If you are the Executor of a Will, you may find yourself needing to sell a “Probate Property”. This is usually the situation when a deceased person owned a property in their sole name, and the beneficiaries of the Will now need to distribute the value of the estate after inheriting it.
Alas, selling an inherited property can be a confusing process, and that’s why I’ve been grappling with what the best way is to approach this topic, not only because it’s an extremely sensitive and often traumatic one, but also because I want to structure the content in the most useful way possible (without the fluff). There’s certainly no shortage of ground to cover, but it doesn’t make sense to cover it all.
So after much deliberation, I’ve decided to target this blog post for anyone that ticks the following boxes:
- First and foremost (and most obviously), trying to sell a probate property.
- Not fully aware of the legal or practical process of selling a probate property, and therefore needs a guiding hand.
- In search of a quick and easy solution (I don’t mean “easy” emotionally, of course). Selling a probate property can take a very long time to sell on the open market, but this can be avoided.
Selling inherited property is NOT the same as selling your own property
What most people in this situation don’t initially realise – and understandable so – is that selling an inherited property does not follow the same blueprint as someone selling their own home – there are additional legal hoops to jump through.
“Probate” is the process of obtaining permission from the Court to deal with the estate of someone who has died. Typically, an Executor named in the Will is responsible for managing the Probate process.
In order to sell an inherited house (or a “house in probate”), a Grant of Probate is required to legally complete the sale. A grant can be obtained by completing an application on the GOV website, but the process does involve multiple steps and can take several months, which includes:
- Registering the death
- Valuing the estate
- Paying any inheritance tax due
- Paying Probate fees
On a side note, you can still have the property valued and put it on the market before Probate has been granted. If someone makes an offer on the property, you can accept it, but you will need to wait for the Grant of Probate before exchanging contracts.
So what’s the easiest and quickest way to sell a probate property?
As mentioned, there’s potentially a lot of ground to cover on this topic, so I’m only going to focus on the on what I believe to be the easiest solution, and that’s because:
- Due to the traumatic nature of this situation, which is already complicated and taxing enough, most people are seeking a relatively painless solution.
- There’s already plenty of information available on how to sell a probate property through the traditional means, moreover, most reputable high-street estate agents should be able to assist. However, while using an estate agent can be effective, using one won’t necessarily be the most efficient option (i.e. quickest and easiest).
Selling directly to a cash buying company
If you toss the term “selling a property in probate” into Google you’ll be inundated with Property Cash Buyer Companies (also referred to as “We buy any house” companies) in your research results. Perhaps that’s how you ended up here.
These companies do what they say on the tin: they’ll buy any property in any condition, including probate properties, for cash.
The catch? You’ll have to sell the property anywhere between 75% – 85% of the market value. However, that hasn’t stopped their services from becoming popular – and often a saving grace – among those looking to sell a property in Probate, and that’s because they can make the process incredibly easy (or, at least, easy as it can be in these difficult times).
The key features of using a cash buyer company:
- They are a very convenient solution (in these circumstances, “convenience” is often highly sought after and valued)
- They will make a full cash offer (often with in days)
- They understand the legal and practical process involved with buying and selling a property in Probate
- Probate properties can take a very long time to sell on the open market (i.e. you need find a buyer), but they can cut the time in half, least of all because they’re ready to buy today
To get real insight on how these companies operate and how they can benefit those looking to sell a property in probate, I reached out to my contact at MyHomebuyers.co.uk (a highly reputable cash buyer company that has vast experience in purchasing properties in probate), and this is what he had to say:
- Selling inherited property is a very stressful time for many different reasons, and that can add to the already difficult task of navigating around the probate process, particularly all the admin work. We can alleviate a lot of that work.
- On top of the admin work, you also need to make arrangements to clear the property before it can go on the open market. This in itself can be extremely traumatic, and it’s not uncommon for us to get enquiries from clients that have been sitting on a fully furnished property and just haven’t got round to clearing it out.
By selling to a company like us, we can take that burden away from the family members and deal with the clearance after the sale has completed. This in itself can add a huge amount of value and remove the burden from the executor and beneficiaries, often the children.
- Most enquiries that we receive are from people looking for a quick and painless sale. However, when we speak with them, many of them are not familiar with what they need to do to get a Grant of Probate [so that they can legally sell the property]. We work closely with solicitors that specialise in Probate, so we assist with all the legal preperation.
- Once we make an offer on the property and it’s accepted, we work with the solicitors and time everything so that literally the day that Probate is granted we can complete the sale. This can take months off the selling process.
- Another benefit services like ours offer is that often the estate is split by a number of family members, so for a little less each, they get to sell a property without the pain of clearing it in the quickest time possible and for a fair price, saving them a huge amount of time and enabling them to draw a close to that chapter and move on with their lives.
- Probate properties can take a very long time to sell on the open market, arguably we cut that time in half. Even if someone is at the early stages of considering their options, we are always happy to speak with them, share some guidance and point them in the right direction.
Which Cash House Buyer Company?
Warning: the property cashing buying industry is unregulated, so that means you will have little to no recourse if things go wrong. That is why it’s critical to do your due diligence and choose a reputable company to work with. You can find out more in my complete guide on Cash House Buyer Companies.
| My Homebuyers
|Features|| Offers (up to)
80-85%of Market Value
|Get cash offer|
While I can confidently recommend MyHomebuyers.co.uk as a reputable company with in the cash buyer industry (because I’ve worked with them for a reasonable amount of time. You can read my full MyHomebuyers review, if you like), there are plenty of other good companies to choose from, which is why I always encourage everyone to explore their options. So please don’t feel like I’m ushering you into one direction – because I’m sincerely not.
I have listed other highly rated and reputable cash buying companies in this blog post.
At the very least… get a no obligation cash offer!
Just to clarify, I’m not saying using a cash buyer company is a suitable option for everyone. In fact, I know they’re not, particularly for anyone that is looking to achieve the highest sale price possible. You’re not going to get that with a cash buyer company. However, I firmly believe they are the best option for anyone that is willing to sell 75% – 85% of the market value and is looking for the quickest sale possible.
In any case, my recommendation is to at the very least talk to a few reputable companies, and see how much they’re willing to offer you, and how easy they can make the process for you. As my contact from MyHomebuyers.co.uk said, they are always happy to speak to anyone interested in their service, share some guidance and point people in the right direction. Every other reputable company will offer the same non-obligatory service.
Disclaimer: I’m just a landlord blogger; I’m 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I’m a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.