Probate: Probate properties are owned by the estate of a deceased homeowner and are often sold below market value to property investors and potential homebuyers. However, the process of purchasing these properties isn’t always quick — lasting anywhere from 6 months to several years. This article identifies the avenues used to buy probate properties and specific laws that may apply to a probate property sale in some states.
This week, we listed a Laurelhurst estate property in the Laurelvista District. It’s a well priced single family home, and it will likely draw hundreds of potential buyers. In addition we were in a multiple offer situation for an estate that our buyers wanted. That transaction closed today!
What’s the biggest draw to the property? It’s an estate sale. What’s an estate sale? In general, it’s when the property has to be sold so that the proceeds can go to the estate, and eventually, to the heirs. So how does an estate sale in Washington State actually work?
Well there are two types…..
1) If the administrator has the power to sell the property without court confirmation then the sale moves forward just like any regular non-probate sale. With the caveat the estate does not need to provide the buyer with any disclosures about the property ( Form 17/Seller Disclosure Form). Buyers make offers, the best offer is taken and the sale eventually closes.
2) However, when most people think of probate sales, they think of the kind that require court confirmation because there is no will and maybe the heirs are bickering, or maybe there are no heirs, the sale of the property often requires court confirmation. This type of estate sale can sometimes take up to six months or more.
Another difference in estate sales is the Title.
Generally a home is sold with a General Warranty Deed in which Title Insurance covers the new buyer from the period of time the current seller has owned the home. But an estate sale’s title is sold as a Special Warranty Deed. With a Special Warranty Deed transfer, Title is insured from the point the heirship took control of the property to the time it is sold. A Special Warranty Deed doesn’t insure Title while the deceased owned it.
What do you want to look for if you’re buying an estate sale?
It’s a good idea to know the property is valued at least 90% of the appraised value. If you enjoy putting a little elbow grease into a home and want the satisfaction you brought a home back to life for either yourself or for the next owner then estate sales are the way to go!
Please let us know if you are interested in purchasing or selling an estate. We are happy to help you jump through some of the hoops required. Whether you are the personal representative, the heir, the lawyer, or a buyer interested in a property, we have the unique experience to help you in all cases.
Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800 Cooper Jacobs Real Estate