All In a Day’s Work: Solving Real-Life, Real Estate Problems for Our Clients Case Study:

Three siblings are at odds about the sale of a home they inherited from their grandmother, whose lack of advance planning has made the situation even stickier.

Problem: A home in northern Massachusetts was co-owned and co-habitated by an elderly woman and her granddaughter. When the grandmother died rather unexpectedly, the granddaughter’s older brother and sister, who live in a different part of the country, agreed that it was financially necessary to sell their grandmother’s half of the home. This meant that the granddaughter would have to sell her half as well, which she was unhappy about. 

And because the grandmother had not set up a living trust—a will-like document that eases some of the red tape for your heirs when you die — the home would have to go through probate court, a process that is expensive – in this case about four times as costly as setting up a living trust. Probate is also an arduous process and will likely delay the sale of the house for six to nine months, dragging on an emotionally charged situation. 

Solution: For these clients, I have been not only their realtor, but their "therapist” and move coordinator as well. The out-of-state grandkids enlisted me to manage the packing and shipping of their grandmother’s possessions to them. I’m also working with the youngest granddaughter on a punch list of what needs to be done to make the house more appealing for a sale. And emotions are raw among the siblings, because everyone is still mourning the death of their grandmother. Stay tuned for how this all works out. 

All in a Day’s Work: Solving Real-Life, Real Estate Problems for our Clients is a monthly feature brought to you by Marie Presti of the Presti Group, Inc. Our agents specialize in luxury homes, rehabilitations, multi-families and condominiums in urban, suburban and exurban areas throughout the Greater Boston area. Marie Presti is a Certified Negotiation Expert. For more information, visit

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