How to Purchase Real Estate in Probate
As you consider purchasing real estate, whether for your primary residence or as an investment, there may be opportunities available to you in the form of real estate in probate.
There are certain, specific procedures that must be followed when it comes to buying real estate in probate. However, in many instances, people interested in saving money in a real estate purchase can accomplish that goal through the probate process.
Things You’ll Need
- Contract for sale of real estate. Order issued by probate court approving real estate sale.
8 Steps to Purchase Real Estate in Probate
1. Identify probate cases that include real estate
There are a number of resources available through which you can make this determination. You can contact the clerk of the county, district or probate court to determine which probate cases involve real estate.
Legal notices in local newspapers are also helpful in identifying these types of cases. Finally, there are online services that provide information about real estate that is potentially available in a probate case. Real estate brokers can also assist.
2. Determine whether the court in a particular probate proceeding has approved permitting the sale of real estate that is part of a case
Legally, an estate, trust or conservatorship cannot take steps to sell real estate without advance permission of the court. This information can be obtained through case records maintained in the office of the court clerk.
3. Identify the individual associated with the probate case who has authority to negotiate the sale of real estate
Typically, in probate cases, there will be an attorney representing the estate, trust or conservatorships. You can find out the name of the attorney through the clerk of the court.
4. Undertake all necessary inspections
The fact the you desire to purchase real estate through a probate proceeding does not relieve you of the task to obtain an independent appraisal of the property and the full array of inspections. These include electrical, plumbing and structural inspections.
5. Negotiate a sales contract for the real estate
Odds are that you will be able to offer an amount at least somewhat lower for real estate in probate than if the real estate were being offered on the open market. In most probate cases, there is urgency to sell real estate.
6. Execute the contract for sale
You need to keep in mind that once a contract for sale is completed, the probate court needs to approve the proposed sale and the contract itself. Therefore, you need to ensure there is plenty of time between the signing and the closing of the real estate sales agreement to allow for court approval.
7. File an appropriate petition or motion with the court to obtain approval of the sale
In most probate cases, an attorney will be representing the estate, trust or conservatorship. The attorney will be the individual who will prepare and file the documents necessary to obtain court approval of the sale.
8. Obtain the probate court order approving the sale of the real estate
At this juncture, assuming all other requirements under the contract for sale have been met, the closing can be held and the sale concluded.
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