It’s not uncommon for a house to go up on the market while it is in the probate process. But you’ll need to make sure your state laws are followed carefully, and that all aspects of the sale have been monitored by both court professionals as well as executor/s. It can be a complex process, but understanding what needs done will help reduce any surprises or confusion later down the line.
Can A House Be Sold While In Probate In Orlando, FL?
Appointment of Administrator/Executor
The probate process begins with the executor – chosen in the decedent’s will – tasked with the important responsibility of carrying out a person’s wishes. Some executors might not be able to fulfill this duty, in which case judges appoint someone else, like a relative or close friend if no one has been appointed before death.
The next step is to have the property appraised, but you must make sure that your appraisal company has licenses and a reputation for accuracy. The property needs to sell at a price that’s no less than 90% of what it was appraised as worth – so be sure not only are they licensed and reputable, but also good!
This is the complicated part – we all know how slowly the court process can move. Your real estate agent will list the property on the multiple listing service (MLS), and they must mark it specifically as a probate sale.
Soon enough, an interested buyer makes an offer along with a 10% deposit, if accepted, the offer is subject to court confirmation. You must submit the offer through your probate attorney to the court for confirmation. If everyone is in agreement, then a date is set for the sale to be finalized in court.
When a potential buyer tries to outbid the original offer, it can lead to an intense bidding war. Before the court hearing confirms and approves the original buyer’s offer, the judge will ask those present in the courtroom if any of them would like to bid on the property. If no one does, then the sale proceeds in the standard fashion mentioned above.
If, however, there is an overbid, the original buyer’s 10% deposit must be refunded before the new sale at the new bid price can proceed. When the overbid is accepted, the new buyer must then put up a 10% deposit, which is required to be a cashier’s check. This check for the accepted overbid deposit is presented to the executor/administrator at the winning bidder’s acceptance hearing.
Upon court confirmation and approval, a contract can then be signed. But it is a specialized kind of sale contract because it cannot have any contingencies, and escrow closes soon after the hearing, usually within 15 days.
As you can see, there are some complicated rules for selling a house while in probate. It is advised to consider contacting an attorney for more specific help.