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Finding an Out of State Realtor

Dear Phyllis,
My sister lived out of state and I am her executor. Because of COVID I am reluctant to travel back and forth in order to settle her estate.  She has a large home that I need to sell, and I am wondering what is the simplest way for me to go about finding an out of state Realtor® ?  Preferably with minimal or no traveling.

~ Cautious

Dear Cautious,

I am sorry for your loss. I see this question a lot and have extensive experience with trust sales. If you have a relationship with a local Realtor® enlist their help.  My firm and most brokerages have relocation departments.  The directors of these departments are very good at finding experienced real estate agents all over the world. 

If you don’t have a relationship with a local Realtor® you could contact one of our local brokerages and speak with the manager. Or you could easily do your own research.  Start with and search the city where your sister’s home is. Check for similar listings (size, location, price).  How does the agent present their listing?  Are the photographs good quality?  Is the marketing description compelling?  

It is important to hire an agent experienced in selling trust sales. Hiring a traditional Realtor® who is not versed in the intricate details of these sales typically results in higher attorney’s fees. Selling a vacant home is different than selling one that is occupied. A vacant home needs to be looked after.  The house should not appear vacant.  Newspapers and junk mail should not accumulate. 

Make sure it is abundantly clear in the contract that it will be the real estate agent’s job to arrange for an estate sale or setting up donations or hauling of the contents of your sister’s home. 
At a minimum your Realtor® should also arrange to have the home professionally cleaned before going on the market. 

You can interview Realtors® via Zoom or Facetime. If you are reluctant to simply mail a key, keep in mind that we are licensed bonded and insured. But if you want a further assurance, talk to the Realtor’s® manager before you entrust them with a key. Best of luck and thank you for your question.