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Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:53 am
by Tamarind
As part of helping my mom simplify my grandmother's assets, I'm researching selling burial sites. Any tips from folks who have done this?

We have a deed for 8 sites in a perpetual care cemetery, in the name of my great-grandparents. Grandmother is the only surviving heir of her generation. The sites were purchased in 1959, and the deed even includes a racial "restrictive covenant". :shock: I'm assuming that's unenforceable and shouldn't hinder transfer. 2 of the sites are occupied and there is a family name monument and two footstones. The occupied sites are to the side of the plot but the monument is smack in the middle. Not sure if we'll have to move it.

We've established that the cemetery does not buy back sites so we need a private sale. We are working with the cemetery to establish list value of the empty sites.

What should our next steps be? Any caveats we should watch out for?

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:03 pm
by Flobes
We inherited burial plots, and donated them to a grateful faith-based organization.

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:06 pm
by Pajamas
Unless the cemetery is a desirable one in a high population area with limited burial spaces available, the plots probably aren't worth very much. What are similar plots purchased directly from the cemetery selling for? That's probably much more than you could get for them.

There is an accelerating trend towards cremation and plots not in high-demand locations seem to be difficult to sell. I have seen them listed in a local newspaper's free classified section for years.

So the amount you can get is probably not worth the trouble to sell them even if the cemetery allows you to divide the family plot, especially if you have to pay to have the monument moved. Perhaps someone in the family would want to be buried there?

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:13 pm
by Rupert
Could you donate them to a local church to be given to some low-income church members? I just read a news article recently about how the number of cremations crossed the 50% threshold in the US last year for the first time ever. Decreasing demand for burial plots means they're not worth much.

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:39 pm
by not4me
I agree the sites may not be worth much, but it really depends. Many cemeteries are struggling now because labor costs have exceeded projections. So, may explain why they won't lay out cash to buy back. And it may depend on how much the family wants to divest itself of it. In some families, there can be disagreement over who "owns" & has the authority to set a price, etc. May be good to settle that sooner rather than later.

I'd probably start with a near &/or prominent funeral home. They may have ideas on approach, going price, etc. Also, let them know if you'd be willing to accept a discount over cemetery's "going" price...they may steer traffic

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:54 pm
by RudyS
There are brokers on line. Google for sell cemetery plots (or lots) or graves. But the previous posts may in truth be more useful for you.

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:10 pm
by Tamarind
Pajamas wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:06 pm
Unless the cemetery is a desirable one in a high population area with limited burial spaces available, the plots probably aren't worth very much. What are similar plots purchased directly from the cemetery selling for? That's probably much more than you could get for them.
List price is $3000 per space. We are seeing listings in the same "block" for 30% below that. I believe the area is still in demand, as it's a historic cemetery founded around 1900.

I wish we had the luxury to donate to charity or just hold them. Per another thread we are liquidating my grandmother's assets to support her in assisted living. Even at a 50% discount to list these plots would support her for almost 6 months.

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:30 pm
by JupiterJones
I'm surprised there's so little demand for burial plots. You'd think people would be dying to get in there.

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:38 pm
by Tamarind
JupiterJones wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:30 pm
I'm surprised there's so little demand for burial plots. You'd think people would be dying to get in there.
:beer

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:47 pm
by LadyGeek
This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (burial plots).

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:13 pm
by Levett
Americans are increasingly choosing cremation.

Lev

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:07 pm
by simple man
Really? That really burns me up!

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:04 pm
by donall
In a local cemetery, inheritors sold plots through Craigslist. This particular cemetery no longer sold plots,so the plots sold for a good price. Since you have the deeds, check that the deeds match the cemetery's records. I would also have cemetery personnel check that the plots are really empty both physically through probing and with ground penetrating radar (if cemetery was mapped using this). Monuments often have foundations so explore how much the cost of relocating the monument may be as a new foundation may be necessary as well as removal of the old foundation.

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:13 pm
by 123
To compete against the cemetery's own inventory of lots it could be important to be aware of the cemetery's commission structure (if any) to their salespeople. If a counselor/salesperson can make more selling your lots (as a commission) then from the cemetery's own inventory they may be more inclined to make the advantages of your lots known to prospects. Advertising(web/newspaper) may be your primary option.

Re: Selling burial plots in Alabama

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:34 pm
by retire57
We have 2 inherited plots to sell and the cemetery admins advised us that Craigslist is the way to go. That was a surprise. Unfortunately, they haven't sold yet but maybe you'll have better luck.