When someone passes away without leaving a will, their estate is handled in the local probate court. This process, known as an estate sale, involves the sale of the deceased person's home. The executor of the property will usually hire a real estate agent to market the property, just as they would with a traditional sale. It's important for heirs to understand the probate process and why it's needed.
The estate representative, through their probate attorney, will ask the court to confirm the sale. The probate court oversees the process and follows procedures established by each state. In an estate sale, the executor generally does not make any repairs or improvements to the property prior to closing. An experienced specialist realtor can guide you through the probate sale process.
It's important to set a maximum price you're willing to pay for a probate house to avoid overpaying in a bidding war. Hire an experienced probate lawyer or real estate agent if you are considering buying a home that is in the process of probate. The probate attorney or estate representative will hire a local real estate agent, sign a listing agreement, and show the property, just as they would with a traditional listing. You should read the fine print with probate sales because the terms of the deal can deviate sharply from what you would normally expect.
Your lender will not agree to continue with your mortgage if a probate house does not evaluate the full value of your offer. Probate sales can be a good option if you're looking for a bargain, but they also come with a number of risks and additional charges compared to traditional home sales. A loan financing contingency would normally protect you from having to continue with the purchase if you couldn't get financing for a traditional sale. However, an estate sale has a long waiting period and carries several additional risks compared to traditional real estate transactions. The main advantage of buying a home in succession is that they typically sell for less than other homes in the area.
Family members may choose to sell a loved one's home through probate rather than buying the property themselves or trying to find a buyer through more conventional real estate channels.