Introduction to Probate and Wills

probate real estate and house

Selling real estate is tedious. It is a series of court-regulated steps. Managing these steps is of paramount importance. As you try to sell your property, you will realize that deadlines are really deadlines. The deadlines can be unforgiving, and the court’s oversight must be honored throughout the whole process: from marketing to negotiations and eventually to the sale of the real estate.

The sale generally has an Executor or an Administrator of the estate, a lawyer to represent the estate, and a probate real estate agent to represent the seller. These buyers place the bids with the court and the real estate agents of the buyers. Each of them must follow all the guidelines and protocols outlined by the court.

Because of the court’s involvement, the selling of probate real estate has its terms and vocabularies. They also involve various contracts that are not used in other real estate transactions.

If you are selling a property through such a transaction, it is ideal to hire a real estate agent with experience in Probate and trust. He or she will know the language, documentation, and the steps involving the process.

Problems you will encounter during Probate.

1. The Probate is a legal process. The SC administers it in the place where the decedent or the deceased person lived. Since it is a legal process, you need experts to help you with this process.

2. Probate is costly. Probate is a legal process;  the fees for filing the legal documents needed should be paid.

3. Probate experts get fees based on the fair market value of the decedent’s assets.

4. The probate process is time-consuming. It will take several months, approximately nine months or longer before an estate executor can get approval from the court.

5. Moreover, when there is estate litigation, probate can take a lot of years.

6. When no executor or administrator is named in a Will, the probate court will appoint a person to manage the estate’s assets and to sell the property. The appointed person will act on behalf of the decedent.

7. When a probate court appoints a personal representative, they will assume the duty of an officer of the court, take over the fiduciary duties and manage the estate’s assets.

Why does an Executor or Administrator need an experienced Probate Real Estate Agent?

When a Will is made, and an executor or administrator is named therein, he needs an agent to sell the property. 

A probate real estate agent should have specialized training and knowledge on how to sell probate real estate.

Hiring an inexperienced person is detrimental for the Probate because it might lead to a breach of fiduciary duty.

It is essential to distinguish what a real estate agent is and what executors are. Probate real estate agents have a fiduciary duty to their clients. On the other hand, executors have the fiduciary duty to manage the estate to a certain degree of care.

An executor looking to hire a probate real estate agent must see that the real estate agent has probate experience that meets the care test standards.

Once a probate real estate agent is hired, he will do the following:

1. Research the market data. This process is essential to know the fair market value of the real estate. You might ask what a fair market value is? It is distinct from the “appraised value” or “market value” of the estate. Fair market value considers the economic principle of free and open market activity, while the appraised value is the price of the asset in the marketplace.

2. Get a listing agreement. The probate real estate agent will then get a listing agreement and ensure that all the probate terms and conditions are signed.

3. The probate real estate agent should prepare the disclosures for signing. 

4. The real estate agent then will prepare the property for marketing.

5. The real estate agent will order inspections.

6. The Probate real estate agent then markets the real property to the public, and as much as possible, attracts the highest offer. This process includes newspaper advertising, listings on real estate websites, or hosting an open house for homebuyers

7. The real estate agent will also schedule appointments to show the property to interested homebuyers.

8. Homebuyers would want to have a bargain deal over the real estate property, but the courts limit the bargain deals. An accepted offer must be 90% or more of the Probate Referee’s value

9. Once the buyer is found, the real estate agent assists the seller in negotiating the terms that will benefit both parties.

10. When the property has an accepted offer, a Notice of Proposed Action is mailed to all heirs. The heirs will now have 15 days to review the notice for any objections. If there are no objections, the sale will proceed without any court hearing.

11. After these, a notice of sale should be published in a newspaper of general circulation.


The process of probate sale can be tedious. A probate realtor is what you need to help you when it comes to the procedure of sale.

Experience in probate sales would make a difference for all the parties that are involved in the sale. A probate real estate agent ensures that his or her clients will know what is going on every step of the way. Communication is always necessary when it comes to selling probate real estate.

A probate real estate agent understands the contracts and the deadlines.  Time is of the essence when we talk about probate proceedings. Therefore, missing deadlines is prohibited.

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