Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Premier.
Dayv Morgan [Submitted]
Through the death of a family member or a friend, you’ve just inherited a home. And now, you want to sell it and collect the proceeds. Sounds like a pretty simple process, right?

Not exactly.

Any potential windfall may have to wait as the home goes through probate, the process by which a court manages the estate of a deceased individual by selling off real estate and other property to settle debts. The remaining funds go to inheritors.

Probate is easier if the decedent has a will. If not, all decisions are made by a court, making the process lengthier and more expensive.

Unless an executor of the will has been named, the Probate Court will have to appoint one. The executor will manage the process of selling the house.

Most steps will depend on the approval of the Probate Court. In Arizona, probate can take months, if not years.

Selling real estate property in probate involves several steps. The first two are picking a probate attorney and a real estate agent with probate experience.

The attorney will file documents and represent you in Probate Court. This lawyer also files for life insurance payouts and the final tax return for the decedent.

The right Realtor will prove invaluable as they help with appraisers, inspectors and navigating regulations. If the property is owned by multiple parties, a Realtor will help manage disagreements over how to market and sell the property.

After picking the lawyer and the Realtor, the next steps will be to petition the Probate Court to sell the house, which includes getting an appraisal, which will be key. Most states require properties to sell for 90 percent of the home’s appraised value.

Once the appraisal is complete, the court must grant permission to sell the property, allowing it to be formally listed as a probate sale. By state law, public notice of the probate property must be advertised before it can be sold. This ensures that all potential heirs can claim their share of the inheritance.

Buyers then make offers on the property. Any offer is contingent on the court’s approval.
If you are a buyer interested in a home that is going through probate, the process for you will be pretty much the same as a traditional purchase.

Just bring a little extra patience and flexibility with the closing date, as the court response times vary.

Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Premier.


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