Benefits of Selling a House in Probate – You Just Need to Know What They Are

Apr 3, 2023

Sadly, there are times when loved ones pass away and leave behind the property. In some situations, the decedent may have passed without a will or bequeathing their home and other assets to their family members. In other cases, they may have left specific instructions for a person in their will.

Either way, the house is considered “probate,” and the court in the state of residence takes control of selling the estate property or distributing the estate assets to beneficiaries (children, extended family members, surviving spouse, etc.) according to the will. 

Overall, selling a home in probate is a vastly different process than a standard real estate sale. It can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task, but it’s certainly possible. With a little help from a professional real estate agent and a thorough understanding of the probate process, you’ll understand how to sell a house in probate fast.

Continue reading if you’re curious about probate sales and are eager to learn the answers to questions like:

  • How does a probate sale work?
  • What are the risks of selling a house in probate? 
  • What are the benefits of selling a house in probate?
  • How can you learn how to sell a house in probate fast? 

How Does a Probate Sale Work?

The whole goal of probate sales is to prevent fraud when a person dies and ensure that the correct beneficiaries receive what they are owed. One of two things can occur when a probate home is involved: surviving heirs will receive the inherited house as their real property, and whatever was given to them according to the deceased person’s will or the courts will sell the home. 

During a probate sale, the probate court in that specific state, such as the New York probate process, appoints a probate attorney and a named executor or personal representative (person in charge of selling the probate property) to ensure it’s sold at the best price. Rules and requirements are interstate, varying throughout the US. Before you put your probate home on the market, you’ll need to gather several essential documents needed to sell a property, including items such as the sales agreement, deed, appraisal, homeowners insurance, etc. 

Generally, the attorney or estate representative will work directly with a real estate agent and a professional appraiser. After you obtain the appraised value, you must file a petition with the probate court and receive approval, which can take up to 40 days. 

Once you obtain approval from the court and gain valuation, you can work with your real estate agent to create a listing and contract. The real estate agent (or you if your house is “For Sale by Owner”) will then hold house showings as necessary to find the right buyer. Advertise your property and let people know that there will be an open bidding process. 

Finally, you will need to go to court to confirm the sale in an open bid court hearing where potential buyers can bid on your property. In a probate real estate sale, the buyer must pay a 10% deposit of the listed price. Once the highest offer is made, the court will write a cashier’s check with the amount, and the property contract will be closed. 

Benefits of Selling a House in Probate 

Although dealing with a probate home unexpectedly can be a pain, homeowners can still experience various advantages when selling a house in probate, whether it’s an inherited property or not. Listed below are a few expected benefits: 

Get Rid of a House You Don’t Want or Need 

Sometimes loved ones die without warning, and this can leave certain family members (if included in the will) stuck with a house they can’t keep. Selling a home in probate will allow you to pass it on to someone who wants it. 

Sell on a Defined Timeline 

Homes can take months or even years to sell with a real estate agent, and you’ll never really know

However, after you successfully gather the appropriate documents, file a petition with the court, and successfully advertise your probate home, you’ll set a court date where interested buyers can come and bid on your property. This date will give you a solid indication of when you’ll sell your home.

You Can Make Money 

Probate properties can also be easier to sell because they are generally listed lower than the market value price. Homebuyers are constantly searching to find good homes, and probate houses are at the top of their list. Although it may not be as much as you’d hope to get, you’ll still earn some money for your trouble. 

Risks of Selling a House in Probate

Of course, the emotional rollercoaster of selling your loved one’s home is not a pleasant one. Although there are benefits to this method, you must also conduct some risk analysis. As with many things in life, there are a few probate house selling risks that you should consider before diving headfirst into the legal process. Here are a few: 

Larger Probate Home Sales Tend to Take Much Longer to Sell Than a Typical Home 

The probate selling process can last months since you’ll have to deal with the courts. It could take months or even years to complete all the necessary steps and find a buyer. The larger the property, the more complex the process becomes. 

Selling a Probate Home Can Be an Expensive Undertaking

You have to pay legal fees involved in the administration of the courts. Remember that you’ll also be responsible for paying taxes, utilities, and insurance expenses for the home during the entire process. And, don’t forget realtor fees. At the end of it all, you’ll likely owe a pretty penny. 

State Probate Laws Are Complicated and Strict 

One wrong move or one missing document could make the process longer and more stressful, not to mention more expensive. State rules are confusing, with a brigade of hoops to jump through before you can sell your home. Chances are, you might experience a headache or two. 

It Can Be Hard to Find a Reasonable Price 

Many probate sales don’t have a lot of time on the market, leading to settling on a mediocre price just to sell the home quickly. The bidding process is also unpredictable and can result in a lower-than-desired price. 

How to Sell a House in Probate Fast

Are you wondering how to sell a house in probate in NY fast? The probate process doesn’t have to be complicated and leave your brain and emotions spinning out of control. It’s possible to sell your probate home fast and receive a good price. 

Homeowners often run into many different issues when working with real estate agents, real estate investors, and lenders – from high commission fees and extended waiting times. One of the best options for selling your house is to work with a professional homebuyer.

A homebuyer will pay you cash for your home without requiring repairs, rebuilds, or remodels. You can receive an offer in as soon as 24 hours and close in as little as five days.  In a few simple steps, you’ll be on your way to finalizing the short sale and pocketing your cash without the hassle of dealing with an agent or owning a home you’d rather give away. 

Final Thoughts 

As you have learned, you can reap many benefits of selling a house in probate. However, there are still some risks of probate house selling homeowners should acknowledge and talk through before making any final decisions. Make sure to examine all your options and work with vetted professionals when making your real estate transaction.