When dealing with a probate property in Baltimore, you may have many questions you need to have answered. Below, we offer some information about probate properties as well as ways to handle them.
Q- What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process following a homeowner’s death if the property was not in a trust or owned with another person that did not have full rights of survivorship. In most cases, the real estate that needs to go through probate will need to be sold so the proceeds from the sale can be split up between the beneficiaries if it was not indicated in the will to go to a specific person or persons. The first thing to do is to determine where the probate needs to occur. The best place to start is the municipality where the property is located. There are many states that require the probate to be done in the county in which the property is situated. Then, you will need to hire an attorney to analyze the will and draw up the paperwork. The paperwork is then taken to the courts. The judge determines who is the rightful owner of a piece or portfolio of real estate usually based on the previous owner’s will. Very rarely does the judge rule against the will.
Q- Who Pays for Probate?
You can either pay for the probate out of pocket, or you can arrange that the probate costs be taken out at closing. The executor (or personal representative in Maryland) of the estate will determine a listing price for the property, negotiate the sale price and execute the sale contract. The lawyer that is handling the probate for you will then send their invoice to the title company handling the real estate transaction. The probate will be subtracted from the proceeds of the sale of the property. Their fee can range from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars. This varies by state and value of the property.
Q- Can I List Probate Real Estate?
You cannot sell or even list the property before the probate is completed or without approval from the court. You will have to petition the court to be allowed to list the property. When it is listed available for sale, you may accept offers on the property and have a contract; however, the closing will not occur until the probate is complete. When the probate case is filed, the title company now knows who can legally sell the property.
Q- How Much Should I Sell For?
In order to know how much you can ask for the real estate, you need to have the property appraised so you know how much it is worth and if there are any problems with the structure. Any issues must be disclosed on the contract for sale. When you receive offers, you must take into consideration the probate cost. If you own a vacant lot, make sure the offer is enough to cover your bill. Most houses and other types of real estate will sell for more than the cost to have the probate completed. If you want to sell the probate real estate quickly, you may want to list it on the lower end of the market comps or appraisal price. This will ensure that your property receives offers very quickly.
Q- OK, I’ve Accepted an Offer, Now What?
When you have received an acceptable offer, or you have negotiated a price you are willing to sell it for, execute the contract. If you have any questions about the contract, reach out to a real estate attorney to help you understand all the terms, conditions, and riders necessary to complete the deal. When the title company is chosen, make sure you provide the probate attorney’s invoice to them so they can take care of the bill out of your proceeds.