In This Article
- What is a probate property?
- What happens when a property goes into probate?
- What are the problems that come from selling probate properties?
- How quickly can I sell a probate property?
- Increasing the value of a probate property
This guide will help you navigate the world of the probate property. From taxation to answering questions such as ‘can you sell a house before probate is granted?’, ‘how long does it take to sell a house through probate?’, ‘can the executor sell property without all beneficiaries approving?’, and ‘how long does probate take when selling a house?’
What is a probate property?
When someone dies, their estate, which includes their own home, other property, money, investments and other assets, must be disposed of in accordance with the law and their will and therefore inheritance, if one exists. Applying for the right to deal with someone’s estate according to their will is called applying for a grant of probate. A grant of probate is an official document, sealed by the Probate Registry. It confirms that the will is valid and that the person who holds it is legally entitled to settle the estate. Once a grant of probate is made the deceased person’s property can be transferred to their beneficiaries or sold.
With regard for the prices of getting probate. The application price is £215 if the price of the estate is £5,000 or over. There’s no price to pay if the estate is under £5,000. Extra copies of the probate are priced at £1.50 each. This means you can send them to different organisations at the same time.
What happens when a property goes into probate?
If you are involved with the sale of a probate property it is useful to know how the probate process works. If the deceased person left a will then the process is known as obtaining a grant of probate. Whoever is named as an executor in the will can apply for a grant of probate. If the deceased person did not leave a will the process is instead known as obtaining a grant of letters of administration, although it is similar to probate. Anyone over 18 can be what is known as the administrator but it is generally their next of kin if possible. Executors and administrators can apply for probate themselves or pay a probate solicitor to do it on their behalf. You will need the original will if applicable and the original death certificate. Before probate can be granted you will need to estimate and report the value of the deceased person’s estate to the Inland Revenue. This includes estimating the market value of their property and finding out the value of any debts they may have had. If Inheritance Taxation or IHT is due on the estate you will have to pay some or all of this before probate can be granted. Once all the necessary information and supporting documents are obtained you can apply for a grant of probate. You will want these before considering a low offer on your probate.
Can you sell a house before probate is granted? No, you cannot. You cannot legally sell a house while it is under probate. What you can do is put a house up for sale, market it, conduct viewings, agree a sale price with people interested in buying and conduct other preparatory work before the probate process is completed. However, you cannot exchange contracts and complete until probate is granted. You will not be able to accept anything, high or low offer on your probate.
If you decide to put the property up for sale before probate is granted be sure to tell any prospective buyers, estate agents and others that the sale cannot be completed until probate has been granted. Some prospective buyers may be willing to wait but others may not be able to wait if they need to move quickly, or perhaps if they are involved in a chain. So, it is not possible to sell a house before a probate is granted.
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What are the problems that come from selling probate properties?
Selling a probate property involves a number of potential problems, such as extra fees and taxation:
Selling a probate property involves much more bureaucracy than with a normal sale. Selling a probate property can create a financial problem. You may need to pay out probate fees, Inheritance Taxation (if applicable), maintenance costs and other out of pocket expenses yourself before you can obtain probate and then reclaim those costs from the estate. Maintaining the probate property before and after probate is granted can be a problem, keeping it desireably for anyone interested in buying the property.
If the inheritance includes a lot of cash, a novice could be pressured to begin distributing money to beneficiaries too early. This could become highly problematic if Inheritance Taxation payments still need to be made before the selling of other assets or if the estate is, unknown to the executor, indebted. Consider this before thinking of agreeing a low offer for your probate
How quickly can I sell a probate property?
Selling a probate property can take much longer than a normal sale. Granting probate can take around 12-14 weeks, according to a report from ‘This Is Money’. Then the sales and conveyancing process can take several months as with a normal house sale. It will take a long time until you start to find people interested in buying your probate property, you may want to consider a low offer on your probate property
The UK Care Guide suggests that selling a house through probate takes between 6-12 months with an average of nine months for probate to complete, with the most complex cases sometimes taking several years. For most people, this is how long it takes to sell a house through probate.
You may ask ‘can the executor sell property without all beneficiaries approving?’ Yes. An executor can sell a property without the approval of all beneficiaries. The will doesn’t have specific provisions that require beneficiaries to approve how the assets will be administered. However, they should consult with beneficiaries about how to share the estate before a process of buying the property begins. You don’t want to create tensions and arguments, so it is best to consult the beneficiaries, even if it is tempting to sell the property without all beneficiaries approving.
If you are unable to ask the question how long does it take when selling a house through probate, it is possible to sell through a quick cash house sale company. They will likely make a low offer on your probate property, but this comes with the benefit of saving the time it would have taken to sell the house.
This removes the issues surrounding selling a house through probate. It will be done quickly, can be done without all beneficiaries approving, and will cut the agonising and burdensome time of selling a house under probate. You will not have to even ask ‘how long does probate take when selling a house’, the issue will be sorted as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Increasing the value of a probate property
There is no hard-and-fast rule for increasing the value of a probate property. There are some things you can do, such as key and necessary structural repairs that the property may need, getting rid of damp, and renovating any outdated aspects of the home. If someone is buying a probate property, they will want it to be as clean and functional as possible.
According to Experian, what happens when you pay off your mortgage is you’ll receive a number of documents from your lender that show your loan has been paid in full and that the bank no longer has a lien on your house. These papers are often called a mortgage release, or mortgage satisfaction.
You’ll likely receive a statement indicating that the loan’s balance has been paid in full and a canceled promissory note. This is all part of the official process of what happens when you pay off your mortgage. In many cases, your lender will file a certificate of satisfaction with your county government, which releases the home’s deed to you and indicates that you are now the sole owner. Ask your lender if they will do this for you. If they will, be aware that it can take a few weeks or months for it to be filed. Once your lender has told you they’ve filed the documents, contact your local records office to confirm that their records show your mortgage has been cancelled.
If your lender says they don’t file it for you, you can file it yourself—just check with your local county clerk or registrar to find out what the process involves with what happens when you pay off your mortgage.
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