An executor's sale is the sale of the property of a deceased family member. The executor is the person responsible, per the terms of the deceased's will, for executing the conditions specified by the will. Real estate is the property typically sold during an executor's sale, but an executor's sale can also include the sale of personal property.

Grant of Probate

In order to legally complete an executor's sale, the executor must obtain a grant of probate. A grant of probate is a legal document that gives the executor the legal authority to sign the contract of sale for the property and effectively transfer the title and ownership of the property to another person. The purchaser of a property sold through an executor's sale should always ask if the probate office has issued the grant of probate. Without this document, the executor can not complete the sale of the property.


Executors of wills want to sell the estate's property as soon as possible. However, according to "The Executor's Guide: Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust," executor's sale transactions typically take longer than normal sale transactions. Even though the executor of the estate has the legal authority to accept or not accept a purchase offer, disagreements between heirs can often complicate and delay the sale process.

Extra Expenses

Executor's sales often have extra expenses and fees associated with the sale of the property. Carrying out the specific instructions stipulated in a will is often a long and tedious process. Since the executor of the will is often a paid professional, such as an attorney or financial professional, the sale of the property may result in the accumulation of many billable hours for the executor. Disagreements between the heirs can compound and increase these expenses. Sometimes executors add these fees to the purchase price of the property. However in most cases, the executor takes his expenses and fees out of the sale proceeds before distribution of the funds to the heirs.

Family Member Executor

On the other hand, many wills designate family members as the executor of the estate. In this case, a family member executor may want to dispose of the property as quickly as possible. Family member executors generally do not receive any compensation for work performed as the executor. In executor's sales with family member executors, buyers can often get better deals because the family member executor want to get rid of the property as quickly and easily as possible.