Can I Buy Property that is in Probate?

When someone passes away, their estate often has to go through the probate courts before any inheritance is distributed to the next of kin. Part of this process includes selling any debts that were owed by the estate. If the estate does not have enough cash assets on hand to settle the debts, the probate court will require that assets are sold to cover the expenses. In many cases, this means that a home or other property is sold while it is in probate.

Family members who will be inheriting the estate may also decide to have real estate sold so that it can be more easily split up between them. No matter the reason, it is possible to buy property that is in probate. It is, however, a more complicated process than buying property directly from the owner, so be ready to take some extra time and jump through some additional hoops to get the job done.

Find Available Property in Probate

If you are specifically interested in properties in probate, you can either contact a local real estate company to find a listing for you, or reach out to the probate courts directly. They can provide you with a list of homes that are currently in probate along with the information for the executor of the estates. With that information, you can reach out to them to see if they are interested in selling, and if so, make an offer.

Getting Approval from the Courts

One of the challenges associated with buying property that is in probate is getting the courts approval. Unlike buying from a private party that can quickly accept or reject an offer, the courts need to follow specific processes. When you make an offer, they will want to see if other offers come in and also make sure that the property is bringing in enough money for the estate. Once you submit an offer, it can take weeks, or even months, for the probate court to accept it. Most courts will require a 10% deposit in order to make an offer. If the courts reject the offer, you will get that money back.

Waiting for the Probate Process

Even after an offer is accepted, the deal is not done. This initial acceptance is just a provisional acceptance that will be on hold until the probate process is completed. Depending on the complexity of the estate, this can easily take six months or even a year.

Purchasing the Property

Once everything is ready to go from the courts, you can complete the purchase process. This step works in much the same way as a traditional property purchase, but since it is a part of an estate in probate, it may take longer than expected.

We are Here to Help

If you want to purchase a property that is in probate, you will want to work with someone who has experience in this area. Probate is a legal matter and working with an attorney who is familiar with this system will help you to get the best possible results. Contact us to discuss your needs and see how we can help you through the process.

Luis E. Barreto