A probate property is a piece of personal property of a deceased person that is sold to potential buyers or property investors, usually below market value. A probate property refers to a piece of land while a probate asset can refer to anything from furniture to jewelry. In order to purchase a probate property, the potential buyer needs to be aware of a slow timeline and the layers of court-related obligations.
There are a few ways to find a probate property, looking in the newspaper for probate offers is a good start, but there are other options such as property auctions, contacting real estate agents, and even contacting probate courts. In my area of Ennis and Red Oak, Texas, I arranged with a probate lawyer near me to have his office contact me when new probate properties become available.
The process to buy a probate property can take anywhere from six months or longer. This is partly due to the court process that makes a probate property purchase different from a normal real estate purchase. Auction bidding, overbidding, and inspections all take time to process and depending on the property and the number of buyers, the bidding could go on for a long time.
In order to completely submit an application to purchase a probate property successfully, the buyer must attend a court date about 30 to 45 days after the initial submission to debate or accept the price for the property. Once that is completed, the final bids are ended, and if there is only one buyer, the bidding process is ended. If there are other bidders, each potential buyer must try to overbid the other bidders until the highest bidder wins.
The biggest drawbacks of buying a probate property are timelines, bidding, and proper formatting of paperwork. Probate properties take a long time to process due to the fact that the property belonged to a deceased person and the judge must pursue all opportunities for a fair settlement. Bidding takes extra time due to the varying numbers of people entering and dropping out of the bidding session. And if a certain form is not submitted correctly, the bid will be considered inapplicable.