Selling Real Estate from an Estate

If you decide to sell a home owned by an estate still in probate, you need to be careful to follow the rules so the transaction will be valid. Generally, the estate must go through formal probate rather than the informal process. The personal representative will usually need to petition the court for a license to sell the property, although this requirement may be waived if the will specifically gave the personal representative power to sell the real estate without a license. When a license is required, the court will hold a hearing, and the heirs can contest the sale.

Once the personal representative has legal permission to sell the property, they can place it on the market. However, an interested buyer must be informed that the house is under probate and that the court must approve the sale before it can go through. In addition, the sale must comply with requirements about the timing of the confirmation hearing, advertising the confirmation hearing, and ensuring the buyer is prepared with adequate resources. At the hearing, other buyers may bid on the property, so the initial buyer may not be the one signing the final sale agreement and making payment.

While it can be done legally, the process of selling a house from an estate in probate is complicated, so it is very helpful to work with an attorney who understands estate administration and real estate laws.