The Executor

A person’s relative passed away and she was designated the executor of the estate.  What does that mean?  An executor distributes the deceased person’s property and arranges for payment of estate debts and expenses. Specific duties include: choosing the type of probate, filing the will for probate, setting up an account for paying bills, paying estate debts and taxes, maintaining willed property, making and filing an inventory with the court, distributing assets, and many more. It’s a big commitment.

The executor can be compensated for their time, usually between 2% – 10% of the estate, which is considered taxable income. The percentage or flat fee is determined by each State.  An executor may decline to accept a fee if they will inherit from the estate, as inheritances are generally not taxed.

Sell “As Is?”

The question became whether to expend the time, effort, and money to bring the house back to reasonable expectations or to sell “as is.”  There were funds to do repairs, but the will stipulated that the estate proceeds would go to specific charities.  There were two points to consider:  a) the heirs had to clean out the deceased’s personal belongings anyway, plus they could choose items of remembrance; and b) the thought of leaving the house in poor condition would reflect badly on their relative.

Dining Room (used as a den)

So, some of the siblings gathered together each week-end, rolled up their sleeves, and created piles of items to donate, to keep, to recycle, or to trash. We contracted with an electrician to update the electrical system to code, and to replace some light fixtures.

Dining Room (after)

We removed the washer and dryer from the 3rd bedroom and put it back in the basement with new up-to-code venting, a new  220v outlet and new laundry tub faucets.


The 220v outlet from the bedroom was removed as was the previous vent.  The water lines were covered by a cold-air vent in case of future access needs.

The carpeting was removed from the living room.  All outlets were grounded.  The whole house was painted. Hardwood floors were refinished. 

Staging really completes the mid-century look here.  Yes, it’s the same house.

Master Bedroom

Sun porch

Spaces show better when they are staged.  The goal is for a buyer to make an emotional connection.  Mission accomplished.

New light fixtures, new paint, and new flooring made all the difference in this kitchen.

A Fast Sale

After the work was done, we paid for a home inspection.  Why?  Because when you have an estate, the personal representative may never have lived in the house.  If that is the case, a real estate condition report is not required.  Therefore, a buyer might not know if there are issues with the house not immediately apparent.  An inspection allows the seller to choose to fix any item before going active, thus deterring any concerns after an offer is accepted.

Within 48 hours after being active, we received two offers, one well over-asking that was accepted.  The seller recouped all the money spent on the repairs, and then some.  We left the house in great condition for a new family who will enjoy it for years to come.  And, we respected the deceased’s reputation.

Call Premiere Stagers & Realty at 608-345-9396 for staging and/or listing services.