The short answer to the often-asked question “Can a house be sold while it is in probate in Baltimore Maryland?” is “Yes.”
However, you must adhere carefully to your state’s pertinent rules and regulations. The local probate court in Maryland will monitor every step and all aspects of the sale, and if you’re the personal representative (executor) as well, then you too must monitor and approve all the terms of the sale. It can be a complex process, but understanding the process will make things a little smoother.
Can A House Be Sold While In Probate In Baltimore Maryland?
Appointment of Administrator (Personal Representative)
If the decedent’s Will identified a specific person as the Personal Representative and that person is willing to act in that capacity, then he or she is officially appointed as the Personal Representative. If on the other hand, no one has been named as the Personal Representative in the Will, then the court and/or other relatives will appoint a near relative to act as administrator.
The next step is to have the property appraised. You must make sure the appraiser that you choose is a licensed, reputable appraiser. The property must sell for a price that is at least 90% of the appraised value, so you need an appraiser who can get it right.
This is the step where the answer to “Can a house be sold while it is in probate in Baltimore Maryland?” begins to become a reality. And you can start by having your real estate agent list the house on the local multiple listing service so that buyers will know that it’s a probate sale.
An interested buyer then makes an offer for the property along with a 10% deposit, an offer which you can accept or reject. If you accept it, the offer is then subject to court confirmation. You must submit the offer through your probate attorney to the court for confirmation. If everyone is in agreement, then a date is set for the sale to be finalized in court.
When an offer on the house in probate has been accepted and confirmed by the court, a Notice of Proposed Action must be mailed to all the heirs. This document will state all of the terms and conditions of the proposed sale. Heirs will then have 15 days to review the notice and raise objections if they have any. If none of the heirs has any objections, the sale can go forward without a court hearing.
Now, here’s where it gets a little bit complicated. Before the court confirms and approves the buyer’s offer, the judge will ask those present in the courtroom if any of them would like to bid on the property. If no one bids, then the sale proceeds in the standard fashion mentioned above.
If, however, there is an overbid, the original buyer’s 10% deposit must be refunded before the new sale at the new bid price can proceed. When the overbid is accepted, the new buyer must then put up a 10% deposit, which must be a cashier’s check. This check for the accepted overbid deposit is presented to the Personal Representative at the winning bidder’s acceptance hearing.
Once the court confirms and approves the sale, a contract can then be signed. But it is a specialized kind of sale contract because it cannot have any contingencies, and escrow will close soon after the hearing, usually within 15 days.
As you can see, there are some complicated rules for selling a house while in probate. It is advised to consider contacting an attorney for more specific help.