When Is The Best Time To Approach A Seller Of A Probate Property

Real Estate Investors Wonder when’s the best time to approach a family with regards to buying their home through probate. This question isn’t always a straightforward matter for many reasons. For Instance, there are many aspects of the probate process itself that can make the timing of such situations challenging to predict. There are also different strategies used by the investor to work with the families involved in selling the deceased persons real estate. Let’s bridge this gap and try to bring some light to the subject perhaps finding an answer that works in nearly every situation where the home is sold using probate.

Some probate sales are a challenge to work with from the investor standpoint because the family dealing with the death may not even have a will. The main difficulty with this it is the courts will step in and appoint somebody as the administrator. Furthermore, this can make for a difficult situation because the administrator may not initially fully understand all the facts. The administrator may have to retrace many footsteps of the deceased even to determine the value of all the assets involved. The time frame for this can be completely unpredictable resulting in spending time on additional documents and paperwork.

If the family did have a will, it’s up to the family to prove it’s valid. The court may even ask to have witnesses come forward to address the court and confirm it. The will may also indicate the preference of the executor to help handle and settle the estate. Family members can potentially contest and argue among themselves on who this person should be. All these variables can make it difficult to know if it’s a good time to discuss the sale of the property. Some family members may not even want to sell the property and could express emotional attachments as they get deeper into the process.

Depending on what state you’re in and if the court is favoring the sale of the property, the court might ask for a hearing to meet the interested party looking to buy the home. Not only will the court want to meet face to face with the interested party, but the court might also put an ad in the paper to attract more potential buyers. It’s not uncommon to have them all attend the same hearing and then start a bidding process. In some ways the courts approach the bidding similar to foreclosure auction. After all, the court is interested in obtaining as much money for the property as possible because creditors also need compensating.

There are more efficient ways to handle situations like this possibly eliminating all the time consuming back and forth with the descendants and the courts. Some investors will attempt to make contact with the family trying to predict the best time in an already tricky or emotional situation. Instead, the better approach is to deal directly with probate attorneys well in advance. The attorney would prefer to have an exclusive investor to work with in situations where a sale is likely. Developing this relationship with the probate attorney ahead of time is far more advantageous because the attorney already has a good understanding of the details of the cases to which they’re involved.

In conclusion, probate real estate deals can be handled in many different ways depending on the complexity of the case. Probate deals can be very profitable for investors.  The will can also indicate the deceased person’s preference as the executor. Many steps can make it difficult to determine the exact timing that’s best to reach out to the descendants family. The family may still have an attachment to the home making the decision more difficult. The better approach would be not to contact the families but instead build a relationship with the probate attorneys as they will know more depth about the case and can recommend a course of action for the family.


Ian Manta is a successful business owner and lifetime investor in real estate. He has purchased numerous investment properties to grow assets, and develop passive income.