The loss of a loved one is a traumatic time for anyone and whilst trying to come to terms with such a loss, being faced with a barrage of legal and financial administration only adds to the distress.
When someone passes away their estate, which includes their own home, any other properties they may own, money, investments and other assets like cars, must be disposed of in accordance with the law and their will, if they have made one.
Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) is called ‘applying for probate’. Once a grant of probate is made the deceased person’s property can be transferred to their beneficiaries or sold.
Unfortunately, selling a probate property is not always straight forward and can take longer than a normal sale. Granting probate can take around 12-14 weeks (but much longer in more complex cases) and you cannot legally sell a house while it is under probate. Then there is also the average time it takes to sell a property, which at the moment is around 5 months.
The difficulty for some people is they have to pay out fees like Inheritance Tax and probate fees before they can obtain probate. This can sometimes be problematic, because even though the beneficiary can claim those cost from the estate later, it involves having enough money to pay these fees upfront.
If you decide to sell the probate property through an estate agent on the market, you can market the property, conduct viewings and agree a sale with a buyer but you cannot exchange contracts or complete until probate is granted. However, you will need to inform the agent that it is a probate property so that they can inform buyers that they will not be able to complete until probate is granted. This can be off-putting for some buyers if they need to move quickly or are involved in a chain as it holds the process up and is often why people wait until probate is granted.
If you find it too distressing having people come to view the home of your loved one, or perhaps you cannot face the drawn-out process and need the money quickly in order to pay off debts etc. you may want to consider selling the property directly to a cash buyer.
WeBuyProperty has vast experience in buying probate properties and can guarantee the transaction is handled efficiently, sensitively and hassle free. We offer a fixed cash price and can complete as soon as probate is granted. We’re happy to guide you through the process, giving advice about securing the property, informing the insurance company and local authority, and will take away as much of the administration hassle as we possibly can.
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