Selling Real Estate During Probate: Navigating the Steps for a Successful Sale

Selling Real Estate During Probate Successfully
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The Process of Selling Real Estate during Probate

Selling real estate during probate can be a complex and daunting task. Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, including the distribution of assets to heirs and the payment of debts. When a deceased person owns real estate, the probate process can become especially complicated.

If you are the executor of an estate that includes real estate, it is important to understand the process of selling real estate during probate. Knowing the steps to take can help ensure a smooth and successful sale.

Step 1: Determine if Probate is Necessary

The first step in the process of selling real estate during probate is to determine if probate is necessary. If the deceased person had a will, probate is usually required. If the deceased person did not have a will, probate may still be necessary, depending on the state in which the property is located.

Step 2: Obtain Court Approval

Once you have determined that probate is necessary, the next step is to obtain court approval. This involves filing a petition with the court to open the probate process. The court will then appoint an executor to oversee the probate process.

Step 3: Collect Assets and Pay Debts

The executor is responsible for collecting the assets of the estate and paying any outstanding debts. This includes collecting the proceeds from the sale of the real estate. The executor must also pay any taxes due on the estate.

Step 4: Appraise the Property

The executor must also arrange for an appraisal of the real estate. This will help determine the fair market value of the property. The executor must also determine if the property is subject to any liens or encumbrances.

Step 5: List the Property for Sale

Once the appraisal is complete, the executor can list the property for sale. This can be done through a real estate agent or directly by the executor. The executor must also decide if the property should be sold as-is or if any repairs or renovations should be made prior to listing the property.

Step 6: Negotiate the Sale

Once the property is listed, the executor must negotiate the sale. This involves reviewing any offers that are received and negotiating the terms of the sale. The executor must also ensure that all legal documents are properly executed.

Step 7: Close the Sale

Once the sale is negotiated, the executor must close the sale. This involves arranging for the transfer of the deed and ensuring that all closing costs are paid. Once the sale is closed, the executor must distribute the proceeds of the sale to the heirs of the estate.


Selling real estate during probate can be a complex and daunting task. Knowing the steps to take can help ensure a smooth and successful sale. The executor must determine if probate is necessary, obtain court approval, collect assets and pay debts, appraise the property, list the property for sale, negotiate the sale, and close the sale. Following these steps can help ensure a successful sale of the real estate.

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