How do you sell a probate co-op, when the estate has no other cash?
For some houses, cash buyers/investors may be an option. But for other houses and the many co-ops in NYC, it’s not an option.
Sell personal property
When the estate has no cash or bank accounts, it’s usually because the accounts have named beneficiaries. When the estate only has accounts with named beneficiaries, there’s no operating account for the estate. Beneficiary designations are one of my pet peeves; they usually mess things up rather than solving inheritance problems.
So, the estate has a valuable piece of real estate, but no means to pay for the necessary steps to turn it into cash. Usually, the personal property in the residence is junk. I know someone may value their yard sale treasures or the dining room set that took forever to pick out, but no one else wants it. Antiques and high-end pieces can be sold easily, but generally it’s not worth the cost of running an estate sale for the other personal property.
In this situation, the executor has no choice, so maybe but maybe they can sell enough pieces, jewelry, or anything to raise funds for the estate. Again, not a great situation: you’re essentially asking your executor to conduct a garage sale in hopes of raising enough money to clean out the rest of the junk!
Ask heirs to pay
Another undesirable option is asking the heirs to pay. The bottom line is that the heirs almost never have available funds. Even if heirs have the funds, they probably don’t want to contribute. Besides, even if one heir funds the estate, it causes imbalance and it is recipe for drama. The one who funds the estate will expect special treatment over the other heirs.
A bridge loan is a short-term loan to get you from being illiquid to being able to sell the real estate. Bridge loans are not the same as usurious inheritance funding loans. This is a loan that is secured by the property itself. For that reason, some bridge loans have 0% interest!
So, what’s the catch? There’s lots of paperwork and specific conditions to get a bridge loan. Some loans require you to work with a particular broker or firm. But if that doesn’t bother you and you have no other options, it’s not too bad. Applying for a bridge loan is similar to filling out a mortgage application.
Those are the not so ideal solutions to selling a cash-poor probate co-op. If you dump this situation on a family member or friend, they probably won’t have nice things to say about you after your death. Hiring a professional executor is a good idea in this situation. To learn more, check out my book, “How to Hire an Executor,” available on Amazon!
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