It's no fun to be apart of a probate. Well, unless you're the attorney. Even then, from what I hear, most attorneys do not wish upon a star for a new probate everyday. The attorney will make more money in a probate compared to trust administration but often times the probate can drag out for a very long time and in some cases they attorney is not making the same dollar per hour to over see the probate. My best advice is to have a trust prepared for all your real property to avoid the probate.
Full disclaimer here. I am not an attorney nor are any of these items contained within this blog to be considered legal advice. These are just some basic facts that I am providing and an "off the cuff" thought I wanted to present. Please seek proper counsel for all your legal questions and needs.
So back to my topic. Why does the agent matter in a probate? A few good points come to mind with this question.
First of all, just knowing which forms and proper documentation to use is crucial. In the vent you come across a probate, the agent needs to be using proper probate contracts. For example; when taking a listing, depending on your state, we will use California and CAR forms as the example. A probate listing addendum is needed to comply with probate court restrictions on time frames, commissions, authority disclosures, dispute resolution and proper identification of the property title holding. As you can see, right from the get go, we are changing major terms of the contract. Once we get going with the sale, making sure proper probate contracts are being used and making sure, in the vent of guardianship or limited authority, we have properly informed the buyers and public of the court requirements and possible over bidding.
Next is disclosure. Disclosure in a probate sale and even when a trust is being administered are completely different. Many times the disclosure requirements for the "Seller" is very limited. That leads us to a few questions on what TO disclose and what NOT to disclose or in better terms, what doesn't have to be dislcosed by law and what we should dislocse and as a protection tactic. As a general rule of advice I give my my clients, when they are disposing of a property, we need to disclose any material facts that you personally know about the property. In some cases this means a death in the property and or anything that could affect the buyer's perception of its value. In essence, if it could be considered a big deal, it's better to air out the dirty laundry to side in the error of caution.
Taking in offers is a big deal. Many times, even when properly notified, agents will send over offers that are not on Probate Purchase agreements. This is a big no no. Probate Purchase agreements have proper language for all parties, including the title company who is insuring the transfer. Not using a probate purchase agreement is a huge deal and needs to be taken care of right away.
Most people, who have not helped clients through a number of probates do not understand the difference between a full authority, conservatorship, guardianship and limited authority. In California this needs to be properly disclosed to the buyer. If we go into the transaction without disclosing to the buyer that we need court confirmation, we have to set a hearing and the possibility of overbidding, could lead to a very upset buyer, not to mention you as the agent will look bad.
Lastly as agents, it is still our duty to get the seller top dollar. We need to make sure our marketing is still top notch on our probate sales. A few things to consider prior to listing the property. Is the home cleared of all personal items? Is the home in presentable condition? Do we need to have it cleaned and "trashed out". Lastly, are you still putting all your efforts into marketing the property to get your clients top dollar.
As I finish up this blog post I hope it has been informative and educational. Reste assured, The John Cooper Realty Team has completed many successful probate sales and we know the ins and outs of the process.
Email us, Team@cooperrlty.com
Or Text. 916-709-3329