This is our April 2021 Santa Clara County probate real estate sales activity report. The data consists of properties sold in probate and homes sold in trusts. There were no conservatorship sales in the month of April. This report is presented by Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, Kathleen Daniels, Broker-Owner of NeedProbateHelp which provides probate real estate services.
There is a legal process an executor and administrator must follow to administer an estate. The process includes, among many other things, how to sell a probate property.
This report is comprised of statistical data from April 1, 2021, through April 30, 2021, extracted from MLS Listings “MLS” as of May 1, 2021.
The data includes single-family homes, planned unit developments (“PUDs”) which include condominiums, and townhouse-style homes and may not include “off-market” sales. An “off-market” sale is when the property is sold without listing on the Multiple Listing Service.
Probate Real Estate Sales Activity | April 2021
The breakdown of the market sales activity as of May 1, 2021, is as follows:
- There were 4 homes listed as Active
- 3 single family homes
- 1 condominium
- 4 probate properties
- There were 10 pending sales (under contract)
- 6 single family homes
- 4 condominiums
- 9 probate homes
- 1 trust property
- There were 3 sold homes
- 3 single family homes
- 3 probate homes
DISCLAIMER: All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by the broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.
COVID -19 AND PROBATE REAL ESATE
The Impact of COVID-19 on probate real estate continues. Court closure followed by state budget cuts is certainly creating even longer wait times for hearings.
The limited court staff continues to look for ways to move the cases through the court faster.
Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration must be issued before an estate representative (executor or administrator) can hire a certified probate real estate specialist to list a home for sale. The backlog is causing extreme delays in getting a hearing date to administer an estate.
The Santa Clara County Probate Court is in a state of Transition in 2121. Yet the changes the court has made are helping move cases through the system. One big change was the addition of a second full-time judge.
Probate Real Estate Sales | Lowest Priced Home Sold
The lowest-priced probate home sold was a single-family home located in San Jose, 95111. It is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathrooms, 1,491 square feet, on a 5,673 square feet lot, and is 59 years old.
The home was listed on March 3, 2021. The list price is $800,000. The MLS reported the sale under contract on March 16, 2021. On April 9, 2021, it was reported sold. The final sales price reported was $885,000. The buyer had conventional financing.
Probate Real Estate Sales | Highest Priced Home Sold
The highest-priced home sold was a single-family probate home located in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, 95125. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,214 square feet of living space on a 6,117 square-foot lot. It was listed for sale on January 20, 2021. The list price was $1,100,000. On March 9, 2021, the list price was increased to $1,199,000. Increasing the list price is something we are seeing more and more of in this incredibly hot seller market with such low inventory.
The sale was reported pending on March 30, 2021. Escrow closed on April 21, 2021. The final sales price reported was $1,365,000. The MLS reports 6 offers were received and the buyer had conventional financing.
The Myths About Probate Homes in Santa Clara County. Screaming hot deals? Maybe if one is “lucky” enough to get an off-market sale.
Santa Clara County Probate
The process for an executor or administrator selling a probate property in Santa Clara County starts with the attorney filing a petition for probate following Santa Clara Superior Court Local Rules. The process is administered by the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Probate Division, Department 13.
As mentioned above, one big change in 2021 was the addition of a second full-time probate judge in Department 5.
At the hearing, the petitioner asks for authority from the court to administer the estate. The authority granted by the court depends upon if the person died with a Will, or Intestate without a Will, and if Full Authority is granted under the Independent Administration of Estates Act or IAEA. If full authority is granted we typically have a probate sale without court confirmation.
Having the full authority to act does not mean that the process is easy or can be accomplished quickly. Read our page How long does probate take in California to learn more about the timeframe. Adding to the typical process and timeframe for probate we continue to face delays due to COVID-19.
There are reasons the probate judge may not grant full authority. There are also cases that proceed with the California probate sale overbid process.
How to Avoid Probate in California
We must complete our estate planning documents before we die in order to avoid probate. Many people believe if they have a Will that is all that is needed. If we have a Last Will and Testament or no Will at all, probate is still necessary. The exception to that might be if the value of the estate is under the small estate threshold.
In the short video below, Scott Carter, a probate and trust attorney in San Jose, discusses when someone passes away without a living trust or dies with a will or without a will, the estate will need to go through probate.
The most popular and the main way most Californians avoid probate is through what is called a revocable living trust. Setting up a trust that allows the parties to name a trustee and bypass the court process of probate. In order to do that they have to actually fund (F U N D) fund the trust with the assets to avoid probate. Once that is done it accomplishes a couple of things.
- It is going to avoid probate which is very time-consuming
- It can avoid what is called a conservatorship
A conservatorship is when someone becomes incapacitated they must go through the court process to have their estate supervised.
Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist
We are real estate specialists in probate real estate sales. That means selling probate properties, trust homes, and property under conservatorship. Over the years we have helped many executors and successor trustees sell homes.
Understanding the challenges people face, we know a higher level of service is needed when representing an estate. That is why we focus on high-touch service versus a high volume of sales.
Experience does make a difference. Kathleen Daniels, Broker, CPRES, has extensive probate Realtor training. The core of her business is probate real estate sales.
The number of clients we work with is limited to ensure we can provide all clients with the highest level of representation. Working with out-of-state and out-of-area clients requires more time.
We track property sales in Santa Clara County probate court because it is important that we keep current by keeping our fingers on the pulse of the market.
When you need help selling a Santa Clara County probate home or a home held in trust, call Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, Kathleen Daniels at 408-972-1822, or contact us and request a consultation. We specialize in probate real estate sales.