The probate process is grueling and long. It will exhaust the people involved especially the executor overseeing the division of the deceased’s real estate property. Often, beneficiaries are in a hurry for their inheritance and ask, “Can you sell a house before probate is settled?”
Considering how long the probate process can last, it is understandable that it is the first question in the executor and beneficiaries’ minds. The answer is tricky and proper inquiry with a probate lawyer should be made. However, for the benefit of settling confusion, it is legally “no” but there is a way around it.
A probate is not a legal process that seemingly serves no purpose except as a nuisance. It protects the deceased’s assets from people who want to take advantage of someone’s death. It verifies the legality of the property and claims of the beneficiaries, ensures that parties who were owed by the deceased is paid and the remaining assets are divided among beneficiaries fairly or according to the will. Without the probate, many real estate parties will refuse the property sale in fear of breaking the law. But as mentioned, there is a way around it but it is important to seek legal counsel to avoid breaking state laws.
Can You Sell A House Before Probate is Approved?
Can you sell a house before probate is approved focuses on the point where the sale officially happens. Specifically, paying the agreed price and transferring the ownership of the property. Land titles and registry offices will not allow a new owner to be put in the deed without the probate grant but doing every selling process before this is allowed and legal. The house can undergo an inspection to see if it is fit to sell, its parts can be repaired, it can be staged to seem appealing and it can be placed in a listing so interested buyers can see it.
The executor can enlist a real estate agent to help with the early steps in selling the property and also entertain bids for the house without worrying about legal issues. This strategy is beneficial because it uses the probate time efficiently, allows the executor plenty of time to find a buyer that can give the best price for the house and it satisfies the need of the beneficiaries to hurry the process along. Through this, by the time, the probate is granted, the executor had already found a good buyer and is just waiting to legally transfer the property.
The fact is, the time frame involved in selling a probate house is probably twice as long as waiting for the probate grant. Using this strategy at least cuts the wait time by 50% which consequently also reduces the money spent on maintenance and taxes by half. This efficient work around was probably developed by those who are more than familiar with the hassles of a probate and the uncertainty of a probate house sale. They had asked the question, “Can you sell a house before probate is granted?” just like everyone else and successfully came up with a solution.
In you are in Florida, talk to us at Probate Solutions FL and we can give you assistance as to what all of your options are. There is no obligation and we truly want to find the solution that’s best for you.