Managing your late loved one’s estate can leave a lot on your plate. If their estate has to go through probate, in addition to navigating all of the strict requirements and technicalities of the probate process, in many cases, your loved one’s home will need to be sold during the estate’s administration.
If the home does need to be sold during the probate process, it can be difficult to know where to start. After all, the requirements, and rules for selling a house in probate are much different than those associated with selling a home in a normal sale. So, what should you know?
First: Know the rules
As stated above, selling real estate in probate is not the same as selling a house in a normal sale. There are strict rules and procedures that must be followed in probate that do not apply in a normal sale. The California Probate Code explains the specific steps required under the law to sell a house in probate. You should carefully review these steps and conditions beforehand to avoid any issues or mishaps during the process.
Among other things, with a probate sale, you may have to:
- Obtain permission from the probate court to sell the property
- Get the property properly appraised for market value
- Give notice of the sale in the local newspaper
- Ensure the probate court approves the sale before finalizing matters
These are key steps among others that you may have to take in a probate real estate sale. It can help to consult an experienced probate attorney as well to fully understand the steps to prepare the home for sale.
How can you maximize the value of the property?
Your loved one treasured their home. Perhaps it holds a lot of sentimental value for your family, but that kind of value does not necessarily transfer to a real estate sale. So, how can you make the most of the sale?
Part of this will depend on considering and evaluating how much time and resources would need to be committed to maximizing the value, and whether it would prove fruitful. For example, as we discussed in a previous blog post, you may wish to consider the pros and cons of:
- Selling the property as-is
- Potentially investing in some renovations
Certain renovations can increase the value of the home, but they may not necessarily produce a positive result relative to the cost of completing those renovations. You must weigh your options carefully. It can also help to speak with a real estate professional to determine steps you can take to maximize the value of the sale and whether it is advisable to do so relative to the costs associated with those steps and the market conditions then in effect.