Probate Realtor, Kathleen Daniels, Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (“CPRES”) and Certified in Professional Fiduciary Management for Trustees.
Kathleen is the Broker-Owner of Need Probate Help and Probate Real Estate Services and serves all cities in Santa Clara County. Our primary business is listing probate homes for sale, and working with the successor trustee of a family trust to sell the family home.
In addition to listing homes for sale, we spend a lot of time each week answering phones and doing what we can to help people. The following is a summary of the calls, emails, and consultation requests received in one week. We also share the press release from the Superior Court regarding temporarily limiting public access and closing public counters through January 31, 2022, due to the increase in Covid cases in the county.
Requests for Off-Market Probate Homes
Selling homes off-market is not our business model. We do understand why people seek them out however we believe the best way to serve our clients is to list the home on the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”) and let buyers compete which typically drives prices up. It is our job to get a seller the highest price on the most favorable terms for our clients.
Call #1: Call from a medical professional saying they are pivoting to becoming a full-time real estate investor who would love our help in growing their portfolio. They are “looking to buy value add multifamily and single-family homes all cash with a 10-day close.” And they would love to have us to represent them to buy homes, and for any homes, they want to sell or 1031 exchange.
Call #2: Call from a home flipping company, name intentionally omitted. Looking for single-family and multi-family homes to renovate. If they have at least a 10% margin they would be happy to have us help them sell the home after the renovation is complete. Terms are all cash. 10 days close. As-Is. No inspections. No contingencies.
Email #1: An email from an investment company pitching their service. The pitch: Do you need a flexible cash offer for a client? They work with many probate real estate specialists and provide customized seamless solutions for their clients.
They truly do not offer anything unique or special that my clients need or want. They are building their business and hoping to find a real estate agent willing to work with them. They are looking for off-market so they do not have to compete with other buyers and expect to purchase property below market value.
We work exclusively for our probate and trust real estate clients. We do not work with or for investors. Investors are looking for the same profit we get from marketing the property, selling it on the open market, and letting buyers compete. Inventory is extremely low, and the demand continues to increase driving home prices up. We, and our clients, want top dollar for the sale of the home going to the estate. We acknowledge there may be a good reason for a seller to not want to deal with the sales process and be willing to sell below market just to be done with it. In our experience since January 2003, that has only happened once.
Request for Help with an LPS Conservatorship
Call #3: Despite the fact that we may know answers to legal questions, we do not hold a license to practice law. When we get calls like this, we reach out to one or more of the attorneys we work with. We provided the person with the contact information of attorneys who can help.
The bottom line with an LPS conservatorship is they are not set up by a private party. In Santa Clara County they are created by the Public Guardian’s office.
The caller may have been confused and did not know exactly what they needed to help a family member. In any event, we were able to help by supplying legal resources to help with a conservatorship.
Call from a Person who Wanted to buy a Probate Home
Call #4: This was one of the more interesting calls of the week. The caller knows the owner who passed away approximately 6 weeks prior. They spoke with a sibling of the deceased who told them the estate will go through probate.
As part of the probate process, the probate referee will put a value on the real estate. The bottom line here is the personal representative of the estate needs authority from the court to act on behalf of the estate. They need the order for probate and Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration.
If we were to list the property, we need a certified copy of the Letters to document that the person selling the home has the authority to sell it. Additionally, we would market the property on the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”) and the person who called us would need to compete with other buyers versus getting an exclusive or off-market opportunity to buy the home. With rare exceptions, we do not represent buyers on the homes we list. If the seller requests it and it makes sense to do so, we will.
Call #5: Follow-Up Call from a Sibling of the Executor of their Mother’s Probate Estate. We wrote about this in Why Hire a Santa Clara County Probate Realtor. They advised us that they gave our contact information to their sibling who will be the administrator of the estate. If that person calls us we will consult with them as well. If we are a good fit to work together we will agree to work with them once they have authority from the court.
Call #6: A past client reached out to Kathleen Daniels seeking legal resources. They needed estate planning documents created for their mother. We provided them with a list of three attorneys and suggested they call each of them and decide which they feel is the best fit for them.
Consultation Request Received
A real estate agent in southern California wants to focus their business on probate and looking for our help to learn from us. Apparently, they were doing research and found us on the Internet.
As much as we would like to help everyone with all requests received, we cannot be all things to all people.
Our business is 100% focused full-time on serving our clients. We are not in the business of teaching, training, or coaching others on probate or trust real estate sales.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Limits Public Access
We received an update from the court temporarily closing public counters and limiting public access to courthouses. We included the two-page press release below.
No doubt the temporary closure of public counters, limiting public access to courthouses, and staff being out sick will slow the entire probate process down creating more of a backlog with the Santa Clara County Superior Court. The delays create a hardship for so many of our clients who need the money from the sale of the home in order to pay the debts of the estate.
Inheritance loans are expensive and for that reason, we do not recommend our clients get them. Often times there are more creative solutions for estate representatives to resource the funds they need to manage the estate until it closes. Depending on the status of the probate case, and the size and complexity of the estate, some clients have requested their attorney request a preliminary distribution.
Probate Real Estate Services
Consult with Kathleen Daniels, Probate Realtor, and Certified in Professional Fiduciary Management for Trustees. Her experience and qualifications speak volumes and are backed up by what Kathleen’s clients say about her. Her years of experience as a Realtor, combined with project management skills, and her teams’ expertise set the bar that differentiates her from the mass number of real estate agents.