Whenever anyone dies there is a process in place to ensure that the assets are distributed according to law. Someone can die without a will, Intestate, or with a Will. In either case, Probate is required. When the fiduciary/beneficiary duties of handling a deceased loved one’s estate fall to a family member, the experience can be stressful and overwhelming in addition to the sorrow they’re already suffering through. The temptation, then, is just to get through it all as quickly as possible. And when selling a probate property, the family may just choose the first agent recommended to them. But that could be a huge mistake. Selling a probate property is a complex, lengthy, court-involved process that calls for the services of an agent who specializes. So let’s look at the benefits of selling a probate property with a Seattle agent who has the niche knowledge and training.
Chief Benefits of Selling a Probate Property With a Seattle Agent
The benefits of selling a probate property assisted by the right agent are varied and numerous, but here are the main ones:
- Development of marketing and sales strategy to ensure the quickest sale and greatest ROI possible, for example, determining whether a sale through wholesale or retail markets is the better route.
- Preparing you for and building into the strategy ways to meet unexpected obstacles and other contingencies for speed, less stress, and greater return.
- Ensuring the plan/strategy is carefully crafted to meet the special requirements and legal obligations involved in selling a probate property in accordance with the probate laws in your particular state.
- Working closely with and coordinating the many parties involved in selling a probate property and offering you encouragement and emotional support when needed.
- Assistance with preparing the home for sale, handling such things as repairs, upgrades, and decluttering, while dealing with contractors who won’t be paid till the estate closes.
- Bringing to bear pricing expertise, listing the property in all the most effective venues, and marketing creatively and effectively.
- Handling scheduling, showings, negotiations, and transactional processes, helping you navigate smoothly through all these steps in the process of selling a probate property.
Courts and Attorneys
In order for the sale to be confirmed, the court requires that the listing agent, plus any other interested party, come to probate court to confirm the sale. As we mentioned, many people’s first reaction, when they first discover just how complex and drawn out the process can be, is to just get the property listed and sold as soon as possible. Not only is this usually a mistake, but it can also land you in legal hot water. Selling a probate property is much different from a traditional home sale.
First of all, even you are named as the estate’s executor in the will, you don’t have any legal authority to enter into a real estate deal till the court officially appoints you as the estate’s personal representative at the first probate hearing. “This means that you cannot list the house or even sign a listing agreement with your probate agent until you have authorization from the probate court. To get this authorization, you need to have a probate attorney file a petition to probate with the probate court and then wait until you’re granted rights at that first hearing” (HomeLight).
So the first professional you’ll need in selling a probate property is a probate attorney. Then you’ll need to hire a real estate agent experienced in probate sales. One of the benefits of using a Seattle agent at this point is that she can help you get the house ready for sale and perform a comparative analysis to arrive at fair market value while you are waiting for the probate court’s authorization.
Your probate attorney will, of course, charge the estate by the hour (as any other attorney would), but your probate agent will receive a commission on the sale, the same as a traditional real estate agent would. This whole process entails a lot of critical documents and the following legally mandated steps. If you don’t want the estate to keep shelling out money on attorney’s fees, your agent can assist you and guide you through all of this.
Once the sale date for the court confirmation hearing has been set, the parties now must wait. During this time, the court requires that the terms of the notice of sale, including the date and location of the hearing, be noted in the MLS, with a continuation of advertising and marketing. Selling a probate property in Seattle includes a host of legal intricacies that your agent can help you stay on top of. Not least of these is disclosing that the property being sold will be subject to the legalities of probate. The idea here is to inform buyers early on that a sale will be finalized only on court confirmation.
“A court confirmation hearing will be scheduled once an offer is made. While waiting for the hearing, the probate sale must be advertised with the offered price in the local newspaper. This is to inform other potential buyers who will have the opportunity to bid for the property at the actual court hearing” (ActiveRain).
So if other interested buyers are present during the court hearing, an actual bidding process, conducted by the court, will take place. Then after the bidding and at the end of the hearing, the probate court will confirm a final buyer. And then the executor of the estate can complete the sale.
Selling a probate property, then, requires that you familiarize yourself with the many pertinent laws or that you hire a Seattle agent who understands all this. It’s your choice, but the second option is by far the best for most people.