Tips and Tricks to Selling Your Estate Through the Probate Process

If you’ve spent any amount of time researching the real estate market today, you’ve probably come across a term known as a Probate Sale. A probate sale occurs when the owner of an estate passes without a will, also known as intestate. When such an event happens, the state will then oversee the sale of the property. Understandably, as the person in charge of your loved one’s estate, you may need some assistance with the Probate process. Here are a few tips that will help you get started.


You may lack an understanding of how to sell your estate property. Another question might be this: “Why does my property need to be sold through probate court?” Probate court has certain procedures and policies that exist to ensure the home gets the best sale price possible. While probate laws do vary state by state, it’s a good idea to consult with a reputable real estate agent to assist in the probate sale process. Secondly, as the administrator of the estate, you will want to hire an estate attorney. Estate attorneys are hired to handle the business dealings and legal aspects of the probate sale. If no estate attorney is hired, there are a few instances where the personal representative may sell the property instead. Some may include:


  • The authority to sell is in the will
  • The sale is advantageous to all interested parties including any living heirs.
  • The money earned from the sale of the home will be used to pay off any debts, taxes or expenses incurred by the administration of the estate


Furthermore, you will need to take into consideration how the property will be marketed. Marketing a probate sale is comparable to marketing any other property. The estate attorney or the estate representative will hire a real estate agent, sign the agreement for the listing, and show the property, just as one would when selling a traditional property. The list price is often based on advice given by the agent and an independent appraiser. The appraisal is then emanated by the court.

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Subsequently, after listing the property, you may start to get some offers. A buyer can make an offer on the property at their discretion; however, in most states, a 10% deposit is required with the offer. Not all states, such as California, require such a deposit. At this point, after the potential buyer has made an offer, the estate representative has the option to either accept or to counter the offer. Once the offer is accepted by the seller, however, the sale is not yet finalized. The sale will need to be petitioned by the estate representative, through their probate attorney, to the probate court to have the sale confirmed. At this point, a sale date will be chosen.


Next, once the sale date has been set, both the seller and the buyer must wait 30-45 days. During this waiting period, the court will require continued marketing and advertising on the property at the current accepted price. There is always a possibility that the court may raise the price by 5% of the accepted price plus an additional $500.


Finally, for the court to confirm the sale of the property, all interested parties must show up to probate court. It is then that the estate is sold at auction. If the original buyer is the only one who shows up, they are able to purchase the property at their original offer price. It is recommended that you review the tips, tricks, and information above to assist in selling your estate property.