Investing in probate real estate can be a complicated, confusing process. Buying Real Estate in Probate, by Dennis J. Henson, directs you through this process, teaching you the skills necessary to become a successful probate real estate investor. In probate, a court-supervised personal representative is responsible for selling a deceased person’s property to pay his debts and distributing any remaining proceeds to his heirs. Understanding this system can help you be a successful investor.
The conditions of probate are advantageous to you, the investor. As Buying Real
Estate in Probate explains the representative is highly motivated to sell the property and distribute the proceeds. In addition, the properties often have high equity, or have been completely paid off. The personal representative often has no emotional or financial ties to the property, and best of all, there is not much competition in the probate real estate market.
Investors provide solutions to the problems personal representatives encounter while the estate is in probate. Property insurance companies are reluctant to insure empty properties. Utility bills, property upkeep, and taxes must all continue to be paid while the estate is still in probate. This decreases the amount going to the heirs, who are anxious to receive their inheritances. The personal legal liability of the personal representative and the amount of time and effort that must be given to the estate make the representative eager to sell the property and finish the probate process. This can work to your advantage.
Buying Real Estate in Probate recommends that you do some preparation before contacting personal representatives. You should research estates currently in probate, sending cards or letters to the personal representatives involved. You should also prepare a script of questions to ask the personal representative or the initial contact person, and keep a copy of this script with you at all times.
Once the representative calls, it is time for you to gather information about the property. Using the script you prepared ahead of time, find out the address of the property, whether or not it is occupied, what it’s worth, and the asking price. Also, ask whether taxes are owed, whether there are any liens on the property, and get the names and addresses of the personal representative and the probate attorney. You can then make arangements to visit the property.
The nature of probate makes it important for you to be sensitive. Being empathetic about the original owner’s death and being sympathetic to the stresses of the representative will help you succeed in your transactions. The inability of some investors to consider these circumstances is one of the primary reasons they fail in probate real estate.
Buying Real Estate in Probate can guide you through the challenges and rewards of this branch of real estate, helping you to make sense of this process and realize your financial goals.