Time’s Running Out: How Long Does An Executor Have To Sell A House?

In this blog post, we will discuss the process of selling a home or real estate after the owner passes away. It is not uncommon for the heirs to need to sell the property in order to divide the funds among themselves. However, the process can vary depending on different scenarios. Let’s explore three common scenarios and understand the steps involved in each.

Scenario 1: Home in a Living Trust

Home in a Living Trust

In this scenario, the homeowner, let’s call him Dave, creates a living trust and transfers the title of his home to the trust. Dave also names a successor trustee and beneficiaries in the trust. When Dave passes away, the successor trustee, let’s call him Tom, can immediately take action to sell the home without involving the court. The proceeds from the sale would be payable to the trust and then distributed to the beneficiaries according to the trust’s provisions. For more detailed information on how living trusts function, you can read Understanding Living Trusts​​​​​​​.

Scenario 2: Home in the Deceased Owner’s Name

If the home was in the deceased owner’s name when they passed away, the executor of the estate would need to sell it. This brings up an important question often asked in such circumstances: “How long does an executor have to sell a house?” The timeline can vary greatly depending on state laws. For a comprehensive guide on the responsibilities and steps involved for an executor selling a house, visit Executor’s Guide to Selling Real Estate​​​​​​​.

Scenario 3: Selling as Part of Probate Estate Settlement

Selling as Part of Probate Estate Settlement

In some cases, when there is no independent administrator or executor, selling a home as part of the probate estate settlement can be more challenging. This can happen when a will doesn’t authorize independent administration or when all the heirs are uncooperative. The process can involve publishing notices in newspapers, court involvement, and lengthy approval times. This scenario can be time-consuming and may result in potential buyers losing interest due to the long wait for approval. For a detailed explanation of an executor’s duties in such situations, see Executor’s Responsibilities in Selling a House​​​​​​​.


In conclusion, selling a home or real estate after the owner passes away can involve different processes depending on the circumstances. If the home is in a living trust, the successor trustee can sell it without court involvement. If the home is in the deceased owner’s name, the executor or administrator may need court approval but can still sell the property. However, if there is no independent administration, the process can be more complex and time-consuming. Completing the probate process before selling the property is another option. It is essential to consult with a lawyer familiar with the laws in your state. For general information on how long executors typically have to sell a property, you can refer to Executor’s Timeline for Selling a House​​​​​​​.

Get More Info On Options To Sell Your Home...

Selling a property in today's market can be confusing. Connect with us or submit your info below and we'll help guide you through your options.

What Do You Have To Lose? Get Started Now...

We buy houses in ANY CONDITION in Sacramento, CA . There are no commissions or fees and no obligation whatsoever. Start below by giving us a bit of information about your property or call (916) 507-2502...
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Us!
(916) 507-2502