When involved in the sale of any house it is important to get the best price possible. This is also the case with a probate property but unlike a traditional sale, when selling a probate property it is also important to follow the rules of probate. So how do you complete the balancing act of price and regulation? To help you, this article guides you through the steps to take to achieve a smooth sale of a probate property.
To start it is important to find strong representation for all legal matters. Probate is a niche market, so look for an attorney who has experience working within it. This will ensure that your case is moved through the probate system quickly and without any hiccups. The probate court system can take a lot of time and any mistakes made with the paperwork or schedule can set your case back days, weeks, or even months. So choose representation wisely.
It is important that you know what your role as the personal representative of the probate entails. Likely your role as personal representative of the estate was bestowed upon you by a will or the probate court system. You will either have full or limited authority of the estate, which will have an affect on your ability to sell the property with or without the probate court’s approval. Your attorney will be able to help you with determining the specific details of your role; it is important to be clear about what explicit tasks you are required to complete before the sale of the property.
Once you have established your position as the personal representative of the estate, you will need to hire a real estate agent with experience in the probate market.
Finding an agent with experience in probate can be tricky but it is absolutely worth your time and effort. Probate real estate, like the probate court system, requires very specific documents, procedures and timelines to be completed properly. An inexperienced agent can easily make mistakes that may put you and the estate at risk.
One of your most important roles as personal representative is to keep the heirs and beneficiaries informed and to be aware of what each wishes to do with the estate. Occasionally one beneficiary may wish to keep the probate property and another may not, which can create disputes between the family members if solutions are not discussed. As the personal representative you can prevent litigation and objections later in the probate process simply by keeping everyone informed and being sure to present accurate information to each of them. Although disputes are rare, you can keep yourself from being blamed by retaining documentation of any communication made with the heirs regarding the estate.
The probate property will need to be appraised by a probate referee. A probate referee is directed by the probate court to appraise properties in the area. The value that they determine the home to be worth is based mostly on a property profile. Experience shows that the probate referee does not typically enter the probate property. If their appraisal is based solely on a “drive by” of the property, their assessment may not be accurate, especially if the inside of the property is in disrepair. If the appraisal is over- or underpriced, your experienced probate real estate agent will advise you on how to have the appraisal repeated. This is important because the sale price of the probate property must be a within a certain percentage of the appraisal to be accepted by the probate courts.
Once the probate property has made it onto the market successfully, you will be thankful to have in your corner an experienced probate real estate agent and an attorney to guide you through the documentation that must be completed. Probate rules and procedures can be daunting without experienced professionals so don’t be afraid to ask questions and request help when you are unsure.
Completing the balancing act of selling a probate property is no easy task but, with the help of an experienced team of professionals, it is more than possible to achieve. Know that if you are looking for a real estate agent with over a decade of experience in the probate real estate market, you need look no further. I’m Charlotte Volsch, a leading expert in the probate real estate market. I look forward to helping you prepare, market and successfully sell your probate property with ease. Call me at (760) 912-8905 for your free consultation.