Probate vs. traditional sales | What to ask | Where to find
🔑 Key Takeaways:
If your agent has experience in probate sales, they will have knowledge of:
- Necessary paperwork
- Probate disclosures
- State probate laws
Choosing a real estate agent without probate experience could result in extra fees and/or a longer court process if the wrong paperwork is submitted. For example, paperwork concerning power of attorney for the probate process costs $435 each time it’s submitted in California.
» CONNECT: To an agent that’ll help you sell your home during probate
How probate sales differ from typical homes sales
The main way that probate sales differ from traditional sales is that they're more complex and typically take longer to complete.
Homes are typically sold during probate when:
- No beneficiaries are identified
- Debts need to be paid
Probate sales are overseen by probate courts and have to follow local laws, which adds complexity to the home selling process.
What price the home can be listed at, when an offer can be accepted, and how negotiations are handled are all aspects of the sale that probate courts have control over. In addition to following court directives, these sales also have to adhere to probate laws, which vary by state.
» MORE: What is a probate sale?
By comparison, in a typical home sale, the home seller gets to call all of the shots. And while there are still home-selling steps that owners need to follow, the process is more straightforward and often much faster.
✍ What is probate?
When a person dies without a will, their estate must go through a legal process known as probate. The procedure begins when the court appoints an executor of the will to carry out the decedent’s final wishes for their financial and physical assets.
What you should ask before hiring a probate realtor
Before you hire a probate realtor, you should question them to assess whether they have experience handling probate transactions. For example, you could ask:
- How many probate transactions have you handled?
- Are you certified or educated in probate?
Realtors that we spoke with said that each agent should have around 15 probate transactions under their belt before they’re considered an expert.
How do you find a probate real estate agent?
To find a reliable probate real estate agent, you could ask your probate attorney for direction.
Probate attorneys specialize in handling these types of court cases and have a network of resources at their disposal — including probate real estate agents. They could provide you with an introduction or provide contact information for a few agents you could reach out to.
If you’re looking to explore multiple options, Clever can help. We have a vast agent network that can refer agents based on your specific circumstances. Clever also has a customer service team that can help you every step of the way and provide you with advice as needed.
Enter your zip code to see if Clever has a partner agent in your area!