Real estate obtained through a probate sale can be an excellent investment because it is often available at a reduced price. Whether you are seeking an investment or simply want to find a new home, the key to buying probate property is knowing what you’re getting into and having the time, patience, and down payment to see the process through.
If probate property is being sold at auction, you can find a Notice of Sale in area newspapers, or through an online search. You can also work with a realtor who has immediate access to listings and can notify you of new properties. Another option is to obtain a list of newly filed probate cases from your area court. Physical property may also be included in an estate and will be listed in the inventory.
Since there are many complex issues that must be settled during the probate process, it can take several months to complete, so patience is essential. If the executor or court accepts your offer to purchase, you must immediately provide a down payment of 10% of the total price. From there, the probate judge must confirm the offer. The confirmation comes during a court date, typically within 45 days.
The executor can and may accept other offers, as well as yours. If more than one offer is accepted, all potential buyers appear at the confirmation to petition the court. This means you will participate in a bidding process, and other bidders can raise their bids in response to another offer, then the court accepts and confirms the highest bid. The executor’s probate attorney will be present to verify legality.
The time it takes to purchase probate property can be frustrating, with no guarantee your offer will be the one accepted. This complicated and time-consuming process requires a probate attorney to ensure that a fair price is being negotiated. Remember that, should you get into a “bidding war” and raise your offer, you’ll need to have additional money on hand to meet the 10% down requirement.