Selling a Pennsylvania Home in Probate
There are many scenarios that make a PA home difficult to sell, one of them is probate. When a property is in probate the affected parties often ask if it is legal to sell the home while it is in probate. The short answer to the question is yes, but there are some things you should know about the ability to sell the home while it is in probate.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process of completing the actions of a person’s will after they have passed away. This often involves distributing wealth assets like a bank account, financial investments, and real estate holdings. It also applies to taking care of a deceased person’s assets when there was no will to instruct who was to inherit each asset.
If there is a will an executor is often appointed and they must make sure all assets are distributed to the rightful people named in the will. If there is no will an administrator is often assigned. This could be the next of kin (family) but sometimes there may be other family members that contest this which leads to legal ramifications. The person taking care of the deceased assets will first ensure that outstanding debts are paid out and then distribute the remaining assets to beneficiaries. All of this is done under the supervision of the probate court.
Five General Steps to Selling a Home in Formal Probate
- The probate court will look over the will if there is one and confirm that there is an executor named, if there is no will or no named executor the court will appoint an administrator.
- Once the executor or administrator has been confirmed or appointed it is their job to find the current fair market value of the property this is often done through a home appraisal conducted by a licensed appraiser. Often a probate court will require that the home is sold for at least 90% of the appraised value.
- The executor of the estate/property will need to find a real estate attorney to assist with the sale and make sure everything is conducted within legal parameters.
- The home is then listed for sale and if an offer is received for the purchase of the property it must be brought before the probate court at a hearing. At this hearing, other interested buyers will be able to make a bid on the property.
- The court will make the final decision on which purchase offer is approved and then the property will move forward into the closing process. If there are creditors that need to receive payment they will receive funds from the home sale first and then the remaining funds will be distributed among the heirs of the property owner who has passed.
This is just a simple overview of what happens to a home in formal probate when it is sold. Not all properties undergo a formal probate process some can go through what is considered informal probate.
Selling a Home Under Informal Probate
Informal probate is often used when the estate of a person who has passed has a will and trust. This means the person who passed made great preparations for their passing and there are clear instructions as to what is supposed to happen with the distribution of assets. In this scenario selling a home can be less structured under court supervision and much simpler to legally sell.
If you are dealing with a home of a deceased loved one and need to sell the property it is good to talk things over with a real estate professional experienced with probate matters. It is not uncommon for family and close friends to need to sell a property instead of keep it in their possession. Even if the home was clearly left to a named person in the will. It could be that outstanding debts need to be paid or that inheriting the home is a cost that the intended inheriting party or parties cannot afford.
Selling a Home in Probate With Less Hassle
Selling a home after a loved one has passed on can be difficult in certain circumstances and may be the last thing some heirs would like to deal with. Sometimes selling the property to a cash buyer can help to take the hassle out of selling the home legally. If you are curious about selling a home left behind by a loved one contact us.
We are not here to pressure you into selling. We are here to help take the hassle and drawn-out process out of selling a home in a difficult situation. Contact us any time for information on selling a PA home for cash.