How Probate Estate Sales WorkSelling the family residence in probate is different from selling the same domicile through a typical home sale. Not only is the original homeowner most likely no longer around to handle the ordeal, you may also have to become reliant on the court.

Minnesota probate law sets things up so that selling the home can still happen, more or less, as long as a judge has say in the matter. There’s also the probability that you may need to have the right kind of real estate agent to help you work out all of the details. Be mindful that this matter may take some time even if you do get a good offer from the first person who wants to buy the home. Probate sales have their own little quirks.

How Probate (Estate) Sales Work

Normally, this kind of sale happens because the house wasn’t inherited by someone else or there was debt that needed to be paid. Parts of the United States work hard to ensure that the deceased’s property can actually be inherited by a family member in order to ensure that heirs have a fair chance. However, the act of finding missing heirs usually falls to the estate’s executor. So, when all other options have proved to be impossible, there might be nothing left to do aside from bringing the home to market.

Keep in mind that houses found going through probate usually have to go through the process before a home title transfer can commence. This is what often happens with property that’s owned under a title. On the other hand, the reason why this house is being sold in a probate sale is because someone is probably trying to use this exchange as a way to closing out the probate process. It might not completely end the work that needs to be accomplished, but legal ownership of the home can finally be passed on.

Have an Agent

Specially trained real estate agents are usually a big part of these transactions. Someone trained in probate sales is what you should be looking for, however, specifically one who knows the state laws pertaining to these kinds of sales. Some people even do this kind service regularly to help with the demand. Be careful about just hiring any real estate agent as that may cause problems down the line.

Who hires the real estate agent might be up to the judge, executor, or administrator. As a note to those who are new to probate, always think through whether or not it’s worth to second guess the executor, administrator, or judge as they probably know almost every part of this case. This is a relatively serious matter. Nonetheless, people interested in your home could also have a buyer agent working for them so that they can have better say in the matter. This is a real home sale after all.

A Proposal

To make an offer on a probate sale might involve an advanced deposit. Ten percent is the normal amount for this kind of transaction. Thankfully, counter offers by the party who’s selling the home can still be given in order to change asking price. Nothing will probably be said and done until a final offer is accepted. You’re not always required to take the first offer, so it might be in your best interests to work with the judge, executor, or administrator to see if a better offer can be brought about.

Note that once an offer is made, other buyers might find out about the news. It’s common for the published list price to be updated once this first offer comes in. Then, once it’s time to sell the home, confirming a sale might be where you want to bring in your probate lawyer. It’s typical for people to have their attorney work out the details. That way, the legal aspects of the sale can be properly communicated.

Waiting Game

So much of probate is dependent on the court. This is especially true in matters where the will is nonexistent as the court usually has to provide a surrogate executor, otherwise known as an administrator, to help deal with the ordeal. However, even in cases where a will is present, you still need the probate court’s confirmation before the estate can be sold off to any prospective buyers. You can’t go off and sell the property on a whim.

As a potential fact of the matter is that it may take roughly four to six weeks in order for the court to set a date, and that’s after a buyer’s offer has been submitted and approved. Other buyers can still put in offers. So, this first offer might not be the final proposal that you receive. Note that only the person who’s bid wins will end up paying their ten percent deposit. Everyone else who put money down for the home should be able to leave without having to pay.

Asking a Probate Attorney

Because there might be other things to work on besides the home and in light of the chance that you need more recommendations on what to do during the probate sale, you may want to have a probate attorney. Maybe you’re selling the home so that beneficiaries are attempting to inherit various other assets or because no one wants to inherit the property. Probate is much more than simply selling off someone’s home to satisfy creditors. There might be taxes, bills, hidden assets, and anything in between.

Should you want any assistance, ask Flanders Law Firm LLC if they can help you by dialing 612-424-0398.   This home can be sold and the matter can be dealt with.


  1. […] right now, and everyone involved is trying their best to keep it intact or get their portion of it. Selling a real estate in probate can have lots of fees.  Keeping it intact can mean that someone has to ensure that it stays intact […]

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