Probate properties involve real estate titled to a person who has passed away. The succession is the process used to liquidate the inheritances of the deceased and distribute the assets of the inheritance to the legitimate heirs. To transfer real estate to heirs, the transfer documents must be registered with the court.
Probate properties are often suspended in court for several months and can cause financial hardship. The estates of the deceased are responsible for all expenses associated with the property throughout the probate process. Common expenses include: mortgage loan fees, property insurance and taxes, homeowners association fees, and general maintenance, such as landscaping or pool maintenance.
Property managers are appointed in a last will and testament. They are responsible for all aspects of probate settlement. When real estate is not automatically transferred to a surviving spouse, the trustees must insure the home and obtain an appraisal of the property. It is best to work with a probate attorney to ensure proper real estate protocol is followed.
If the deceased’s estates are financially unable to pay outstanding debts and property-related expenses, probate houses can be sold to reduce financial burdens. When multiple heirs are entitled to real estate, each must agree to the sale unless ordered by the court.
The probate property sale process depends on the type of estate. Some states require real estate sales to be supervised by the court and allow multiple bidders to submit bids. Others allow the executors to manage the sale without judicial interference.
Selling probate homes can eliminate time-consuming tasks for probate administrators and can be especially helpful when the homes are located in another state. Since probate executors are required to take care of the property during the probate, they are often forced to hire subcontractors. These expenses can reduce the amount of estate money available to the heirs.
When probate property is listed through a real estate agent, the estate covers the required closing costs and fees. If the property can be sold without court supervision, executors should consider selling houses to real estate investors who specialize in buying legalized houses.
Probate properties can be a smart investment for both investors and individual buyers. When the sale of properties is done through public courts, anyone can submit an offer to buy. When property sales are handled by the property manager, buyers will enter into negotiations with the property or on behalf of the real estate agent. In some cases, real estate sales are handled by the property attorney.
To locate potential properties for sale, buyers visit local courthouses to review public records. When a person dies, their will is filed through the court. The will becomes a matter in the public domain and can be viewed by anyone. Buyers research probate cases to locate real estate and obtain the property’s executor’s contact information. Then, they research property records to gather information about the house.
Property records show if a mortgage is attached. If so, information about the loan is provided. Property records also reveal if creditor judgments or tax ties are attached or if the property is in foreclosure. Buyers can also view the appraised value, lot size, square footage, number of bedrooms, and age of the home.
It is best to work with a probate attorney throughout the real estate sale process to ensure property records are properly recorded and that the sale adheres to state probate laws. As with any real estate transaction, buyers must act with due diligence to ensure that the property is worth the purchase price.