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How to Sell a House During Probate

If you’ve recently lost someone you love, you might be currently feeling overwhelmed with the process of wrapping up their affairs. If they didn’t have a will or trust, you’re likely in the probate process or about to enter it. 

The term probate can be intimidating all on its own and you might be wondering how to handle things like investments and property. What if you need to sell a house for your loved one, but now it’s entangled in the probate process. 

Are you wondering about the process of probate and if selling the house while it’s in probate is even doable? Read on to learn about what to do if you have a property in probate and the house selling process that goes with the probate court. 

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What Is Probate?

You often hear the term probate bantered around but you might not have a good handle on its exact meaning as it applies to real estate. You often hear the term probate court, while in fact, probate is a legal process. 

During probate, the deceased person’s affairs get worked out. If there’s not a will or trust, there needs to be an avenue to make sure all affairs get cared for on behalf of the deceased.

If the deceased person has a will, then the role of probate is to follow the instructions of the will. If there is not a will, then the probate process handles the affairs like making sure all debts get paid in full, dividing any remaining assets, and selling property owned by the deceased. 

Can a House in Probate Get Sold?

You might wonder once a property is in probate if it can get sold. The answer is yes, it can get sold while in probate. Having said that, what happens with the assets once the house is sold is still controlled by the probate court.

Probate will name an executor if one isn’t named in a will. This person can sell the property of the deceased assuming it wasn’t named to go to another beneficiary. The beneficiary could also opt to sell the property while it’s in probate. 

The assets from the sale of the property come back to probate. They are then used to cover probate costs and estate debts. Once those get settled, then the remaining assets can be divided amongst beneficiaries. 

You want to have a good legal team or experienced cash home buyers to help you make sure you’re following the correct steps as you navigate through the probate process. 

Steps to Selling a Property in Probate

So, now that you understand that a property can get sold during probate, you need to know there are very set steps you’re expected to follow. Let’s take a closer look at the steps to selling a house in probate. 

Get Professional Assistance

This is likely not a time you want to try to save money and go it alone. The probate rules are strict and require adherence if you don’t want to end up paying probate fees in excess. 

You will want an experienced attorney who understands the probate process. The attorney’s role will include:

  • Managing life insurance payouts
  • Getting a title search completed
  • Ensuring the underwriters receive proper documentation
  • Submitting documentation to probate
  • Submitting final tax returns

You will also want a qualified buyer to make sure you can sell the property for the biggest amount of money. The buyer can help with appraisers, titles, closing arrangements, and advice on what needs to be done with the house to get it sold. 

Get the Will Authenticated

If there’s a will available, it will need to be provided to probate where it’ll get authenticated. A will should always have a witness to make sure it’s valid. Often the attorney involved with creating the will should also have a copy of it. 

Make Notifications About Intentions of a Sale

It’s possible there are multiple parties listed on the will. Once the probate has the will be authenticated, you know who else might need to be notified of the intention to sell a property. Anyone who has a vested interest in the property or the assets from the property following probate will need to be officially notified of the intention to sell the property.

Property Appraisal

If you’re selling a home that is not part of probate, you can sell for any amount you wish, high or low. However, in probate, an appraisal done by a qualified home appraiser is required. This information is then part of the record so anyone who might have an interest understands the potential value of the property.

Sell the House

You will want to decide which route you hope to take to sell the house. A real estate agent can discuss the housing market with you and the potential for a sale on the property. Selling through a traditional sale, you’ll want to consider how robust the market is for home sales and the condition of the property. Is it ready to look good to potential house buyers?

You could also opt to sell to a cash buyer. There are many companies now on the market that buy homes for a quick cash sale as is. This allows you to make a sale quickly and move the process along. While you might make a little less on the property doing a cash sale, you also will pay less in probate fees if you can move along the process more quickly.

Bid, Court, and Closing

Once you have a bid on the house, you will need to present it to the probate. They want assurance the house is selling for close to its appraisal value. Remember, any assets from the sale of the house need to be used to pay off debts before they can be divided up to beneficiaries. 

If the court approves the bid, the closing can move forward. Once the house is closed, the assets come back to probate. All debts get paid, then the remaining assets get distributed to beneficiaries. 

Sell a House Already in Probate

Yes, you can sell a house in probate. You want to make sure you have the professionals in place so you follow the correct procedures for probate. Get your offer from RealOfferNow to get the best offer on your home.

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