Selling real property in probate may take a prolonged period of time. Several procedures must be followed to legally sell a home during probate. If you need help with selling real property during probate, and your case has been filed in Ventura County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County or other county in California,  contact A People’s Choice. We prepare probate filings for every California county and can prepare the necessary legal forms required by the probate court for selling real property in California.  Read on to learn more about how to sell real property during a probate proceeding.

What Does It Mean When a House Is In Probate?

Most average estates consist of real property which may be required to be sold by the executor or administrator during the probate proceedings. When a person dies with real property in his/her name, there are ongoing expenses such as the mortgage payment, homeowner insurance and real property taxes. Sometimes there is not enough income through the estate to pay these expenses while waiting for the estate to be settled. If the real property has a reverse mortgage, it may be important to immediately put the property on the market to avoid foreclosure. Alternatively, excessive outstanding indebtedness of the decedent might force the selling of the real property during probate to satisfy these obligations. Once the property is sold, the remaining net proceeds can be deposited into an estate bank account for later distribution to the beneficiaries.

What Is a Probate Sale in Real Estate?

A probate sale in real estate is when a home is sold during an active, ongoing probate proceeding . A home can be sold during probate even when a person dies intestate or without bequeathing their property. The estate’s personal representative or executor will be tasked with administering the property sale. The process of selling real estate through probate consists of a series of court-regulated steps that must be followed throughout the probate sale transaction process. Specific steps regarding how real estate in probate is marketed, offers are accepted, and negotiations of the sale of the property, must be followed according to court guidelines. Sometimes many of these steps can be avoided, depending on what personal representative powers were requested in the probate petition and if those requested powers were granted by the court.

A probate sale of real property may involve several different parties to complete the transaction including:

  1. the executor or administrator
  2. a real estate agent
  3. one or more buyers (buyers may be required to place bids with the court) and
  4. the buyer’s real estate agent.
  5. the judge.

Requirements to Sell Real Property During Probate

The complex requirements of court approval to sell real property during probate can often be eliminated with proper preparation of the initiating probate petition.

If the personal representative has not been granted the ability to exercise independent powers during the probate process or the heirs are uncooperative, selling real property during probate can become an arduous task. The court requires that the estate’s personal representative sell the property at the best price. In a probate sale of real estate, the personal representative will need to hire a real estate agent, sign a listing agreement, and show the property to interested buyers. An interested buyer must accompany their written offer with a deposit. The estate representative can accept or reject the offer. Upon the estate representative’s acceptance of the offer, the court will have to confirm it. The estate representative will have to petition the court to affirm the sale.

The Process of Selling Real Property in Probate

At the probate hearing to affirm sale, the court will set a 2nd future court hearing for the sale to be confirmed in court. Once the court sets the sale date, the property will still remain on the market at the new buyer’s offered price for between 30 to 45 days. At the conclusion of this period, the buyer will need to petition the probate court to confirm the sale price. The court will sell the property “auction style” with the opening bid being the accepted offer price plus the prescribed increase made previously by the court. The house will be sold to the highest bidder.

The bidder will be required to make a deposit on the home and will be allowed the opportunity to have the home inspected.

Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to probate an estate in California. We provide full service probate document preparation covering all courts in California. Call us toll free at 800-747-2780 to find out more information about our probate legal document assistance services. We can help you with all necessary paperwork for the process of selling real estate during probate.

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