Can You Sell an Inherited Property Before Probate?
The passing of a relative is a very emotional time. It’s not only a time of mourning and grief but also a time for cherishing memories. If you’ve been left a property through a will, it can be a difficult time. Most people may want to sell the house quickly for emotional reasons or even to prevent high maintenance costs. However, you need to determine where you stand legally.
Even if your loved one left a will, the estate, including the house, still may need to go through probate, depending on factors such as where you live and how much the assets are worth. Probate can last months and sometimes longer than a year. You’re probably wondering, can you sell an inherited property before probate? Wouldn’t that make everything easier and faster?
Well, not so fast. There are legal procedures that you need to follow when selling a property that you have inherited. Otherwise, you may end up in a bigger legal mess than just probate.
How Does Probate Work?
Probate is a legal procedure that prevents anyone from clearing a house after a death. It’s the process through which someone is given permission by the court to deal with the estate of a deceased person, including the collection and distribution of all assets to the beneficiaries who are entitled to them.
There are three main phases to the probate process:
- Pre-Petition: During this phase, the court hasn’t named the executor or personal representative yet. This means you still don’t have a right to take action with the property other than maintaining it. In this phase, you need to prep documents: will, death certificate, and a petition form.
- Administration: In this phase, an executor or personal representative is named. The deceased person’s debts need to be taken care of and you will need to take inventory of their assets and distribute them.
- Closing: In this phase, a final accounting will get filed with all the financial steps taken during the previous phase, including the inventory of belongings and debts paid. The attorney and court fees are paid from the remaining funds and, if there are still funds remaining after this, they get distributed to beneficiaries.
Can I Sell My Inherited Property Before Probate?
The answer is no. You need to do probate before you can go about clearing a house after a relative’s death. If there is a will, the executor named in the will has the responsibility for carrying out the decedent’s wishes in a probate court. As an executor of a will, you need to file the will with the court so that your actions aren’t interpreted as concealing anything for your financial gain.
The only instance when you’re allowed to empty a house before probate is when probate isn’t legally required, for example:
- When the house is passed down via a living trust
- Joint ownership
- Community property law
- Transfer-on-death need
Getting Prepared For The Sale
After the probate process is complete and an executor is named, you can go about cleaning out the house and taking your emotional stuff. This process can be tedious and time-consuming, but also emotional and stressful. Some people can’t deal with the process, so they decide to do nothing. This is a dangerous decision, as an unoccupied house deteriorates over time and its value decreases.
If you’ve decided to sell your house, the best thing you can do is sell it as soon as the probate process is over. If you want to sell it the traditional way and hire a real estate agent, you have to get the house in a condition ready to be marketed and shown to potential buyers. This requires repairs and upgrades and perhaps home staging, which all involve a lot of money and time you may not have.
Selling the house to a cash buyer is the best option if you want to avoid the hassle of cleaning, doing costly repairs, and preparing the house for open houses and staging. If you’re wondering, “how can I sell my house fast in Seattle?”, this is your answer. A Seattle home buyer will buy the house as-is and will let you choose the closing date, so you receive the cash whenever you need it.
Sell Your Inherited House Today
If you’ve inherited a house, already went through probate, and keep searching “how can I sell my house fast in Seattle?” but haven’t found an answer, contact our team at I Will Buy House. We are your trusted Seattle home buyers. We want to help you in your grieving and take one responsibility off of you. We buy houses in Seattle in any condition and any location.
When selling to us, you can forget about the cleaning and repairing. It doesn’t matter if the house is full of old, dysfunctional stuff. We’ll take the property as-is and will take care of everything inside. We buy houses in Seattle from homeowners who find themselves in difficult situations. We are transparent and honest, and look to make the deal a win-win for both parties.
When making a deal with I Will Buy House, you will receive a fair all-cash offer for your property, and close the deal in as little as 7 days. Don’t look any further, contact our team now!