The sale of a Probate property is somewhat more complex than other ordinary property sales. Here are some of the subjects that are most commonly covered in relation to property being left in a person’s will or sometimes when a will is not found. Sell-fast Unravel Probate properties and the myths behind administering estates.


Probate What is it & How is it obtained? 


Probate is the procedure an estate of a deceased persons can be dealt with. The court ascertains whether someone is entitled to deal with the estate of a deceased person, including the sale of all of their assets, paying off the debts and the distribution proceeds of the assets to the persons entitled to them ‘the beneficiaries’.


When a Property Owner dies what happens? 


When a person dies and leaves a property behind, if there is a will it usually specifies a named person to deal with the estate, in the circumstances a will cannot be found the next of kin can apply to be appointed the executor of the said estate. This ‘executor’ will be granted responsibility for the legal affairs, often obtaining ‘Probate’ or ‘letters of administration’ enabling them to act as the personal representative. Once Probate is granted the personal representative has the ultimate control of the estate giving the legal entitlement to sell assets including properties in the estate.


If the decision is taken that the property is to be marketed for sale, the grant of Probate will give the Personal representative the authority to do this in line with the deceased wishes set out within the will left by the deceased. Should the property have been owned by the deceased in their sole name, the personal representative may register the property to the person inheriting it or transfer the property to someone elsevia a sale of the property. Selling probate properties sometimes attract buyers willing to modernise and with the owner now deceased the Personal representative will be in control of disclosing to the onward purchaser all the information required sometimes limited due to the fact information available may be limited


What happens to a deceased persons property after the death of a property owner depends greatly on what the beneficiaries plan to do with the property under the set terms of the will. There is no need in this situation to rush into a decision on what to do with a property, and indeed, it may not be dealt with until several weeks following the person’s death and the reading of the will to allow the family to fully mourn and economic decisions can be taken with the correct advice from legal & financial advisors.


Last Will & Testament


Can selling A Probate Property have its difficulties? 


The Properties current condition, Location and other aspects can affect the marketability of the property. We have encountered probate properties that are ready for open market without any complexities that are usually ready for onward purchasers to move straight into. Sell-fast Have indeed purchased properties from personal representatives over a number of years which all have their own merits & Issues. We once bought a property and noticed that the land registry documents did not match the land entitlement and after further inspection, we noticed a neighbouring property had moved fence lines and without the owner being able to confirm the date such changes had taken place we were left with a legal issue to argue the true ownership.


Often Probate properties attract developers and buyers that do not shy away from the prospect of a refurbishment project. Our team at sell-fast never shy away from a intensive refurbishment so like us there will always be an onward buyer. What is important the properties asking price reflects any issues. 


What does it cost to sell a probate property? 


Usually legal fees are expected when applying for probate but once Probate is granted one should expect no additional fee’s in relation to legal or estate agent fees than that of a normal sale. Sell-fast will offer on any probate property when dealing directly with the personal representative regardless of location and we will even pay towards the legal costs of conveyancing of the property and we charge no agency fee’s often agents can charge up to 2.5% of the value of the property.


A personal representative in readiness for marketing may opt to have the property cleared, and also insurers may ask for additional premiums (vacant property insurance)


Other potential costs that may arise with Probate properties include valuations,  a personal representative may seek the advice of an estate agent but often RICS valuations are provided to get an accurate valuation in order to determine the appropriate Inheritance Tax for a property.


Once a property is sold does it matter if it sold for more or less than the valuations submitted at the time of valuation? 


If the property sells for more or less than the Probate valuation in the inheritor’s tax return, they may be required to provide evidence of what caused this to happen


The estate may apply to HMRC for a rebate if the property is sold for less than that what was initially anticipated when applying for probate & on the other hand a further top-up may be applicable if the property sells for more than the valuation initially disclosed when applying for probate.


Can an deceased estates properties be sold prior to the courts grant of Probate? 


In a nutshell, NO. Although we have encountered estates ‘exchanging’ contracts subject to the grant of probate the grant is a legal instrument required by an solicitor to truly know who has the legal authority to convey a property to an onward purchaser. This is an exception if you are already named on the title of the property prior to the date of death. A spouse of a deceased person can also assume responsibility for the property and can decide to sell. Estates often begin marketing an estate while they wait for grant of probate this often helps speed up the process as you may have a ready and willing buyer by the time you have received your grant saving additional costs like insurance and maintenance issues that arise. 


How long is the wait for the Grant of Probate? 


Different circumstances either prolong or reduce the time needed for the probate courts to issue the grant. i.e if inheritance tax is required grant of probate can take as long as 12 weeks. But often grants of probates come sometimes within 6 weeks.


What documents are required for Probate? 


  1. Death Certificate for the deceased
  2. The last will left by the deceased
  3. The national insurance number of the deceased
  4. Property deeds
  5. Mortgage statements, bank statements, stocks, shares & other debt information that deduce the value of the deceased estate
  6. Property Valuations


Your solicitor will be able to advise on how to obtain this information and what else is required if these documents are not readily available. Are available to advise personal representatives at any time when admisistering an estate sell-fast pride ourselves as industry experts and will always offer fair cash purchase price saving  the estate time efftort & money


©2019, probate buyers and probate sales specialist in London and the UK. We offer free probate valuations to beneficiaries of inherited homes. We purchase probate properties both directly and through estate agencies. We help owners who need a quick probate sale and are registered with the property ombudsman for complete peace of mind


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