| Read Time: 4 minutes | Probate

We understand how difficult it is to lose a loved one. In addition, the legal process of sorting out your loved one’s estate can seem overwhelming when you are grieving. However, it may be comforting to know that a probate lawyer can help you navigate the oftentimes complex probate procedures in New York. 

At the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C., we have the tools and expertise necessary to help you with even the most complex probate matters. Our founding attorney Andrew Lamkin has over a decade of experience helping families through the probate process, and he is available to help you as well. 

Below, we discuss the probate process and go over the basics of how to sell a house during probate. It is our hope that this information will help you when it comes time to dive into the probate process. 

What Is Probate and How Does it Work? 

Probate is the legal process of settling the assets, property, and liabilities of a deceased person (decedent). The probate process is usually administered by an individual called the executor. The executor is in charge of preparing an inventory of all the decedent’s assets, including real property, personal property, investments, and bank accounts. If an executor is not named in the decedent’s will, the court will usually appoint one. 

Once an executor of the probate estate has been appointed, they will begin to notify the estate’s creditors and beneficiaries of the probate proceedings. They will then begin to value the assets of the estate, pay off creditors, and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. How the assets will be distributed depends on the terms of the will and the state’s probate laws. Once all of the creditors have been paid and all of the assets have been distributed, the executor will petition the court to close the estate. 

Selling a House During Probate 

Real estate sales in probate are typically more complex than sales of real estate that are not in probate. So, we highly recommend you consult a probate attorney before attempting to sell a probate home. Below, we attempt to give a simplified version of a probate house sale. 

Step 1: Find a Probate Real Estate Agent and a Probate Attorney 

Before the executor of an estate lists a house for sale, they should try and find a real estate agent who has experience selling probate homes. A probate real estate agent will be able to help the executor determine the fair market value of the home, advise them on the best marketing strategies, and recommend any upgrades or repairs. 

Before selling the probate home, the executor will also want to find a probate lawyer. A probate attorney will have an adequate understanding of the relevant probate laws, and they will be able to help the executor and real estate agent follow the proper procedures. If you are currently searching for a probate lawyer, you should know that Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. has the availability to help guide you through the probate process in New York. 

Step 2: Get the Property Appraised 

Obtaining an appraisal of the property is a crucial step in the sale of any probate home. An appraisal will give the court its basis in determining the home’s sale price. Further, the executor is usually required to get an appraisal of all the real property in the probate estate.

The executor can usually have a licensed appraiser do the appraisal of the home, but in some instances, the court will appoint its own appraiser. The probate attorney will ensure that the executor is meeting all legal appraisal requirements.  

Step 3: Clear Title to the Property 

Before you can sell the home, all mortgages and creditors with a claim on the home must be satisfied. If the probate estate does not have enough funds to cover the debts on the home, you may need to negotiate with the creditors to settle the debts or come to an agreement that you will pay them off once the home is sold. 

Step 4: List and Market the Property 

Once the home has been appraised and the title has been cleared, the real estate agent can list the probate home for sale. Your real estate agent can help you create a marketing plan that includes open houses, online listing, and other strategies to market the home to potential buyers. 

Step 5: Review the Offers and Negotiate the Sale 

The executor of the estate should review all offers on the home carefully. The executor may also need to work with the real estate agent to negotiate better terms of sale. Generally, the court will require that the sale price be relatively close to the appraisal price. This is to ensure that the executor is working in the best interest of any estate beneficiaries. 

Step 6: Obtain Court Approval 

Before the home can be officially sold, the executor must obtain the court’s approval of the sale. To obtain court approval, the executor must submit the sales contract and other relevant documents to the court for review. 

Step 7: Close the Sale 

Once the court has approved the terms of the sale, the executor can initiate closing proceedings, which must be in line with New York State law. A probate attorney can ensure that all the necessary documents have been signed and that all the proper closing procedures have been followed. 

Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. Is Here to Help You 

Attorney Andrew Lamkin is an experienced legal practitioner in the fields of elder law, probate, trusts and wills, and estate planning. He has helped numerous clients through the probate process, and he has intimate knowledge of the relevant procedures. 

As a compassionate advocate, Andrew Lamkin always tries to ensure the best results for his clients. So, if you choose attorney Andrew Lamkin to help guide you through the probate process, you can rest assured knowing that you are in good hands.To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today.

Author Photo

Andrew Lamkin is principal in the law firm of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C., where he focuses his practice in the areas of elder law, estate planning and special needs planning, including Wills and Trusts, Medicaid planning, estate administration and residential real estate transactions. He is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.

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