I met Joshua, the successor trustee of his deceased grandfather’s trust, from a referral by a REALTOR® relative. Joshua and his siblings lived out of State and had all flown into San Diego to retrieve personal items and to remove most of the trash from the property. Before we met, I was given full disclosure of the appearance of the property. The description as it happens, was very accurate.
We did meet Joshua and his siblings at his grandfather’s home, where we discussed the San Diego market and the experiences that Joshua had had during his short stay at the property. We took a good look at the house, which had much deferred maintenance and was a fixer property. Its condition at the time was uninhabitable. We discussed pricing for the home, and all sold properties in the neighborhood (none were in the condition of this home). We did discuss Joshua and his siblings fixing the property to be habitable and sell, along with an estimated cost and time involved. Our visit was short as they were getting ready to go to their grandfather’s memorial service, and then drive back to the East Coast, their car loaded as full as it would allow with them all getting into the car.
A few days later we received the call from Joshua saying he enjoyed our meeting and that he felt very comfortable with us in moving forward. Next, we discussed the pricing of the home. Joshua decided to price the property at a sales price that we had determined to be high and yet achievable. The listing contract was signed for us to move forward.
Before he left town, Joshua gave the key to the home to one of the neighbors who knew Joshua’s grandfather quite well. We met the neighbor who turned out to be a wealth of information for the home, as he had lived in the neighborhood almost as long as Joshua’s grandfather. On stepping into the property, we saw that there were a lot of items still there, both in the house, and in the garage. On receiving information from Joshua we moved the items accordingly.
We moved all personal items left behind into the garage, leaving walkable areas in the garage so that it could be inspected. Next, we swept the (concrete slab) floors and put as much trash left behind into the trash cans as would fit and put them outside on the street for pick up. We walked the property again looking for the best areas to photograph and still provide a true picture of the condition of this home. We decided that drone aerial shots would highlight the house, the lot, and the neighborhood.
No sooner did we place the for-sale sign outside the property, and bearing in mind this home was located on a cul-de-sac, we started receiving calls. On entering the property into the Multiple Listing Service our phones really lit up. All showings were done according to COVID-19 protocol and via appointment. We received many offers during the first few days, many of them from investor/flippers. Many were way under the seller’s asking price, with a few being closer to the asking price. When we called to give updates, Joshua was very happy with the responses received, but wanted to wait a little longer for the right buyer. A few days later, the right investor buyer, at the right price, with the right terms (cash with no inspection, appraisal, or loan contingencies) and a short escrow time frame presented themselves. After some negotiation and fine tuning, Joshua accepted their full price offer, and we went to escrow.
Now to deal with all the personal items in the garage, and there was a lot. Per our clients’ instructions the truck that was in the garage was to be transported to his home across the Country with all the required personal effects that we had moved out of the house. Colin and I packed all these items into the truck, leaving the drivers area free and clear so that we could have it driven up on the flatbed truck that arrived the day before escrow was due to close. The other items in the garage were picked up according to the seller's wishes and we were there to help that occur.
On the shelves in the garage, were gallons and gallons of paint, oil, and solvent. We researched as to how we could responsibly (and correctly) dispose of this. We maxed out the allowable visits (for the address) to the paint recycle plant, and as there was only a certain day each month, with a limited amount accepted at each visit, we did store a great deal of this at our home (after escrow closed) until we could dispose of it all.
Joshua was super thankful to us for the extra steps that we made in making sure that his grandfather’s home was taken care of and "staged" for sale, right through to close of escrow and that he, as successor trustee, received top dollar with the most suited buyer.
If you or someone you know inherits a property and don't know the next steps you should take, please call, text or email us. We can provide you guidance.
Written by Fiona Thesiera, REALTOR® & Broker Associate, DRE#01228345
Certified Probate Real Estate Professional
Cerificate in Professional Fiduciary Management for Trustees (not a Frofessional Fiduciary licensee)