Selling Probate Property where a charity is the beneficiary

  • 22/02/2016

executor solutions

You’re dealing with probate where the main beneficiary is a charity and it includes a property or properties that need to be sold. What are the main issues and how do you deal with them?

 The charity has no concept of property values in my area …

Naturally the charity will want to achieve the highest possible value for the property thereby securing maximum funds for its charitable works. However, the individuals you’re dealing with are likely to be out of area, most probably London based if it’s a national charity, and could have an over-inflated opinion of what the property is worth. If you rely on your usual local estate agent to provide the valuation it may not contain the level of detail they need to be convinced.

What can I do instead?

Executor Solutions’ valuation reports are particularly robust and are based on appraisals by three different estate agents. We’ll include all the supporting evidence you need to reassure the charity that the valuation is accurate, including a good selection of photographs of the outside and inside of the property and also the surrounding area. This will help them to appreciate the condition of the property and the environment in which it sits. We can provide this service in all parts of Great Britain.

They’re not in a hurry to sell – value is more important than speed!

The charity may be prepared to let the property languish on an estate agent’s books for many months at an unrealistic price in the hope that they will eventually, against all odds, achieve a sale that reaps them more profit. However, this may create other headaches in terms of maintaining the property and keeping it safe and secure, not to mention cash flow consequences to all concerned. A prolonged sale can also cause problems settling the death duties on the estate.

How can I address this?

The robust nature of our valuation report is designed to stop any conjecture and establish a true valuation at the outset. Once the charity buys into this we can market the property with three different agents and in 80% of cases we find a buyer within four weeks. Executor Solutions will manage the whole process on your behalf and keep you – and the charity – fully appraised throughout. And should the property need any maintenance, repairs, locks changing, boiler servicing, garden tidying, etc, in the meantime we can arrange this too.

And what about those taxes?

Again, by establishing an accurate valuation at the outset we are more likely to achieve a sale at, or very close to, the asking price on the charity’s behalf. If inheritance tax has already been paid on the estate this reduces the likelihood of having to recover monies from HMRC if the property fetches less than expected or, indeed, having to pay more tax if the property achieves more.

They want regular updates…

Understandably the charity will want to be kept informed of progress and to know when the sale is due to legally complete so they can expect their legacy. Known for our high levels of customer service, Executor Solutions will provide you – and your client – with weekly updates so everyone knows exactly where the sale is up to. In short, Executor Solutions will provide a level of professionalism, service and expertise that both you and the charity will appreciate.