Skip to main content

Can an executor sell house for as low as he wants?

Staten Island, NY |

My grandmother passed away last year leaving a uncle is executor and will not speak to me or let lawyer speak to me.The house is 5,000 sq ft in a VERY nice area.listed for $1,700,000.It was only on the market one month before going in contract.I called the broker one day acting like I was some one wanting to buy the house and he told be the lowest they will take is $1,650,000.they house sale closed and online the sale price says $1,250,000 cash.he never contacted me about sale I have any say?also it sold 9 weeks ago and he has not even let me know it long after sale does estate settle

Attorney Answers 4


Unless the executor's letters of authority were restricted, it is possible for him to sell without court approval. He probably should have paid to get an appraisal done, in order to protect himself against claims that the sales price was not fair market value. But even if the property was appraised, the true fair market value is what a disinterested buyer is willing to pay for it. Assuming this was an arm's length transaction, it might be tough for a judge to overturn it.

There are a lot of unknowns in your situation. You are not required to be kept in the loop every step of the way, and you are not required to approve the details of the administration. So I do not think a judge is likely to get too agitated by what has taken place, absent additional information.

As far as when you can expect payment, that depends. Have all administrative expenses been paid? Were all creditors paid? Have final tax returns been filed and taxes paid or refunds received? Are there any other assets that need to be administered? Does the Will provide for immediate disbursement? There may be other issues as well, but these are the ones that jump to mind.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree


The executor has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries to get the highest price. What that specifically means in your context, who knows. Perhaps 1.25 Mil was a good price. He doesn't have to keep it on the market for years to get every penny out of it. He needs to provide the beneficiaries with an accounting. If he doesn't provide one, you can go to surrogate's court and file a petition to compel an accounting,. You can also file objections to the accounting if you feel he breached his fiduciary duty.

My firm is a second generation family firm successfully handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases for over 35 years. "Let Our Family Help Your Family" 516 466-7900

Mark as helpful

7 lawyers agree


Attorneys Kiley and Frederick are correct. The Executor has a duty to obtain the best price on the market for any estate asset. One issue here: are you a beneficiary of your grandmother's estate? If not, you may not be able to challenge the sale. If so, then retain an attorney to determine your next steps. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree


You don't mention the beneficiaries. If you are a beneficiary you have a right to an accounting, but the executor is under no obligation to consult you concerning the disposition of the assets of the estate. You should consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in wills and estate because you may need to file a proceeding with the court to receive an accounting from the executor. However he may be waiting to marshal all the estate's assets before he provides the accounting to the beneficiaries. If you are not a beneficiary of the will however, you are owed nothing.

Is there anything else I can help you with? Thank you very much for having allowed me to assist you. These responses don't create an attorney client relationship.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

Tax law topics

Recommended articles about Tax law

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics