Before we answer if you can sell a house while in probate, let’s discuss probate first.
What is probate?
Probating an estate is a court-supervised process of validating a last will and testament. It includes locating and determining the value of the assets, paying final bills and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the estate to the rightful beneficiaries. This process can be stressful and grueling — and selling a house on top of everything else only adds to the frustration.
In Oklahoma, probate occurs in the district court of the county where the deceased property owner lived. If the property is located in another state, additional proceedings will be necessary in that state.
Typically, the probate process follows four steps.
- The first step involves filing a petition with the probate court to admit the will and appoint an executor or, if there’s no will, to appoint an administrator of the estate. A hearing date is set, and notice of the hearing is published locally.
- After being appointed by the court, the decedent’s personal representative gives notice to all creditors, and an inventory of the estate is made.
- After determining which claims are legitimate, the personal representative pays all expenses, debts, and taxes from the estate. Sometimes, this involves selling estate assets to meet obligations.
- Assets (i.e. legal title to a house) are disbursed according to the decedent’s wishes expressed in the will or, in case there is no will, according to the state’s intestate succession laws.
Those are the basics for the probate process for an estate in Oklahoma City, including the house. Just be on the lookout for any scams that may pop up along the way.
Now, can a house be sold while in probate?
When a person dies and there are outstanding expenses owed or ongoing expenses such as a mortgage payment, the estate may not have enough income to pay these debts. As a result, the executor of the estate may be forced to sell the property to avoid foreclosure.
If the house is not required to be sold by the court, you will need to wait until the probate process is completed before attempting to sell the house. However, you can plan by speaking to one of our team members and giving them the property basics. We can provide you with a tentative offer, so you’ll know what to expect once your house has cleared the probate process.
Even if the property was not left to an heir, the executor of the estate will be tasked with handling the sale of the home. An interested buyer must provide a deposit along with a written offer. Before the offer is approved by the courts, the court will ask if anyone would like to make a higher offer for the property.
Once the court approves the offer, there will be an opportunity to have the property inspected before the sale is finalized. Once this process is completed, escrow will be able to close within only a couple weeks. The proceeds of the sale are used to pay any outstanding debts, with the remaining balances going to the heirs as outlined in the will.
Just make sure everyone is on board.
If there are multiple heirs, it is important for everyone to be on the same page. While the estate executor has the authority to list and sell the property, it is best to get everyone in agreement ahead of time. You don’t want to have anyone contest the sale or create problems within a family if you can avoid it.
If you’d like to learn more about probate and how to get through it smoothly, contact us today.
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Yet what if you may not be ready? Maybe you still have lots of questions about how our process works or maybe you’re thinking of other selling options. The best thing you can do is more research on our company. We want to make sure you did your homework, so feel free to learn more about our company and how we buy houses by visiting our pages explaining our home-buying process and research us on social media. And when you’re ready to sell your home, we’ll be waiting because we know we make the process easy and hassle-free. Our team can’t wait to help you begin your next chapter!