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Home > Real Estate Investment > How to Invest in Probate Real Estate

How to Invest in Probate Real Estate?


Are you looking for a ready market of motivated home sellers who are often willing to sell at a deep discount -- a market where you'll have little to no competition at all?

If your answer is 'who isn't?', then there's a slew of real estate investors who want to tell you their secrets to buying probate real estate. According to many of them, probate real estate sales are easily the single most profitable area of real estate investing.

What Is Probate Real Estate?

When a person dies, their estate - all their worldly belongings - often goes into probate court, where a judge appoints an Executor to oversee its administration. It is the Executor's job to make sure that the belongings are divided fairly and according to the decedent's wishes. Depending on the state, the judge may also give the Executor different levels of power.

Why Are The Owners Of Probate Property So Motivated?

In many cases, when an heir inherits property, they inherit a burden. There are estate taxes to be paid, repairs that must be made, even, in some cases, a mortgage or second mortgage that must be kept up to date. Ready cash may be more important to them than any other factor.

Add in the fact that there are often multiple 'owners', and many of them may live far away, and you have a situation where selling the house is the best, sometimes only option to make sure that everyone gets their fair share of the estate.

Isn't It Illegal To Sell Property That Is Being Probated?

It's commonly assumed that sales of real estate in probate are extremely difficult, if not impossible. The truth is that, in most cases, the Executor has the power to make a decision to sell - as long as he has the agreement of all the heirs to the estate. In some cases, he or she may also need the permission of the court, but even if that happens, the agreement of all the heirs will usually be all the judge needs to approve a sale of real estate. Research the laws in your state for any requirements - for instance, some require that the property be listed through a licensed realtor.

How Do I Find Properties In Probate?

Wills in probate are a matter of public record. A little research at your local courthouse will get you a list of all wills presented for probate. A little more legwork will turn up records of deeds to properties held in their name. It's all a matter of a little research to find properties whose owners are eager to sell, and sell quickly.

How Do I Contact People About Buying Their Inherited Property?

Unlike foreclosure sales, where the owners are being forced to sell when they don't want to, many heirs are eager to sell their property quickly so that they can use the cash realized. You can send out letters or postcards, make a phone call, and even pay a personal visit. Just keep in mind that you are offering a solution that they may not have considered - ready cash. In many cases, they'll be happy to accept an offer for as little as 75% of the market value of the house just to get it sold quickly, and will do anything they need to do to help the sale go through. Find out What you need to know about probate sales? here!


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