The Probate Process:

The process of selling real estate (real property) through probate or trust is a series of court-regulated steps that must be carefully monitored and managed. Deadlines are unforgiving, documentation is specialized and the court’s oversight must be honored throughout the marketing, offers, negotiations and sale of the property.

In addition to the personnel of the court, the sale generally involves the Executor or Administrator of the estate, the attorney representing the estate, a real estate agent representing the seller (the estate), one or more buyers who place bids with the court and the buyers’ real estate agents. Each of these individuals must follow the guidelines and deadlines of the court.

Because of the involvement of the court, probate and trust sales have a vocabulary all their own (see glossary). They also involve various disclosure documents and contracts that are not used in other real estate transactions.

If you are selling or buying real property through such a transaction, your real estate agent should be experienced in probate and trust sales and be able to explain the language, the documentation and the steps in the process. Clear communications are vital.

To help you understand the probate and trust sale process, here is a list of some of the steps involved in a typical transaction:

Appointment of the Administrator or Executor of the estate. In most cases, the decedent’s will names an Executor who is designated to handle the distribution of assets, including real property. If no Executor is named, if the named Executor is unwilling to serve or if there is no will, the court appoints an Administrator to carry out these duties. The Executor or Administrator is the person who has the authority to list and sell the property; the sale cannot proceed until that person has been identified.

As provided in the Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA), the Executor establishes a list price for the real property. The price takes into account the appraisal by the Probate Referee and is usually determined with the assistance of a real estate agent experienced in probate and trust sales. The property is then listed for sale through that agent/broker.

The real estate agent markets the real property to the public as aggressively as possible to attract the highest offer. This generally involves a number of approaches, including signage, newspaper advertising, listing on one or more real estate websites and hosting open houses for other real estate agents and potential homebuyers. The real estate agent will also schedule appointments to show the property to interested parties who inquire directly.

While buyers of probate and trust real estate may be looking for a bargain, their range of offers are limited by the court. An accepted offer must be 90% or more of the Probate Referee’s appraised value. Once a buyer is found, the real estate agent assists the seller in negotiating terms that are satisfactory to both parties.

When the property has an accepted offer, a Notice of Proposed Action is mailed to all heirs, simply stating the terms of the proposed sale. The heirs have 15 days to review the notice and pose any objections. If there are no objections, the sale may proceed without a court hearing.

If the Executor/Administrator does not have full independent powers under IAEA, or if one of the heirs poses an objection to the Notice of Proposed Action, notice of the sale must be published in a generally distributed local newspaper (unless the will does not mandate such action).

The attorney for the estate then applies for a court date (the “confirmation hearing”) when the sale will be executed. The court date is usually within 30 to 45 days of the date the application is filed. A copy of the application and details concerning the sale are mailed to all interested parties.

Even after the court date has been set, the real estate broker should continue to show the property and advertise the home to potential buyers in the hope of securing an “over-bidder” and thereby raising the sale price.

During the court confirmation hearing, the previously accepted bid may be overbid by another interested party. In such a case, the overbidding party must appear at the hearing with a cashier’s check (no personal checks accepted!) in an amount totaling at least 10% of the minimum overbid price in order to successfully overbid. The minimum overbid is determined by the following formula: 10% of the first $10,000 plus 5% of the balance of the accepted offer.

EXAMPLE: A property is listed at $200,000. The accepted offer is $175,000.
The minimum overbid is calculated as follows:
Accepted offer = $175,000
+.10 x $10,000 = $1,000

+ .05 x $165,000 = $8,250
Minimum overbid = $184,250
x .10 = $18,425 amount of cashier’s check

If there is more than one overbidder, the highest bid ‘wins.’ The winning bidder gives a cashier’s check to the Executor/Administrator and escrow is opened. Escrow will close approximately 30 to 45 days from the court hearing.

Proof of Experience | Proof of Success
Paige is a great realtor. She helped sell four homes for my family. She was extremely kind, and knowledgeable. The two out of the four properties were not in great condition and needed lots of work, so this put us in multiple negotiations. Paige kept me up to date on each property, and I truly believe she got us the best price possible. She was great to work with!

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It's simple. Paige is the best......just contact her whether you're buying or selling your real estate. You won't regret it! She is very experienced and knowledgeable and extremely competent. She is very personable and organized. Paige made everything go smoothly and conveniently. The home sold  very fast and there was no prolonged parade of "lookie-loos" going through the house for ages. We are very fortunate that Paige was recommended to us for our real estate needs. Paige will be who we call for all of our future real estate needs. We wouldn't take a gamble on anyone else. Again, call Paige.....you will be glad that you did.

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Sold a single family home in 2013 in Park Estates, Long Beach, CA

02.25.2018
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(
Sold a home in 2017 in The Plaza, Long Beach, CA 90808.)

03.01.2018
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Paige helped me understand my questions about probate selling and kept me informed. Even with court problems and delays, she kept the buyer interested enough to wait for the sale.
Sold a Single Family home in 2017 in Norwalk, CA

02.25.2018
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We felt very blindsided by a past realtor and chose Paige after considering several options; and what a great decision we made! We had never sold a house and didn't know what to expect. Before we knew what we were doing, Paige already had staging, repairs, photography and showings set up. When  offers started coming in and buyers were making demands, Paige was a shrewd negotiator; she didn't fall for any gimmicks or games. She spared us the ugly details that would have stressed us out more and provided answers whenever we had questions. Document signing from across the country was also seamless. Thank you, Paige!

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01.03.2017

01/03/2017 - hatriveraSold a Single Family home in 2016 in Glendora, CA.
Heather Rivera
Quite simply, Paige was awesome in listing and selling our house. Paige had the requisite knowledge and expertise to answer all of our questions, plus she provided us with home selling strategies that fit our specific needs. She also was a firm negotiator when the buyers attempted to obtain some credits. Paige did a great job, and she left us very happy with her service and the end result. Sold a Single Family home in 2014 in Westchester, Los Angeles, CA 05.08.2015
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Paige was a dream to work with - both for the sale of my parents' home and purchasing my own. She's knowledgeable, professional and extremely helpful with explaining things and calming my nerves when my lack of knowledge of the home buying/selling process got the better of me. I'd work with her again in a heartbeat.

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04.29.2015
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True professionals that truly care about their clients. If you want the best deal in town they will find it!
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Learn More - How We Can Get You Thru the Probate Process

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