There is a legal process an executor and administrator must follow to administer an estate. The process includes how to sell a probate home.
It is prudent for an estate administrator or successor trustee to hire a trained, certified and experienced probate and trust sales agent to sell real property. Kathleen Daniels is a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES) and certified in professional fiduciary management for trustees. Education, Training, Knowledge, and Experience does make a difference.
This report is comprised of statistical data from May 1, 2019, through May 31, 2019, extracted from our local Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”) as of June 1, 2019.
The data includes single-family homes, condominiums, and townhouses and may not include “off-market” sales.
Probate Home Sales in Santa Clara County in May 2019
The breakdown of the sales activity is as follows:
- There were 13 homes for sale
- 11 single-family homes
- 1 condominium
- 1 townhouse
- 10 homes in probate
- 3 homes in trust
- There were 13 pending sales (under contract)
- 9 single-family homes
- 1 townhouse
- 3 condominiums
- 11 homes in probate
- 2 homes in trust
- 5 Homes Sold
- 4 single-family homes
- 1 condominium
- All probate sales
Highest & Lowest Price Homes Sold
The highest price probate home sold was a single-family home located in Sunnyvale 94087. The home has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, approximately 1,619 square feet of living space on a 7,992 square foot lot. The home is 56 years old.
The home listed on March 27, 2019. List price $1,800,000. After 9 days on the market, on April 5, 2019, the MLS reported pending status. On May 22, 2019, it was reported sold. The final sales price reported was $2,100,000 which is $300,000 above list price. There were 14 offers. The buyer had conventional financing.
The lowest price sold was a single-family home in San Jose 95116. The home has 7 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and approximately 1,340 square feet of living space.
This is not a typo. 5 bedrooms were added without permits.
It listed on April 11, 2019, at a list price of $399,999 and marketed as a fixer / tear down. On April 30, 2019, the status was reported as pending. On May 31, 2019, it was reported sold. The final sales price reported was $501,000 representing $101,001 above the list price. It was a cash sale.
Selling a home in Santa Clara County Probate Court
The process for an executor selling a probate home in Santa Clara County starts with the attorney filing California probate forms for a petition for probate. The process is administered by the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Probate Division.
At the petition for probate 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.
In the video below, Jennifer F. Scharre, probate and trust attorney discusses the advantages of administering a California probate estate with the power to sell real property without the court’s permission. This authority is granted under the Independent Administration of Estates Act.
There are many things an executor needs to know about selling a probate home. The probate property sale procedure must be followed. Once the court grants authority to act on behalf of an estate and issues “Letters” the home can be listed with an experienced real estate agent. Some sales require court approval. Most probate home sales are sold without court approval.
“For example, when selling a parcel of real property independently, you can find a real estate agent, you can list the property, you can sell it and you can close escrow all within a very normal amount of time – somewhere around 30 days.” Jennifer F. Scharre
Once an offer is accepted, the attorney for the estate follows the California probate notice requirements and sends a notice of proposed action to all parties entitled to receive notice. If there are no objections to the sale the balance of the home selling process is much like a non-probate home sale.
Jennifer discusses how to probate an estate in California in a short video.
Successor Trustee Selling a Home in Trust
When a successor trustee sells a home held in trust we need to confirm the title to the real property is held in the trust. We also confirm the representative capacity of the person selling the home. Once we get all of the necessary documents we can execute a listing agreement and open escrow.
There are some seller disclosure exemptions when selling a home in a trust. We go over the process with our clients upfront to ensure they understand what is expected of them and all of the details we manage.
We specialize in probate real estate services. That means selling homes in probate, conservatorship and in trust. We have helped many executors and successor trustees over the years sell homes. We understand the challenges people face. Experience does make a difference. We believe a higher level of service is needed when representing an estate. We are about high tough versus high volume of sales. We know that we cannot provide the highest level of service we provide to our clients and also do a high volume of sales.
Many investors seek opportunities in probate real estate. While probate homes may offer good investment opportunities they may not meet an expectation of finding a deal of the century. This is especially true in Santa Clara County.
We track probate home sales in Santa Clara County every month. There are many investors and non-investors competing for the “hot” properties.
When you need help, call Kathleen Daniels at 408-972-1822 or contact us and request a consultation.