Selling a Probate Property?
Executors take on a lot of responsibility when administering a deceased estate, which can be especially stressful during a time of grieving. Our useful guide offers some information on how to proceed with the sale of a probate property.
Last updated by Mark Grantham on 26th November 2017
What is a probate property?
If the deceased owned a house or flat, this will be included in the estate. And it is very often sold as part of the administration rather than being transferred directly to a beneficiary. The decisions on how to sell the property are made by the executors of the estate – usually friends, family or a solicitor. And the executor will act as the owner would have, in signing the contract of sale and other legal documents.
Why sell a probate property at auction?
There are 3 main reasons why probate properties are suited to sale at auction.
Firstly, there are certain responsibilities an executor has towards the beneficiaries named in the will. The executor has a duty to ensure the property is marketed for sale on the open market to achieve a fair price. One way to do this is to sell the property at public auction, which offers a transparent sale, so there is no way the executor can be accused on under selling the property.
Secondly, many of the probate properties that we come across have not been updated in recent years. Properties in need of refurbishment, particularly those in popular areas generate a lot of demand at auction. It’s not uncommon to see an unmodernised property sell at auction for a lot more than an estate agents suggested asking price.
Lastly, all parties involved in probate will usually be keen to settle the estate as quickly as possible. Taxes need to be paid and the beneficiaries share of the estate paid out. Auction is the quickest and most reliable route to selling.
Can a house be sold before probate is granted?
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