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In my Probate Real Estate business, I do several things. I find probate homes to sell to investors who want to invest, investors who want to retain (rentals), and end-user buyers looking for a home to move in. I usually do this outside of MLS Grid and I am the only agent who even knows that the will was available for purchase. This has been important to my production for the last 20 years and I love teaching other agents how to do the same if they are interested.

If you are writing an offer, use Win Forms for CA Ownership or any probate contract forms your state uses. You may be in a state that doesn’t require a particular probate deposit slip, so just use the usual one. In California, with the Win Forms that most real estate agents use, there is a specific probate deposit slip to use. This offer form will be for the most part the same as you would use in any home, but there will be a few different things you need to do.

  1. You will be asked for the name of the petitioner / executor – this is the person you are dealing with who has or will have (Letters of Will), the authority to sign the contract and make it binding. They should be approved as executor or administrator by the court, then you are good to go. If not when you submit your offer, also include a topic in the appendix that the offer is “subject to” the petitioner being approved as an executor before the escrow can be closed. The title will not take the petitioner’s signature for the concession deed without this approval plus the Letters of Testament, which is the judicial authority for the executor to sign the concession deed to the new buyer.
  2. You will be asked to provide the probate court case number. This is in the Notice to Manage the Estate. If you are accessing the file online, it will be referenced before reaching the documentation. If you go directly to the courtroom records room, you should have this case number on your Probate Tracking Sheet that you reviewed the file first. If not, ask the records room clerk to find the file by the name of the deceased or check the files yourself through the court computer.
  3. The probate contract will ask if the sale will go through court confirmation, if there is no confirmation, or if you don’t know yet. There will be a checkbox for each of the 3 ways. I always check that there is no confirmation from the court and then I fix it later. Remember that selling a probate home through the Independent Estate Administration Act is the fastest and easiest way to close.
  4. You will be asked when the Notice of Proposed Action will be filed: This NOPA is the notice to the heirs that the Executor is selling the probate house and there will be no judicial confirmation process. The heir will have 15 days plus 5 for delivery to agree or oppose in writing. If they agree, don’t worry and we’re going to close. If they object (object), then we have to stop everything in the sale and go to court to solve everything. Your title company will want the NOPA to close as well, so what I do is this.

  • I first ask the probate attorney to have the heirs sign the NOPA waivers, as they most likely know what is going on with the offer and we can save the two weeks.
  • If we have to use the NOPA, I wait until we’ve had our inspections and there are no problems to solve, then we order the NOPA, wait the 20 days, and then close. If you do this right, you should still be able to close in 40-45 days with the use of NOPA or 30 days or less if there are NOPA exemptions. The remaining succession contract will be basically the same as our CAR, so I hope this helps. Consider adding Probate Agent to your business card.

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