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Published on : July 2, 2019 15:59

Selling a probate property | Understanding the process

Managing the estate of a loved one who has passed away can often be a sensitive subject during a difficult time.

Making sure the sale of the property is fast, simple and as pain-free as possible can make ALL the difference in these situations.

Although most people aim for a smooth and speedy sale, selling a house in probate is a bit more complicated than a regular sale.

To help you understand the process of selling a probate property we’ve answered a few of the most frequently asked questions.

We’ve even included a whole section about the best method of selling a probate property. Before we get to that, let’s start with the basics…

What does probate actually mean?


Probate is the legal process through which someone is given permission to deal with the estate of a deceased person by the court.

Often a family member, friend or partner will take on this responsibility.

Before any assets, including the property, can be distributed in accordance with the will, you’ll need a ‘grant of probate’.

Once the ‘grant of probate’ has been approved, the executor of the estate will be expected to handle the probate process.

This process includes collecting all of the assets and liabilities of the deceased and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the deceased’s will.

What is the first step to taking on a probate property?

Before the probate process can begin, the executor of the estate will need to be determined and logged with the Probate Office.

Traditionally, the deceased will have named the executor of the estate in their Will.

Often, this is a family member, however, on occasion, a solicitor may be named as a co-executor.

How long does the probate process take?

To receive a grant of probate, it usually takes between two and twelve weeks. Once the grant of probate has been received, the property can then be sold or transferred to the beneficiary.

However, you can market the property for sale during this time with a delayed completion.

How easy is it to sell a probate property?

This depends on one of two things – the property itself and the method you use to sell the property.

If you want a guaranteed sale in the quickest possible time frame selling it at auction is the way to go.

Probate properties always sell really well at auction, regardless of the type or condition of the property.

Related Link: Selling at Auction

We’ve achieved some staggering sale prices for clients who have sold probate properties through our North West auction – but don’t just take our word for it.

Let’s take a look at auction seller, Chris Bulmer. Chris lost his mother and wanted to sell the family home as quickly as possible.

He put the property up for sale with a high street agent and after three months grew frustrated as the property had received little interest.

Chris then contacted Edward Mellor auction and within weeks his property had sold for £15,000 more than he had expected!

Watch Chris’s auction success story below.

What is the cost of selling a probate property?

You shouldn’t incur any greater legal costs when selling a probate property, it should be the same as selling any other property.

Although the cost of selling a probate property isn’t any different to your average sale, there are other costs the inheritor may need to pay for.

These additional costs may include clearance of the property prior to selling.

If the property is unoccupied for more than 30 days, ‘vacant property insurance’ is an essential expense too.

The inheritor also needs to take maintenance costs into consideration.

Related Link: How much is my house worth under the gavel? | Free Appraisal Tool

This is particularly important over the winter months when the house is at risk of damp if it’s not heated regularly.

Other potential costs associated with probate property also include professional valuations.

It’s recommended that you receive at least three professional valuations in order to determine the appropriate Inheritance Tax for the estate.

At Edward Mellor auction, we offer free valuations to anyone who is considering selling their property.

If you’d like to book a free, professional valuation, please click here.

What documents do I need for a probate property?

If you’re applying for a grant of probate you’ll need to give your solicitor specific documents so that the value of the estate can be determined.

Typically, some of these include:

  • The death certificate
  • The original will
  • The deceased’s national insurance number
  • Property deeds
  • Mortgage information
  • Bank statements

Some of these documents may already be in the deceased person’s files, however, there might be a few documents that you need to request from various organisations.

You can request these files personally or, if you’d prefer, your solicitor can do this for you.

What happens if not all beneficiaries agree on what to do with the property?

Conflicting views can sometimes arise when handling or selling a probate property if there is more than one beneficiary involved.

Ultimately, it’s up to the executor to administer the estate in accordance with the law, although the views of all beneficiaries should be considered.

If the beneficiaries can’t agree on issues such as selling or letting out the property, these disputes will be resolved by the court.

What advice would you give someone who is dealing with a probate property for the first time?

Keep a clear record of everything throughout the probate process.

Court, creditors or beneficiaries could ask to see a clear record of everything that you have done with the property so far – so make sure you document everything, from bills to assets.

Don’t underestimate how much time and work this responsibility requires. From clearing out the house to making sure property is well-maintained, there’s a lot to think about.

Here at Edward Mellor auction, our probate department offers a unique service which aims to take care of every part of the probate process.

From clearing the house to lock changes and organising a solicitor to preparing the property for sale our team can do it all so you don’t have to.

Why is auction the best method for selling a probate property?

Probate properties are particularly well-suited to for sale by auction. Auction not only offers sellers speed and certainty, but it guarantees the best sale price on the day.

A combination of extensive marketing and a room full of motivated buyers is a proven recipe for success for our probate vendors.

We’ve achieved some truly amazing sale prices for our clients and it’s all down to one simple thing.

Buyers go to search for properties like these at auction! It’s the one place where you’re guaranteed to find a wide range of properties, like probate homes, under one roof.

Probate properties tend to need a little bit of cosmetic renovation which is why they’re so appealing; They offer a great property project!

A well lived-in house in need of work is perfect for buyers looking to put their own stamp on a property.

Auction is also the simplest way to sell the property; there are no falls through and once the property has officially sold once the hammer falls, you’ll receive your money 28 days later.

How can we help?

At Edward Mellor auction, our probate department has been taking care of clients for over 25 years.

Our team can help you with every part of the probate process, from getting the house cleared right the way through to the actual sale.

Our pre-sale probate process includes:

  • Lock changes
  • Water drawdown
  • Meter Readings
  • House clearance
  • Gardening
  • Security
  • Regular building insurance inspections

When you’re ready to put the property up for sale, we’ll start the second phase of our probate process.

We’ll take care of everything from marketing and viewings to the sale and completion.

All you need to do is agree on the reserve price before the property goes to auction; We’ll do the rest.

If you’d like a free, friendly chat with our auction team about how we can help, please call 0161 443 4740.

Related Links

Book a free auction appraisal

How much is my house worth under the gavel? | Free Appraisal Tool

£83.7 million worth of property sold in North West Counties at auction last month

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