5 Steps to Listing a California Home for Probate Sale

The probate process in California is pretty strict, but that doesn’t mean that a sale has to be super complex. If you’ve got the help of a good probate real estate broker, there’s no reason to think that you can’t have the deal squared away in a calm and efficient manner. Here’s what you need to do to sell a house in probate.


  1. Make Sure You Have the Authority to Sell the Home

The first thing that you have to do is make sure that you have the authority to sell the property. This authority rests with the Personal Representative, or the Administrator if there was no PR named. If you hold this title, then great! You’re ready to proceed. If you don’t, you have to petition the court and the PR or Administrator the sell the home in probate. If all the heirs are in agreement (or if you’re the only beneficiary of the sale) then this should be a fairly straight forward thing. Once you’ve established who will actually be handling the selling of the home, and assuming that person is you, you can move on to step two.

  1. Have the Home Appraised

The probate process is very strict: the house has to sell for at least 90% of its appraised value. The first thing you have to do is have the home appraised. Any good probate real estate broker can put you in touch with an appraiser who can get the job done. Once that number is officially filed with the court you can put the home on the market for whatever asking price you choose provided that it’s over 90% of the appraised value. Most tend to put it at slightly under market value in the hopes of a quick sale, but that’s up to you.

  1. Place the Home for Sale

Your best bet to sell a probate home is to turn it over to a probate real estate broker. They can handle the paperwork, and they will know how to present an “as-is” home in an honest yet attractive way. You don’t have to do anything to fix up this home; just be sure that the buyers are able to inspect it to their satisfaction and that’s enough.

  1. Accept an Offer

Once you have an offer that meets your need for 90% of the value, you can negotiate the terms of the sale. Keep in mind that there will be far fewer terms than usual because the sale is taking place “as-is” instead of relying on promised improvements. This can drastically cut down the amount of paperwork that your probate real estate broker will need to file, expediting the probate process of sales considerably.

  1. Notify the Heirs of the Accepted Offer

The last step in a conventional sale is notifying the heirs of the sale. If any of them don’t find the amount to be satisfactory, they must notify the court and the overbidding process can begin. If the sale does meet all their approvals, however, it’s completely done. Congratulations, once escrow closes you successfully sold a house in probate.