Why People Sell Their Wake County Home: The Death of a Loved One

EstateWe are very sorry for your loss and have walked in your shoes with many losses in our families too. It’s not easy.

We all know logically that we are all born to die and even if we believe our loved one has gone to a better place, it is still so hard to say goodbye.

When real estate is involved, it requires a business transaction during a time of grief, which makes it even harder.  You will need the help of an experienced Realtor in Estate Sales and an experienced attorney as well.  We are happy to refer you to a good attorney.

Steps To Take When Listing Your Home After a Loved One’s Passing

Step one in an estate sale is to determine if there is a Will to guide the selling process.  Hopefully the answer is yes.  Everyone needs a Will to avoid long probate and reduce risk of loss to your surviving loved ones.

Step two is to find the Will.  It may be in a safety deposit box at the bank or it may be stored at the Wake County Estate Division.  Wills are not recorded documents and they are not on public record so many families struggle to find the Will as they search file cabinets and boxes.

  •  Quick tip on Will storage: Residents of Wake County may take advantage of free storage offered in the Estate Division at the new court house.  Yes, free and confidential filing of Wills.

Step three has several parts.  That’s why a real estate agent usually becomes involved at this stage  to help find the best solutions.

First, here are a few of the common questions that need answers.  We understand that it can be difficult to act as the Executor and Heir during your time of deep grief but it’s important that these questions are answered:

  1. Is there a surviving spouse and can they afford the house alone? If so, for how long?
  2. Was there no surviving spouse and the house is now vacant? If so, is it still costing money to maintain? You should know: The cost is maintained by the Heirs, not the Estate.
  3. The expenses and maintenance will continue for the Heirs therefore.  Thus, how long before the property realistically will sell?
  4. Can the Heirs afford to maintain the cost of the house until it sells?
  5. In order to net the highest return from the sale, will the Heirs need to invest more of their money into the preparation of the house for sale or sell “as is”?
  6. Is there equity remaining in the home or has the equity already been used from refinance, reverse mortgage or lack of time in ownership to build equity?

 Let’s dig deeper into these common situations and questions

Surviving Spouse

If you are a surviving spouse, be thankful for owning your home in North Carolina. It is a little easier here because even if there is no will, we are a marital interest state. This means the surviving spouse will automatically (and tax free) inherit all NC real estate unless there was a prenuptial agreement in place.  It is wonderful to be free of worry about having a roof over your head but, it may not be a roof you can afford for long on one income. Thus, hard decisions may still be on your shoulders.

Surviving Spouse needing to sell 

Moving away from memories or the burden of caring for the house on one income can cause many people after a death to sell and buy a different home.  Once the decision to sell is made, it can be a very exciting time in your life. Having friends and family members help you in preparation for your move can actually be healing.  It’s another grieving step so that when you get to the new home, you often feel a sense of closure and acceptance with your new norm.  However, if the need to move does not have you excite or if you’re feeling so overwhelmed that putting one foot in front of another is a challenge, then don’t stress or beat yourself up. It’s ok. Everyone goes through grief in their own way and in their own time. It’s ok to go slow as long as you’re moving forward and have the financial resources to carry the cost of the home while you mentally and emotionally prepare for another change.

When you can’t afford the home alone

Unfortunately, many surviving spouses can’t afford to keep their home on one income and therefore have a need to move faster than they may emotionally be prepared for.  I have seen this situation many times and have watched people frozen in grief, hanging on to the memories too long and using savings they need for their future to carry the expenses of a house.  As hard as it is for you, if taking care of the house is an emotional or financial burden, it will only get worse if you don’t take steps to move forward now.  We are very experienced in holding hands and walking people through each step.  Steps such as preparing the home for sale (including help with de-cluttering or necessary repairs) and steps to find a new affordable and burden free home. Please don’t wait too long.  Contact us today for a consultation.  I have watched many surviving spouses make the mistake of waiting too long to move. Let’s weigh the cost together.

Learn more about how to navigate answering these Estate questions by clicking on the button below:

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6 Interesting Facts for North Carolina Estates Sales

 Here is some additional information about North Carolina Estate Sales that may help you with the estate sale process in the future:

  1. The executor or executrix is not the seller. They do not own the property. Instead, they are simply facilitating the sale. Seller name on the listing contract and purchase contract should not be the executor name. This is a common mistake.  In 2014, the state of North Carolina adopted new real estate listing and sales contracts allowing entity signatures for estates and corporations.  The executor would sign as executor for the estate of the deceased name on record.
  1. Where there are multiple heirs, many will choose to have a licensed appraiser value the property in addition to a Realtor. We are happy to provide you a list of experienced local appraisers if this is something you wish to do.
  1. Listing a property for sale will require a copy of the death certificate and estate paperwork. In North Carolina, it may take 2 weeks to a month to receive the death certificate from the county. So plan for this carrying expense in your budget as well.

Learn more facts about the estate sale process by clicking on the button below.

Please note: Linda Craft & Team, Realtors is not an attorney or CPA and can’t practice law or accounting.  This information is general in nature and the author, Linda Craft, highly recommends that a professional in the area of law and accounting be consulted.

How Can We Guide You Through This Difficult Time?

We’re here to support you as you balance grief with the need to sell your Wake County home.  Contact us today for expert assistance that will help make the estate sale process as easy as possible for you and your family.

Until next time,


Raleigh Real Estate Series Part 2: Devise a Divorce Action Plan

StrategyDivorce is hard but an experienced Realtor with a calm head can be a huge asset.

Last time, I told you about some of the pitfalls that Raleigh area home owners encounter when facing divorce.

Today, I’m going to tell you about the best way to avoid those pitfalls: An Action Plan

Here’s Your Step By Step Divorce Action Plan

If you follow these suggestions, you can avoid having a painful situation like divorce turn into a tragic situation for you as a home owner:

Step one: Check to see whose name is on the mortgage? Is the mortgage held jointly or individually? If individually, a quick claim deed may be a quick solution. However, North Carolina is a marital state so even if you owned the house individually before marriage, you own it jointly now. Each spouse will have to agree to ownership and division unless you married with a prenuptial that excluded your pre-marriage home.

Step two: If you have a mortgage on the marital home you need to contact your bank to request a mortgage pay off. A payoff is different than the mortgage balance you see monthly on your payment statement. The payoff includes the interest in arrears, which is a banking term that simply means you owe more money that then monthly statement shows. Knowing how much you truly owe to be released from the monthly debt obligation is key in determining your options. If you owe less than you will be able to sell your home for then you have what we call, equity. With equity in the property that will allow you to either sell and divide the profit or buy each other out?

Step three: Call Linda Craft & Team, Realtors to schedule a free consultation to discuss all your options. During the consultation we will provide a realistic market analysis so you will know the range of value to expect in a sale. With your mortgage payoff in hand we will be able to provide an estimate of selling cost and estimate of your net proceeds from the sale including any division of your escrow account where your yearly tax and home owners insurance is held. Lastly, we will help you estimate preparation cost for entering your house onto the market for sale, repair cost that a buyer may request from a home inspection and carrying cost for the time on market plus escrow period. These are all expenses that affect your profit and have to be considered and included in your budget. (Escrow is the time between a contract to purchase and deed transfer where you no longer own the property of have the financial burden of mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, utilities and lawn maintenance.)

Step four: Make a decision which option is best for you. With equity couples have several options. With a full estimate of cost associated in a sale they can now decide if they want to sell the house and split the proceeds and each move to their new single lives free of this joint debt or further joint obligation. Or they could decide to buy each other out with a cash out refinance. The buyout option places the mortgage into one name along with a new deed to release the other from joint ownership and debt obligation. We would refer you back to your present lender to see if they would be willing to remove the other spouse from the deed of trust (mortgage obligation in case of foreclosure). In most cases they will not allow this. The only way to separate the financial obligation permanently is a sale or a total refinance which has charges to recreate a new mortgage. The questions that remain to be answered with a buyout scenario is; can the one person who wishes to keep the house qualify for the new mortgage on their own, and is there enough equity in the house to be approved for a refinance. In order for a mortgage company to approve a refinance most will require a minimum of 5% down payment and don’t forget to calculate and negotiate the finance charges associated with the refinance. A Good Faith Estimate from your lender will provide this information and we are very happy to refer you to a great local lender to help you.

Next Time, We Answer Your Difficult Divorce Questions

Check back here next time when we answer difficult divorce questions that impact your real estate investment.
In the meantime, if you would like to talk with us about your specific situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Linda Craft & Team.

We are here to help you as a Raleigh area home owner who is facing one of the most difficult life milestones there is. And we’ll work hard to make sure that the process and the transition is as painless as possible.

Until next time,



How to Win A Bidding War in the Greater Raleigh Area, Tip 4

Wake County homes for saleEverywhere you look, real estate analysts are praising the local housing market for growing in strength and increasing in activity.

But for home buyers, this increased interest in the market can make navigating the market that much more stressful.

That’s why I started a new series last month in which I share my top 10 tips for navigating a bidding war.

Today, we’re on Tip #4 of 10!

This Week’s Tip: The house is still on the market for sale while you’re negotiating your offer

As I have previously mentioned, until a contract is signed by all parties and delivered back to all parties, the home in question will remain on the market and available to other potential home buyers.

Even though the seller has your offer and perhaps has even countered your offer, the seller can still accept new offers.

Therefore, “fast” is the key if you want to guarantee that your dream home will become your next home.

After all, if you came to the conclusion that this home was “the one,” chances are that other home buyers are going to recognize the same great qualities in the home and arrive at the same conclusion.

Thus, expect competition. Don’t be shocked by multiple offers and whatever you do, don’t run away at the first mention of a second offer on the table.

If this really is your dream home, stick around. Play to win. And remember that the best offense is a good defense.

This means that your best strategy for winning the home purchase contract is to move fast, make a great offer and keep in close contact with the seller.

Make an offer that the seller can’t refuse. In order to do this, ensure that your Buyer Agent contacts the Seller’s Agent to ask these key questions:

  1. What is the most favorable closing date for the seller?
  2. Is there any personal property the seller would not want to include in an offer?
  3. Is there anything I need to know about the seller’s situation?
  4. Is there anything I can write into the offer that would bring the seller peace of mind?

Also, ask your buyer agent to research the sold properties to see what kind of sales-to-list ratio is common for the seller’s neighborhood. This information will prove telling because the seller has likely already looked at this information as well, setting their expectation.

Armed with this valuable background information on the seller and the surrounding neighborhood, you can make a purchase contract tailor made to the seller’s needs and wants, giving you an increased chance of your offer being accepted.

How Can We Help You On the Raleigh Area Real Estate Market?

Tune in next week for another tip on how to win a multiple-offers situation. If you’re a home buyer, you’ll want this information!

For now, if you’re interested in receiving additional help on the Raleigh area real estate market as a home buyer, please make sure to contact us at Linda Craft & Team. We have the tools and know-how to guarantee you a successful outcome on the market in the Raleigh area.

Until next time,



MacGregor Downs

Gorgeous lake and golf course views are amazing in this luxury neighborhood located in Cary NC.  Custom floor plans with a perfect mix of luxury and breathtaking views. Lots are large and very private. Homes in this neighborhood range from the low $800s to $1.1 million. Cary is located close to Research Triangle Park, Downtown Raleigh, and RDU airport.

Ready for Your Personal Tour of MacGregor Downs?

If so, please contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call us at 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in MacGregor Downs

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Inman Park

Final opportunities in The Estates at Inman Park offers estate homes from the 700’s to 1 million Plus. A diverse skilled builder team brings a beautifully interpreted neighborhood to offer many truly upgraded and quality homes.

Amenities include pool & cabana with dressing rooms, old-fashioned streetlights,sidewalks meandering through the neighborhood, lushly landscaped homeowner common areas & entrance, and close proximity to Capital Area Greenway System.

Active Homeowner’s Association with many neighborhood activities including: socials, pool parties, cookouts, Bunko group, Mom’s night out, co-op babysitting, play groups, etc.

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Inman Park?

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Inman Park

Click here to see all the current homes for sale!

Recent Raleigh Real Estate Market Activity: Inman Park Neighborhood

Below is a snapshot of new homes for sale and price reductions in Inman Park. You can also be automatically notified of new listings via email by visiting the Inman Park New Listing Alert Page.

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Hope Valley

Hope Valley is made up of more than 900 homes extending from Chapel Hill Road south between Hope Valley and Garrett roads to Swarthmore Road. It was laid out, by the Mebane & Sharpe Co. of Greensboro, along winding lanes and among rolling hills with a centerpiece golf course designed by Donald Ross.

National Historic Recognition

The historic core of Hope Valley, made up of more than 125 homes, has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire neighborhood features:

  • secluded, tree covered streets
  • manicured entry-areas to neighborhood
  • optional neighborhood association
  • 15 minutes drive to Duke/ UNC Chapel Hill main campuses
  • 10 minutes drive to fashionable Southpoint Mall
  • proximity to Hope Valley Country Club

A Taste of Old England

The streets feature names like Chelsea and Surrey, giving the hint of old England.Hope Valley is a mature neighborhood, with housing stock dating from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. An active neighborhood association features many events such as home walks, open house at the Country Club and a Halloween party. Residents have quick access to the 15-501 shopping corridor, historic Downtown Durham, the American Tobacco Trail, Southpoint mall, I-40 and I-85.

Hope Valley Country Club

Golf, Tennis, Fitness, Swim A membership club is available in the heart of Hope Valley. Read more here:

Durham Community of Hope Valley

Hope Valley features a broad range of architecture from 1500 square foot ranches to 8000+ square feet estate-style homes. Visit the Hope Valley Neighborhood Association website for more historical information and background on this wondeful community.

About the Developer of Hope Valley

As a mature neighborhood, many different developers had a hand in shaping the look of housing in Hope Valley. According to Preservation Durham:
Hope Valley was Durham\’s first full-fledged country club suburb developed around an 18-hole golf course in the late 1920s. Traces of the farms that occupied the land in the 19th Century remain around the suburban landscape created by renowned landscape architect Robert Cridland. Hope Valley was developed by Mebane & Sharpe, Inc. to attract the newly successful young professionals that were thriving in Durham\’s tobacco, textile, and health care industries, as well as faculty from the then new Duke University and rapidly expanding UNC. Read More…


I-40 to 751 Exit, North. Neighborhood is west of Hope Valley Road, before Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard. 15-501 to Martin Luther King Boulevard, south on Old Chapel Hill Road. Neigborhood is to the east of Old Chapel Hill Road.

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Hope Valley

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Hope Valley

Click here to see all the current homes for sale!

Highcroft Village

Highcroft Village is a development in the heart of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. Located just west of North Carolina Highway 55 in the West Cary area, Highcroft Village is three miles south of Research Triangle Park, 12 miles from Raleigh Durham International Airport, 18 miles from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University and 22 miles from Duke University.

About the homes:

The development features the work of the area’s custom builders to create a diverse collection of homes from 2500 to 5000 square feet. Neighborhood Amenities: Highcroft Village is centrally located in a great area for parks. A 16 acre, Town of Cary park, Sears Farm Road Park, is directly adjacent to the neighborhood. The USA National Training Center at Thomas Brooks Park is an easy walk, featuring many regional and national-level baseball activities.

Highcroft Village features a recreational center with a junior Olympic pool, lots of fun features, a bathhouse, pavilions and a toddlers’ playground on-site.

About the Developer:

Impact Properties Group has developed a number of neighboring communities including Highcroft, Cameron Pond, Weycroft, Southlakes Greythorne and Madison Place at Carpenter Village.


Highcroft is located near several shopping centers, and within 15 miles drive of Cary Town Centre, the Streets at Southpoint in Durham and Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh.

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Highcroft Village?

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale Highcroft Village

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Hidden Valley West

Hidden Valley West is a lovely neighborhood built in the 1970’s, near the corner of Creedmoor Rd and Lynn Rd, in the 27612 zipcode.  The lots are beautiful, wooded, and range between 1/2 an acre to over 1 acre. These lovely homes have 4-5 Bedrooms and 2.5 – 3 bathrooms, in addition to either a 1-car or 2-car garage.  Most of the homes are priced from the low $200’s to the high $200’s. Crabtree Valley Mall is just minutes away, as well as I-440, and the PNC Center!  Delicious restaurants abound, as well as opportunities for shopping, fitness, groceries, or other modern conveniences just by the location!  Come experience real living – living at Hidden Valley West!

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Hidden Valley West?

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Hidden Valley West

Click here to see all the current homes for sale!


The Raleigh neighborhood of Hedingham is noted for being Raleigh’s first affordable residential community featuring an 18 hole golf course. Add to that all the great neighborhood amenities, and it’s easy see why this neighborhood is one of the more communities in the Triangle.

Hedingham Golf & Athletic Club

The 18-hole “Hedingham” course at the Hedingham Golf & Athletic Club facility in Raleigh, North Carolina features 6,604 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72 The course rating is 72.1 and it has a slope rating of 124 on Bermuda grass. Designed by David Postlewaite, the Hedingham golf course opened in 1991. Fred J. Smith, Jr. manages the course as the Owner.

The Raleigh Community of Hedingham is a Wonderful Place to Live, Work and Play

Hedingham offers two pools; Willow Oaks Pool with life guards and swim team and Grand Traverse Pool offering adult only swimming. There is also a full athletic center with gym, basketball, volley ball, aerobic classes, yoga, free weights and state of the art exercise equipment. For your outside enjoyment there are two lighted tennis courts, play ground, lakes for fishing, and paved Raleigh greenway trails that follow the beautiful Neuse River for walking, jogging, skate boarding and roller blading.

Hedingham Residents Enjoy Use of the Private Club House!

Hedingham also offers a private club house that can be reserved by residents for personal use and the 18 hole golf course features putting green, driving range, pro shop and snack bar. The residents of Hedingham are allowed to golf for free certain times of the year and they all enjoy community events throughout the year including Hi-Miler Club for 55 and older.

Hedingham HOA Dues – Low Cost, High Value!

Hedingham omeowner dues to enjoy all of these amenities are $35.00 a month for single family homes and $102. per month for town homes. Town homes start in the low $90,000 and the homeowner’s dues include exterior yard and building maintenance. Residential single family homes start at $150,000 and go up to approximately $350,000. Homes feature 3 and 4 bedrooms, 2 car garages, and beautiful golf course and water views.

Direction to the Raleigh Neighborhood of Hedingham

This Raleigh neighborhood is conveniently located 1 miles from I-440 and 64 east, 8 miles to Triangle Town Center Mall, 3 miles to Wake Medical Hospital, 5 miles to down town Raleigh and is surrounded by shopping, restaurants, day care, and worship centers.
Directions: In Raleigh, take Hwy. 64 East to left on New Hope Rd. The entrance to Hedingham will be approximately half a mile on your right.
For more information visit www.hedingham.com or www.hedingham.org.

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Hedingham?

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Hedingham

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Heritage at Wake Forest

Heritage At Wake Forest Neighborhood: http://www.heritagewakeforest.com

Heritage at Wake Forest is in Wake Forest, north of Raleigh in Northern Wake County. The community lies about 24 miles away from Raleigh Durham International Airport and North Carolina State University, about 27 miles from Research Triangle Park and Duke University and about 38 miles from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Heritage was conceived of and developed by the Ammons Development group. Ammons is best known for completing Raleigh’s first planned unit development, called Greystone Village. The organization has also developed resort communities in Wilmington and Nags Head.


Walks, Bike Paths, Soccer, Golf, Swim, Tennis The many neighborhoods at Heritage enjoy access to community-wide amenities. Playgrounds are placed throughout the development for easy access. A greenway links trails at Heritage with bike paths and nature walks. Heritage surrounds the town soccer park. Additionally, memberships are available to the Golf Club and Swim and Tennis club. The Swim Club features a junior Olympic-sized pool, sun deck, full service grill, lazy river and much more.


Heritage features a number of communities with names starting with Heritage: Run, Croft, Hills, Midlands, Knoll, Chase, Gables, Ridge, Greens, Walk, Trails, Shire, Glen, Heights, Links, Overlook, Dale, Trace, Crest, View Townes, Links Townes, Landing, Place and Spring. Each offers a slightly different style of living and design of home or townhome.


Wake Forest contains many shopping centers. Heritage at Wake Forest is less than ten miles away from Triangle Town Center shopping mall, and an easy drive to Crabtree Valley Mall and other great shopping areas. Ready for Your Personal Tour of Heritage at Wake Forest? If so, contact any member of the expert North Raleigh real estate team here at LindaCraft.com to schedule your personal Heritage tour today!

Ready for Your Personal Tour of Heritage at Wake Forest?

If so, contact Linda Craft & Team at www.LindaCraft.com or call 919.235.0007 to schedule your personal tour today!

See all Homes For Sale in Heritage at Wake Forest

Click here to see all the current homes for sale!