Private information is meant to stay private unless it’s revealed by the one involved or affected. Because of that, most personal representatives are surprised by the many phone calls and mail related to the estate they are responsible for, particularly the real property…the home.
Anyone can view the details
In California, anyone can view the details of a probate. They simply go to the probate court, find the probate clerk’s office, and request the appropriate probate file by providing the name and date of death of the deceased or the probate case number.
Legal notice is published
This intrusion is the result of the requirement of the notice of probate to be published in the legal section of a general circulation newspaper once a week for three weeks after a probate is filed. Some courts even list the names of all the creditors and beneficiaries of the estate making this private information very public. There are people who watch specifically for these notices to be published and then contact the personal representatives. For example, often before the personal representative and the family have even been able to take a breath to learn the estate’s value, investors are offering to buy the property; perhaps looking to take advantage of a highly emotional situation for their personal gain.
One client’s experience with an investor
Marie’s grandmother died, an investor called and made a verbal offer that naturally was much more than the original purchase price for the home but, much less than the homes worth today.
Marie didn’t live in the area, and managing the probate was proving to be overwhelming. When she came the investor met her at the house and once viewing the interior of the property adjusted his offer. He told her all the things that were wrong with the home, and he lowered his original offer.
Marie was the only beneficiary and fast and easy was very enticing. But she told the investor she had scheduled with me and couldn’t yet decide.
After our initial consultation, she realized that the investor’s offer was much lower than what she could expect from allowing me to put the home on the open market. She chose my team to help her through the process and earned over $50,000 more than she would have if she had accepted the investor’s offer. She also was relieved that my team managed all the timelines and documentation. Marie shared that she felt protected and was happy that the sale was completed quickly.
In addition to investors, there are also real estate agents
You’ll also experience calls and mail from real estate agents who often have little, if any, experience helping with homes in probate. Some of our clients have shared with me that many of the mailing pieces they received were the same. There is a probate training that agents take, and they use the mailing pieces provided with that training. They don’t even change the wording.
Consider this when interviewing real estate professionals:
Inexperience = “Unintentional Problems”
Knowledge = “Probate-Solver”
Experience =” Problem Avoider”
You have choices when considering the team to help you through the preparation, marketing, and sale of your loved one’s home. Of course, we’d like to talk with you and provide accurate answers to the question you have, and if we are a good fit, our experienced team can be your Certified Probate Real Estate Advisors and just as important your experienced “problem avoiders.”