In the vast majority of cases, probate property sales occur when an owner dies and the home is then passed on to next of kin or loved ones. The main reason that probate properties are attractive is that they are often priced lower than homes on the open market. However, those looking to sell a property in this manner need to be aware of some important steps to take. Preparation is also key, for there can be times when the process is not as straightforward as it may seem. Let’s take a look at this method in a bit more detail. You can then make the most appropriate decision when the time is right.
Probate Property Sales: Basic Mechanics
Let us assume for a moment that an owner has recently died and you are the sole beneficiary named within the will. Before the real process begins, it is important that you receive a proper valuation for the property as well as any associated assets (such furniture, antiques or jewellery).
Then, you will need to apply for what is known as a grant of representation. This involves three steps:
– Filling out a probate application form (form PA1).
– Completing an Inheritance Tax form (if the home is valued over £230,000 pounds).
– Swearing an oath before a duly licensed government representative.
As you may imagine, this process can be a bit lengthy and complicated. So, it might be a good idea to use the expertise of a trained solicitor.
A Growing Market? Dealing with Competition
Recent studies have shown that as many as 1 in 10 homes on the market are in probate. This is obviously a great situation for the buyers, as they will be likely to get an excellent price. However, this can be a bit challenging in terms of probate property sales. The main concern is not only the asking price, but how this price compares to the housing market as a whole.
Another variable to take into account is the condition of the property itself. Many probate properties are in a poor or run-down state. Others could be cluttered with items that have been in storage for years or even decades. Unfortunately, many buyers are looking to avoid lengthy (and potentially expensive) cleaning processes. A home that is uncluttered and requires fewer repairs will fetch a far better price. You could also look at this as a great way to earn a bit of extra money before the sale itself. Place advertisements in local papers, look into regional boot sales and register with online auction sites. If you believe that specific antiques are very expensive, have them assessed by an independent expert as opposed to a property valuation alone. The proceeds from such sales could very well offset any court and legal fees that need to be paid.
As the baby boomer generation continues to age, it is likely that probate property sales will become more commonplace. Use this article as a guide to help you through the process and as always, seek the help of a professional.