The probate process is long and complicated, but selling your probate home doesn’t have to be. If you want to make sure that you get enough money from the sale, satisfy all the heirs, and get through the complicated court dates without pulling your hair out these 3 steps are what you need. Together they make a powerful plan to get that probate home sold quickly and easily, allowing you to move on from this probably painful period in your life.
1. Get a Probate Real Estate Agent ASAP
The first thing that you should do is get a probate real estate agent on your side. The sooner you have someone who understands probate advocating for you and marketing your property, the better off you are. Probate real estate agents can help you find appraisers, place ads, and host open houses so that you can get your property sold. They’re also used to negotiating with the sharks who cruise probate sales hoping to pick up a great home for cheap and then sell it for profit. Probate real estate agents can also help you understand and remember the deadlines for filing your paperwork and all the little steps that have to go on before the sale can close. The probate process is not forgiving; having a knowledgeable guide can make or break your home.
2. Talk to All the Heirs in Advance of the Sale
Another thing that you can do to smooth over any problems before they arise is to sit down with all the heirs (if possible) and discuss the sale of the house. You have to sell for at least 90% of the appraised value, but there is no upper limit. Getting everyone on the same page in regards to what price is acceptable will go a long way towards making things easier for you. When an heir doesn’t like the accepted selling price they can initiate the overbidding process. This essentially puts the property up for a courtroom auction, winner take the property. While this is a good way to get more money it can also be a waste of everyone’s time if no one shows up to bid. You can avoid the extra hassle simply by making sure everyone’s on the same page with the asking price and lowest acceptable price.
3. Be Realistic in Your Expectations for Sale
Finally, you should be realistic with your sale. The probate process isn’t a great way to make money. Most probate homes sell for under the market value for a variety of reasons. You don’t always have the luxury of time; you have to take the first acceptable offer that comes your way rather than playing the market and hoping it will go up in value soon. Also, you’re selling the home as is; if it’s not in top condition it’s going to lower the value considerably.