Top 5 Questions Asked by Personal Representatives Responsible for a House in Probate or Trust

Question 1


Should I make repairs before listing the probate or trust property for sale?

The answer is … maybe. Each probate or trust property is unique. Experience shows that making cost effective repairs can bring a much higher price at time of sale. That said, it is imperative that any repairs be disclosed “in writing” to the buyer.

On the other hand, many probate and trust properties have deferred maintenance to the point that the best step is to remove the personal possessions, clear out trash and clean the house.


Question 2


What do I need to do to prepare the property for sale? 

As a real estate broker, I recommend a number of qualified specialists to help you prepare the property for sale. At a minimum, most personal representatives ask for help removing personal property and obtaining help with cleaning.

When the estate would benefit from cost effective repairs such as removing old window coverings, painting walls and cabinetry or installing new carpet and have funds available to finance the repairs, recommendations and introduction to the appropriate professionals would be made.


Question 3


How can I choose the best list price?

Detailed market data would be provided. This includes the selling prices of similar properties within 1 mile of the estate property area, as well as, the currently listed properties (which are your competition). It will include in-depth information on the recent sales in the area, such as price per square foot, condition of the properties and the number of days the property was on the market.

Taking into consideration the information in the analysis, we will be able to determine a listing price that is appropriate for the market, will attract the greatest number of qualified buyers and cause the house to sell.





Question 4


Is the paperwork different in a probate or trust sale than a traditional real estate transaction?

Yes. In most real estate transactions, the seller is required to disclose information about the property, including defects such as water intrusion, roof leaks, broken appliances, evidence of pest infestation, etc.

Because sellers of real property through probate, trust or conservatorship may never have lived in the property that’s being sold, special disclosure forms take this into account. Probate and trust sales require special disclosures, listing agreements and purchase contracts. The California Association of Realtors has forms specifically for probate and trust transactions.

Having an experienced real estate consultant, like me, help the personal representative through the proper completion of the disclosure documents is critical to protecting the legal and financial rights of both the estate and the personal representative of the estate.


Question 5

How do I choose a real estate agent to help me prepare, market and successfully sell the house?

You are free to choose any California licensed real estate agent, but it is important to remember that probate and trust real estate sales are complicated legal matters. Most real estate agents are not experienced or well versed in the probate or trust sale process in California.

It makes sense to choose a real estate agent, like me, who specializes in probate and trust real estate, and who understands the intricacies of pricing, marketing and presenting such properties. Your agent will represent your financial and legal interests throughout the transaction; being able to understand and explain the process is essential.

Have more questions? I’m always available to answer them.



My purpose…

is for you to be comfortable throughout the transaction.


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