If you ask your real estate agent friends at the office “What is Probate?” Egypt “Have you sold or listed a Probate?” the majority of the responses will be “No Way it's a waste of time.
They will go on to tell you, the Attorney controls the transaction, buyers have to place 10% deposits just to make an offer which will eliminate 70% or more of the buyers out there. You will have to wait 6-8 weeks for your sale to be placed on the court calendar, you will have to deal with a court appraiser who does not really know values and your offer will have to be within 90% of the court ( CPA's) appraisal. Your client must buy “as is, your commission will be reduced in court and the big one, your offer could be outbid in court and at that point, you just lost everything. placed 10% in escrow, waited 6-8 weeks then left empty handed.
Wow, why would any agent want to be involved it this process?
Well, you could also have a college buddy of an estate attorney and receive their lists without much effort and although you would still go through the above process if this is a court confirmed sale, you would at least have the listing and would be paid when it finally closes. Most of us do not have the college buddy living in the same County who will feed us probate listings so your only choice then would be to go after estate attorneys trying to establish a relationship for future listings.
My statement to this process is “Good Luck”.
So why consider probate and what is a probate?
First you should be working probates, both listings and sales by representing investors and buyers looking to purchase at wholesale prices, somewhere between 75 to 90% of retail and learn how to take the probate out of the court confirmation process which is how I do things . This is not allowing the estate attorney to make the decision, but you as the agent controlling the situation and dictating how the listing or sale will go.
I have been doing this for 25+ years and teach agents and investors how to do this too.
Probate is necessary when someone passes and the heirs are clearing the estate so the assets, if any, can be distributed to where the promised wanted the assets to go. Also creditors are paid and several steps have to be completed over a period of time which on average takes about 7 months.
On paper a probate can be completed within 4 months but in the real world it averages about 7 months. The family member who the decease requested handle his / her affairs after passing is called the Petitioner (soon to be executor) when probate first opens. This person has a tough job of gathering all the assets of the estate for an accounting and overseeing everything in order for the probate to be completed to what is called final distribution. There are many tasks the petition must complete and it is usually a situation where the petitioner is going to place their life on hold for 4-7 months until this probate process is completed. They are paid for this but most, if they had the choice, would have not signed up for this if they knew what they where getting them into. Another reason all of us should have a Living Trust so you can bypass all this probate garbage and time consuming paper-mill but it is what it is and many have a hard time spending a Thousand or so on something for when they pass. So the probate real estate business will continue on.
Do not read this wrong as we also work the properties who had a living trust or trust as this is an easy sale or listing and as they come across our tracking process we still work them.
So to end here, if you can understand the probate process (I can help with this) and where a probate agent can assist this petitioner / Executor, you can add six figures annually to your existing real estate business.
You will need to know the old probate confirmation process plus the new process (New! Established in 1987) and how to guide the estate through the probate. Not all estates will be able to (depends on the language in the Will) but I would say 80 to 90% of the probates we research can process the probate through this act which exceeds the sale almost like a regular sale with just a few extra filings.
It has provided a great revenue stream to my real estate business over the last 25+ years and I highly recommend all agents search for an understanding of how all these works and how they can offer this service in their real estate business.