A probate sale is the sale of a deceased person’s real property. The process to sell a probate home is among the duties of an estate representative. Ideally, the executor or administrator will exercise prudence and hire a certified probate real estate specialist to sell the home.
Probate Real Estate Agents Need Specialized Knowledge
While many aspects of a probate sale may be like a non-probate sale, a representative of an estate is well-advised to hire a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES) to represent them in selling a probate home.
Hiring a certified probate real estate agent to sell a home is as important as hiring an attorney that specializes in probate to petition the court for probate.
A probate sale can start after the court issues Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration.
The Probate Sale Process
After the listing agreement and all related documents get signed the initial steps we take include but are not limited to the following:
We start by gathering information about the deceased person’s home.
- Who is on the title?
- Is the home a condominium?
- Is there a mortgage on the home?
- Are mortgage payments current?
- Are the HOA payments current?
- Was the lender notified of the death?
- Do they have sufficient funds to continue to make the mortgage payments?
If there are administrative issues it is our goal to get them resolved before listing the property.
Probate homes priced lower than other homes are mostly due to the condition and location of the home. Home equity is not a measure of a probate homes market value.
Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist
The process of selling a probate home involves many tasks and responsibilities.
- Consult with the Executor or Administrator about the probate process and selling a probate home.
- Establish authority to work on behalf of the executor.
- Review recent sales and market trends.
- Recommend a list price.
- Prepare and sign the listing agreement.
- Inform the probate estate attorney of the sale of the property.
- Confirm the representative has the Letter Testamentary or Letters of Administration
- Get a certified copy of the Letters and death certificate.
- Determine the specific needs of the estates representative. Often they live out of state and require the real estate experts to take care of clearing out the home.
- Schedule and attend the home inspections.
- Provide status updates once a week or more.
- Open escrow and order the Preliminary Title Report.
- Deliver the certified Letters and death certificate to the escrow officer.
- Review the Preliminary Title Report to confirm the names on the title and if there are liens.
- Resolve issues with the title if there are any.
- Inspect the property and complete an Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure.
- Disclose if anyone died in the property.
- Complete and sign the disclosures.
- Recommend home improvements to maximize the sales price.
- Locate contractors for work to complete work, including debris removal and cleaning.
- Oversee repairs, if any.
- Supervise ongoing maintenance of landscaping, pool maintenance, etc.
- Complete routine checks on the property to ensure its security.
- Implement listing marketing strategies to ensure the property is marketed and syndicated for maximum exposure.
- Provide the Probate Referee a copy of my market analysis and list price.
- Host an open house if allowed.
- Arrange showings, as necessary.
- Make the disclosures available to the home buyer’s agent.
- Provide offer writing instructions to use the probate purchase agreement and probate advisories.
- Continue to market the property until the estates representative accepts an offer.
- Respond to all inquiries regarding the probate sale.
- Negotiate the highest and best offer.
- Vet all buyers before presenting the offers.
- Get signatures on the accepted offer.
- Send the probate attorney a copy of the accepted offer.
- Confirm when the estate attorney sends the Notice of Proposed Action.
- Set a reminder on my calendar when all contract deadlines are due.
- Provide the escrow officer with a copy of the purchase agreement.
- Notify Buyer’s agent of the court date to confirm the sale, if applicable.
- Continue to market the property for back up offers.
- Manage the escrow process and ensure all contract duties and obligations are complete.
- Attend court hearings if required.
Buying Probate Homes
- The home buying process in a probate sale is different in many ways from buying a non-probate home.
- The difference in buying homes sold through probate varies depending on the home.
- Every probate estate and every probate sale is unique.
- Prospective buyers need approval for a mortgage loan or to prove they have the funds for an all-cash purchase.
- Buyers that rely upon a mortgage calculator alone to determine if they can purchase a home get surprised when they discover they cannot get a loan.
- People buying homes need to understand lending guidelines. A mortgage lender looks at a buyer’s personal finance, credit score, debt to income ratios, and more.
Some homes sold in probate require a hearing to confirm the sale.
Buyers are informed if the probate sale requires court confirmation of the sale.
Our mission is to manage the details of the probate sale and get the property sold. We free the representative to spend their time on their executor duties and managing their own life. We are here to help. Give us a call or request a consultation.