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Things to Know & Do Before You List

You must do some upfront homework before you list...

We know that the average person does not sell cemetery property every day. It can be a daunting process, so it is important to complete certain tasks before you list.  It takes a
very very long time to sell cemetery property. Cemetery property becomes valuable when there is a need and then it will depend on what a buyer is looking.
With so many opting for cremation, the process takes even longer.  So you will need a great deal of patience.
Please review all of the information below to ensure you have all the necessary information needed to list your cemetery property for sale.

When someone purchases cemetery property such as a grave space, mausoleum crypt, lawn crypt, cremation space or columbarium; it is not real estate.
What was purchased was the right to bury, entomb or inurn remains.

     A.  Call your cemetery. Ensure that you have permission to sell your cemetery property on the open market. Some states require first right of refusal.

     B.  Ask the cemetery what they are selling like properties in your garden/section for today. This is the current value of your cemetery property. Once that value is known, our sellers will usually start their pricing at 20% below cemetery retail. Be sure to mention the current value in your comments.

    C.  Ask the cemetery what the availability is for property in your garden/section. This can be very important if there is limited to no availability. Buyers could have family/ancestors in your property area and have not been able to purchase from the cemetery. If this is the case, be sure to put this in your comments.

     D.  If you are no longer near your cemetery or it is not feasible to go to the cemetery when you do secure a buyer, ask the cemetery for paperwork that you can complete ahead of time. Each cemetery will have different requirements but can usually be handled via courier or fax.

     E.  Ensure that you have your original deed. If you do not, contact the cemetery and ask if they will require you to get a new deed before you sell your cemetery property. You don't want to go through the effort of  securing a buyer and then find out that you cannot complete the transaction.

     F.  If you are considering making your property available for immediate need, be sure to ask the cemetery how long it will take them to transfer deed to a buyer. Remember, most buyers are in need of cemetery property because they have a death pending or one has occurred. If it is going to take the cemetery a week or more to transfer deed, you cannot make your property available for immediate need.

Know exactly what it is that you are trying to sell:


Grave Space:
A grave space is the most common of traditional burials or internment. It is an inground burial used to bury remains and is usually marked with a bronze or granite marker or headstone. The majority of cemeteries will require an outer burial container or vault. Check with your cemetery to see if you have already prepaid for this item.
If you have, you will want to include this information in your listing as this will transfer to the new buyer.

Most cemeteries will allow a casket and urn burial in one space or two urns. Check with your cemetery to see if your space qualifies. If so, you will want to add this information to your listing.

A grave space can be single depth or double depth (companion). Check with the cemetery to see if your grave space can be made a double depth with the buyer paying a separate fee to the cemetery.  If your grave space can be made a double depth, you will want to include this information in the description section of your listing.


Lawn Crypt:
A lawn crypt is considered an underground mausoleum. Chambers are preinstalled by the cemetery prior to sale and usually are placed in a lawn crypt area of the cemetery.  Chambers can be single depth or double depth (companion).  An outer burial container or vault is not needed in this type of burial as the chamber(s) are the outer burial container or vault. If you have a double depth (companion) lawn crypt, the first person to pass is placed in the lower chamber. The second person to pass is placed in the top chamber. (the illustration to the left is a double depth (companion) lawn crypt.



Community Mausoleum:
A community mausoleum is a free standing building that houses the casketed remains of many people. It is in itself a monument to the deceased. Caskets are placed in chambers located on walls either outside (garden mausoleum) or inside (chapel mauoleum). Community mausoleum buildings can also house niches for cremated remains.

The level that your crypt(s) is on is important: Level 1 (Prayer Level) Level 2 (Heart Level) Level 3 (Eye Level) Level 4 (Touch Level) Level 5 + (Heaven Levels). The lower the level the more value it may have. Ensure that you check with the cemetery for them to verify what level your crypt is on.
(photo credit Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens).


There are many options for mausoleum entombment: (illustration credits to remember Architecture).

click on images to enlarge

Single Crypt

Couch Crypt

Tandem (True Companion) Crypt

Side-by-Side Crypt

Westminster or Abbey Crypt

A single crypt entombs one casket.

A couch crypt is considered a single crypt however there is a difference in the orientation of the casket.

A tandem crypt is a companion crypt where the caskets are entombed head to head.

A side-by-side crypt is also called a companion crypt or deluxe companion crypt. Caskets are entombed side-by-side with no 'wall' or divider.

A Westminster or Abbey Crypt is unique as one casket is placed below floor level and the other casket is placed at floor level.



Private Family Walk-In Mausoleum:

A private mausoleum is a stand-a-lone walk in family walk-in building. These are usually custom made based on family requirements and can house multiple family crypts and niches. They can also contain sitting areas inside the mausoleum for family members to reflect. (photo credit Cold Spring USA).



Private Family Non Walk-In Mausoleum:

A private family non walk-in mausoleum can be for a single casket or multiple stacked caskets. (photo credit Cold Spring USA).



Cremation Niches:

Cremation niches house cremation remains or urns of the deceased. Niches can be glass front or granite front. They can be in the interior of a mausoleum building or exterior of a mausoleum building. Niches can be single, double (companion) or more. (photo credit Cold Spring USA).




A columbarium is a stand-a-lone structure that houses many cremated remains (niches). Their structures can come in many shapes and size and are usually built to make a beautiful feature within a cemetery. (photo credit Cold Spring USA).


Private Family Columbarium:

A private family columbarium houses the cremated remains of family members. They can be a single, companion or more. (photo credit


Cremation Benches

A cremation bench can be for a single urn or multiple urns. They come in many designs and sizes. (clear stream monuments)


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