For those individuals who have cemetery plots for sale, one frequently asked question is exactly how does the final transfer of burial property actually happen?

It is highly recommended that prior to listing your burial property, you take the necessary steps to ensure that your cemetery plots for sale are “Immediate Need Ready.”  What does “Immediate Need Ready” mean?

Immediate Need Ready cemetery plots for sale are those plots that are ready to transfer to a buyer within 12 to 72 hours of initial contact.  Roughly 80% of all cemetery plots are sold on an immediate need basis.  In other words, someone’s loved one may die today and that person will need to find a burial place for that person sometime within the next 72 hours.

To ensure that your cemetery plots for sale are ready to be transferred immediately,  you will need to contact the cemetery where the plots are located and ask the following questions:

  • How do I transfer burial rights to someone in the lot(s) that I own within the next 72 hours?
  • What paperwork must be completed?
  • Do I need to call someone in order to transfer the burial rights, or does the family or funeral director do that?
  • How do I insure that all billing associated with the burial, include open and close of the burial site, is sent to the family to whom I am giving permission to bury to?

Take good notes, including names and dates of people to whom you’ve spoken or corresponded with.  When you are satisfied that you know the requirements by the cemetery of how to transfer the cemetery plots for sale, you are ready to register your burial property.

Keeping in mind that it can take years to sell your burial property, once a buyer has expressed interest in your cemetery plot,  the actual transfer process is relatively easy.

When transferring the deed to your cemetery plot, typically cemeteries use a single page document called a Quit Claim.  The cemetery should be able to send the document to you or help you with the transfer.  This is usually handled without hassle on the part of the cemetery officials.

The exchange of money is something to consider ahead of time as well.  Typically it is recommended that you establish an escrow account or electronic deposit number with your bank.  You want to eliminate the use of checks or money orders if at all possible.  And you definitely need to establish payment before any final cemetery plot transfers occur.

A word of caution for those with cemetery plots for sale.  Beware cemetery brokerage companies who charge a commission or representation fee, or both.  These cemetery brokers must possess a license to act as a broker in the state where the cemetery plot is being sold.  In almost all states there are very strict rules that cemetery brokers must follow.

It is not necessary for you to hire a cemetery broker to handle your cemetery plots for sale.  Your best financial option is to register the property with a company that attracts both buyers and sellers of burial property.  One such option is The Cemetery Registry. Ideally the company you do choose to register your cemetery property with should only charge you a one-time registration fee.  There is no need to pay any renewal fees, commissions, advertising fees, finder’s fees, etc.

Selling your burial property can be a very affordable, easy task to accomplish.  Just be sure that your property is Immediate Need Ready, that you understand how to transfer the deed, have a method for collecting payment that doesn’t require the use of personal checks or money orders, and that you have the property registered somewhere that charges a one-time flat fee for listing your burial property.

Written By: C. Denise Stewart is a freelance writer living in Melbourne, Fl.  She writes frequently on the topic of funeral planning and information on how to sell cemetery plots.

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