What if my property is in probate?

The legal process for property in probate can vary widely depending on how your loved one left their affairs. Some people have wills; others have trusts; others have beneficiary deeds; others have nothing at all, forcing the court to guess at what they would have wanted to happen with their estate.

On a basic level, when a house is in probate, it means that the court is negotiating the existing documents—if there are any—and then distributing the assets first to creditors, then to inheritors. For example, if your loved one had an outstanding credit card balance, unpaid taxes or other debts, their assets would first be used to pay off the debts, then given as prescribed in the relevant documents to the inheritors.

The good news is that you can still sell a property in probate. The money from the sale, however, will be held by the title company for a period of time, which gives creditors time to claim the assets before being distributed to the inheritors.

A probate property sale will be handled exactly the same as any other, except the title company may have some special requirements which vary depending on the specific situation. Wren Realty uses a local, reputable title company that is well-versed in handling probate property sales. Their attorneys know the steps to be taken in order to successfully sell a house in probate.

If you are looking to sell a house in probate, we can work with you. Once we have a contract in place, the title company can take it from there. Probate property sales are unique, though, because it might be several months before you receive the cash from the sale. We have to wait for the assets to be handed over to the inheritors—you—before you can receive the value of the sale.

Now, you don’t have to sell a house in probate. You can wait for the house to come out of probate, and then rent it out or live in it yourself. When you inherit a home, however, you inherit its property tax, insurance, mortgage balance, utility expenses and, in the case of duplexes, multi family homes and apartment buildings, the tenants. This is why some inheritors choose to sell property in probate—they get to cash in on the property without the responsibility, upkeep and expense of keeping it.

Make sure, if you are planning on going through with a probate property sale, that you and your fellow inheritors are on the same page. If you decide to sell, you should first determine how outdated the house is. Outdated houses often take significant repairs and renovations to get “retail-ready.” If your home looks like it hasn’t been touched since 1975 you should consider selling as is to a trustworthy cash buyer unless you have the time, energy and funds to fix it up yourself.

Selling wholesale allows you to cash in on your inheritance without taking on the responsibility of owning the property. If you’re considering selling your property in probate, give us a call. Let’s see how we can help you through the convoluted probate process.