  • next of kin of equal degree of consanguinity;
  • creditors; and the official administrator.
Letters of Administration may not be required to deal with assets that are not part of the estate (Part II Assets) such as property jointly owned with the deceased at the date of death, assets with a named beneficiary or assets outside Saskatchewan. Letters of Administration will be required if the estate assets include real estate in order to conduct any land transactions with Information Service Corporation.

Selling a home after a relative dies is what’s known as an “estate sale.”

The term “estate sale” can often be interpreted in different ways. For instance, if you are not a Realtor, you might be thinking that an estate sale is an auction where furniture and other possessions are liquidated. Most real estate agents, on the other hand, think of an estate sale as selling a property for one of the heirs.


2. Transference of real estate after death.

So what happens when the home is going to be sold?

The first thing that needs to be done is to ensure the executor has been given authority to liquidate the real estate. There should be specific instructions in the will about selling the property.

First, look to see if the executor under the will was given power or authority over the real estate. If they were not given authority over the real estate, then the beneficiaries hold the authority and can sell the real estate without the executor’s consent.

Important note: 
If you are going to be selling an estate where there are more debts than assets, this is what’s called being insolvent. If this is your situation it is important NOT to pay any debts you don’t have to— If you pay some low-priority creditors, you could find you are personally liable for the amount you shouldn’t have paid out. For example, don’t pay the landscaper or the telephone bill. These should be paid by the executor once approved.

3. What Happens If there Is a Mortgage Outstanding?

A majority of Canadian homeowners don’t know what happens to their mortgages when they die. Only 28 per cent of respondents to a 2021 survey realize that their mortgage needs to be paid by the beneficiary who receives their properties. It does not disappear, unfortunately, although that’s exactly what 12 per cent of survey respondents think happens to a mortgage when a borrower dies.

Property owners, particularly investors, must also keep in mind the tax bills awaiting their surviving family members. The CRA treats a dead individual’s assets as if they were all sold on the day prior to his death, meaning capital gains taxes on non-primary residents need to be paid – even if the home is left to a beneficiary. Joint ownership of a property with a spouse can provide a clean and legal workaround; otherwise, those left behind will need to foot the bill. 

4. Collect all the necessary documents related to the home.

One of the least enjoyable, but most necessary, things that those left behind need to do is collect all required financial documents. Financial documents are essential for the distribution of the estate, including the home. Without all the necessary documents things become much more complicated.

You may have to search for a while to find everything you need. Often all documents won’t be in the same place. Sometimes people will stash them in hidden places. It is worth the time to search everywhere, including crawl spaces, the attic, and the garage, go through all the boxes and files, and even look under the mattress and drawers.

The documents you will want to gather may include:
  • Will – As explained - If there is a will, it will significantly simplify the distribution of the estate.
  • Receipts from bills – You will need to freeze your relative’s credit and contact all creditors, including the three major credit reporting agencies.
  • Investment documents – Your relative may have had stocks and/or bonds.
  • Insurance documents – There may be a policy from an employer, or one purchased privately.
  • Homeowner’s policy – Keep homeowner’s insurance up to date and increase coverage if necessary.
  • Bank account documentation – You want accurate information on all of your relative’s bank accounts.
  • Personal documents – If your relative had any personal documents, like journals, poetry, etc., you might like to have them at a later date for sentimental reasons.
Once you have gathered all the documents you know, you will need, shred everything else that has personal information on it. It is a common thing for identity thieves to use the social security numbers of the deceased. By eliminating all documents with the number on them, you make identity theft more difficult.

4. Change The Locks and Mail Delivery

When selling a home as an estate sale, it is essential you have complete control of the property. This includes changing the mail, so you receive it in a timely fashion, along with enhancing the home’s security. Keep in mind there are going to be folks who know about the death that took place and the fact the home may be vacant.

You will be surprised how many keys have been given out on a property over the years. Whether it is friends, relatives, the babysitter or various contractors who have done work. It is better to be safe than sorry.

5. Hire a Regina Realtor To Help You Get the Home Ready For Market

After you have processed all the personal possessions of your relative, you will be ready for the actual sale. At this point, you will go through much the same steps as any other home seller – although some minor differences may apply.

I have found that often when selling a home that was owned by an older relative, or a house that has been occupied for decades, there is extra work involved in prepping for sale. This can be one of the most challenging parts of selling a deceased parent's home. The house may be quite dated, including old wallpaper, decorations, carpet, paint, etc. It may also have damage that has gone unaddressed for a long time.

An experienced and reputable real estate agent will provide the best advice on what needs to be changed or repaired before you put the home on the market. If you want to get the best possible price, you may need to make some changes. The most common I see include:
  • Getting rid of old furniture/ window coverings
  • Removing wallpaper
  • Changing dated flooring and/or refinishing hardwood floors
  • Applying a fresh coat of paint
  • Eliminating all signs of pet ownership, like stains and other damage
  • Installing new fixtures and updating lighting
In addition to any changes you make to the home, you are going to want to clean it thoroughly. There is nothing more critical to the sale of a home than a proper cleaning. I may also suggest professionally staging the property if there is not enough appropriate furniture/belongings left after the cleanup. 

Once the home is prepared for buyers, then we can go ahead and list it. As long as you have made the home desirable based on the current Regina and Rea Real estate market, you should be able to sell it for a fair price.

A misunderstanding of what happens to a person’s property once they’ve died can cause extreme distress, both financial and emotional, for her surviving family members. So the best advice I can give is to have your will and paperwork in order as soon as you become a homeowner. In addition, you review your will on a regular basis to ensure it reflects your wishes. 

If you are looking for a Regina Realtor who works tirelessly on your behalf and always offers honest and candid advice, James will be an expert at your side. 

The Trusted Regina Team Brag About Meriel Gordon A Trusted Regina Real Estate Agent

The Trusted Regina team is thrilled to brag about our newest Trusted Regina REALTOR®. We are thrilled to welcome Meriel Gordon to the Trusted Regina Community of businesses operated with integrity.  Meriel Gordon is a Trusted Regina Real Estate expert


Meet Meriel Gordon of eXp Realty - A Trusted Regina REALTOR®

Meriel Gordon made an excellent first impression when we initially chatted about her business. Her passion for real estate was evident, and she is one of those people that makes you feel instantly at ease and comfortable. That trait is a bonus when choosing a Regina real estate agent to work with. We could easily see why Meriel built a solid business based on referrals and repeat clients. She shared that she loves building long-term relationships. Throughout her 30 year + career, Meriel has helped over 1500 clients with their real estate needs. Ongoing referrals from past clients, centres of influence and friends speak to Meriel’s integrity, professionalism and her commitment to service.. Meriel is committed to making every move as smooth as possible, and she takes even more exceptional care and attention to those making those final moves. This tells you a lot about her integrity and warm, caring personality. 

An Award-Winning Regina Real Estate Expert

Meriel has been recognized with many sales awards over the course of her career. In December 2021, she was recognized as an eXp Realty Canada ICON AGENT. To be an eXp ICON means agents have achieved specific production requirements and represent the company’s core values in a 12-month time period.

At eXp, their core values are more than just motivational posters on the virtual walls; they support their vision and shape their culture. The Trusted team fully supports these values listed below.

  • Community Be a good neighbour to create a sustainable legacy.

  • Service Make a positive change in our company and the local community.

  • Sustainability Be a good financial steward of the environment, organization and our families.

  • Integrity Do the right thing.

  • Collaboration We are all on the same field.

  • Innovation The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

  • Agile Force chaos and change to survive and grow.

  • Fun Don’t take yourself too seriously.


We asked Meriel how she ended up with a career in Real Estate. 
 
" I thought I was going to be a Vet, then a Pharmacist then a banker. In 1981 I went to a Home Buyers’ Laws and Procedures Workshop and I instantly knew I wanted to be a real estate agent. The mortgage rates were 18%, I was 23 years old, I knew nothing about real estate but I was determined to be a Realtor® so I could help people. And although it is decades later, I still love this business. I am helping people every day. I am humbled. People let me into their lives. They share their stories with me. I share in the journey with them. Real estate is not just a career to me; it is a huge part of my life."- Meriel Gordon 

Over the years Meriel has learned to be versatile, she values education and continually takes courses. She studies the ever-changing market trends and statistics. Meriel said that she believes she will never know it all or have seen it all, and she strives to be in front of the trend for her clients. We spoke to many of them as part of the Trusted Regina verification process, and we can share that they were all were huge fans of Meriel. 

"Meriel is great! She and her team exactly know what they are doing. They provide excellent customer service and have in-depth knowledge of the business. We refer clients with high assurance that they receive the very best in their craft. Their experience hone the skills and talents that they share with their referred clients. Thank you Meriel for your team and the wonderful experience. May you and your company continue to grow and help your community. " -Mario Daniel Sconza
" Meriel is the best realtor in Regina! She is the utmost professional who is very knowledgeable about the real estate market. She truly cared about selling my property and did so quickly, especially in this difficult market. She was very responsive to my calls and questions. I highly recommend Meriel and rate her as 5+++!"- Deb Zick 
In January 2022 Meriel Achieved the CLHMS® Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, she is an expert in the Regina high-end homes market.



Meriel Gordon's career has been built on honesty, integrity, and always trying to do what is best. There have been huge changes in the way the real estate industry operates, but the premise of the business has always remained the same; helping people, and that is her purpose.

Meriel Gordon is a Trusted Regina Real Estate Agent



Trusted Regina Realtor tip on using a Realtor vs "For Sale by Owner"

 

 

Realtor vs For Sale by Owner:

 

 

For Sale by Owner

Some sellers try to sell their home on their own, and this is referred to as “For Sale By Owner”, or FSBO for short. Some sellers have success with this, and others have very little.

From A Seller's Standpoint

Marketing is just one of the benefits of using a REALTOR®. Using a REALTOR® gives your property more exposure than you could ever get on your own. We utilize the internet through our own personal websites as well as MLS®, one of the most frequently hit websites in the world. Most agents also use other forms of marketing such as the REALTOR® Showcase, take advantage of the opportunity to hold open houses, and do in-house marketing with other agents.

 

The other great advantage when you are selling your home is having a professional to guide you in pricing your home. The general public knows what a home is listed for, but it is harder to know what a house actually sells for. You may be leaving money on the table by not using a professional. Sure you save in not having to pay commissions, but the hassle and the possibility of not getting the most you can for your home in the current market should balance out and make using a Real Estate Agent a no-brainer.

REALTORS® have the advantage of weekly meetings and can preview new listings during these meeting so that each agent in attendance of the meeting can preview your home. This is an advantage to get your home instant exposure and is a great way to have your home showcased to other agents in our company.

Branding is also a key component, and using a REALTOR® gets you attention.

 

 

From A Buyer's Standpoint

As a buyer, if you see a property that has a sign in the window, in the newspaper, or online that is being sold by its owner, do not hesitate to ask me about the house. I have the ability to do additional research on the house for you, as well as contact the seller on your behalf and negotiate the terms for you. We can work my commissions into the price so that I am compensated for my work with you on all houses previously shown, and it will not make much of a difference on your payments. Commissions will need to be discussed on a case by case basis.

With a market as busy as our real estate market, there are a lot of “For Sale By Owner” homes on the market. As a buyer you need to be aware of potential risks with buying privately. From a buyer/seller perspective, you as the buyer are the one taking all of the risk in the deal. By working with a REALTOR® you are protected, as all of our forms are legal and we make all sellers fill out and sign a Property Condition Disclosure Statement which gives you ALL the information they are aware of; if it doesn't, you are protected under the contract, and your lawyer has the ability to fight on your behalf. If a vendor refuses to sign this form, there may be a reasonable explanation (ie: revenue property, therefore they don’t know as much about it). We, as agents, will do research on the property, as research is essential.

So, beware of FSBO’s. As buyers and as sellers you are not professionals, so why not use our experience and resources to do the job for you? It IS the largest investment of your lives. Would you use someone other than a professional to fix your car, perform surgery, etc?  

 

 

We can help you with financing options, help you locate potential properties, provide you with objective information about the property and the area in which it is located, negotiate on your behalf with things such as price, financing, inclusion/exclusion of repairs, furnishing, fixtures, etc., and all of the final closing procedures such as communicating with the lenders, lawyers, vendors, and so on.

 

Choosing a Trusted Regina REALTOR truly is a smart and simple choice.

 

 

 

Trusted Regina REALTOR and Regina Real Estate Expert shares great advice and tips on Moving!

 

Here Trusted shares some great tips on Moving and has provided a great Moving Checklist!  

 

 

Moving can be very exciting, but it can also be very stressful as there are so many things to remember to do! Don’t despair; whether you are doing it on your own, asking friends for some help, or hiring professionals, here is a quick guide to help you get through it.

Start early; if you don’t already have a moving company in mind, do some research or ask for recommendations. Movers can come in and do an estimate before you commit to their services.

TIP: weekends and holiday weekends tend to be the busiest, so if you are able to move during the week, you may even get a discounted rate! 

 

1 Month Before:

•Eliminate items you no longer use/want – have a garage sale or make donations to local charitable organizations. Why pay to move it when you don’t need or want it?

•Start getting boxes, tape, bubble wrap, etc… anything you will need to pack up, and make notes of what may need special attention. 

 

•Obtain change of address cards to contact any of your regular mail senders.

•Obtain medical and dental records as well as children’s immunizations if moving out of the area

•Arrange for your children’s school records to be transferred to their new school.

•Make travel plans and reservations.

•Use up food supplies.

•Dispose of hazardous goods. 

 

2 - 4 Weeks Before:

•Start packing and begin with items in your home you do NOT use on a regular basis.

•Be sure to clearly label or number your boxes to make unpacking and finding items easier. 

•As you pack, make notes of items of significant value (LCD/plasma TVs, stereos, computers, etc.) as you may need to declare items of value if they are lost or damaged during the move.

•Look to change some important information online.

•Go to your local post office to fill out a change of address form with your new address.

•Don’t forget to contact the following places to notify change of address: banks, cable/phone providers, insurance companies, utility companies, credit card companies, doctor/dentist/vet offices, investment companies, etc. 

 

1 Week Before:

•Confirm your reservations with your movers or truck company if you haven’t already done so.

•If required, cancel or transfer your newspaper delivery service.

•Finish all of your packing.

•Have your car serviced if driving a long distance.

•Close charge accounts.

•Arrange shipment of pets if necessary.

 

•Arrange utility service disconnects (disconnect after moving day and connect prior to or on delivery day). 

 

A Few Days Before: 

•Reconfirm arrival time of your movers and make sure they know exactly where they are going and have your mobile number just in case. 

•Start dismantling furniture if you are moving yourself. 

•Pack a travel bag with items you may need on moving day such as toothbrushes, clothes, medications, toiletries, etc. 

•Set aside items to take in the car, including jewelry and passports. 

 

Moving Day: 

•Make a note of all utility meter readings (both at the old home and the new home). 

•Be there when the truck is being loaded and unloaded just in case your movers have questions. 

•Before the movers leave, check your belongings and make a note on their paperwork and yours if there are any damaged items.

 

Choosing a Trusted Regina REALTOR  truly is the smart and simple choice.

 

 

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