My husband Randy and I are Realtors who serve the Tampa Bay Area. We are both Members of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors as well as Members of the National Association of Realtors.
You have landed on this page probably because you were interested in what we can do to help you through the probate process. Maybe you are the appointed Personal Representative of the Estate who was referred to us, saw us online or had our information from the mail. Or perhaps you are someone who is just needing information. Whichever is the case you made it to the right place. It is safe to say most of us have all lost a loved one and dealing with grief is a stressful time which gets amplified when navigating the probate process.
As a background, real estate is the main asset of an estate for most folks going through probate. Please know that only someone with legal authority to manage the estate’s assets is able to sell a home during the probate process. This individual is the Personal Representative (executor) and must be formally appointed by the Probate Court to have authority over estate assets. In Florida, a person, bank, or trust company appointed by the judge to administer the decedent’s probate estate can be a Personal Representative.
The probate process starts with petitioning the court to appoint a Personal Representative of the estate. At its’ core, the probate process is where the assets of the deceased person are distributed to the legal beneficiaries after probate charges and any of the estate’s debts are paid. The court will issue ‘Letters Testamentary’ to the Personal Representative if there is a will. If the decedent died intestate (without a will) then the court will issue ‘Letters of Administration’ to the Personal Representative. The Personal Representative should provide the title company with a copy of the Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration and the estate’s tax ID number. These illuminate the personal representative’s authority to manage the estate’s assets. It is at this point that a Personal Representative should immediately contact the insurance company to inform it that the home is no longer owner occupied to ensure the homeowner insurance policy remains in force. Real estate titled only in the name of the decedent, or in the name of the decedent and another person as tenants in common, is a probate asset (unless it is homestead property). Real property titled in the name of the decedent and one or more other persons as joint tenants with rights of survivorship is not a probate asset.
Once the personal representative is appointed by the court and notice of the probate is published, a four month notice to creditor period begins to run. The personal representative may sell the real property during this four-month period but needs to take certain steps like utilizing an experienced probate attorney and Realtor, have a CMA or appraisal done on the home, obtain court approval to sell the real estate and inform all beneficiaries of the process. Only after the property value has been determined and the Letters of Testamentary or Letters of Administration have been issued by the court can the Personal Representative sell the real estate assets.
The Personal Representative is exempt from seller disclosures but if the Personal Representative knows of any defects or issues with the property they would need to be disclosed to all interested buyers. The Personal Representative also signs the sale documents, including the deed to the third-party purchaser. Any liens or encumbrances on the property, including property taxes and loans, will be paid at closing. Once the sale is finalized the net sale proceeds must be deposited into an ‘estate account’. The sale proceeds can be used to pay valid claims against the estate as they arise and the balance distributed to the beneficiaries after the four-month notice period runs and the court approves a final accounting.
It can be beneficial to sell a home during probate because only the Personal Representative needs to sign the sale documents and the net sale proceeds become available to help pay valid claims against the estate. If the home is not sold during probate then the personal representative distributes the home to the beneficiates via a Personal Representative’s deed at the end of the probate with prior court approval. If the beneficiaries then wish to sell the home all the beneficiaries must sign the sale documents, which can complicate and/or delay the sale process.
As a Certifed Probate Expert, Randy Adrian has the special training in this area and will look to mitigate this trauma filled period by offering his real estate services to dispose of any real estate in the estate. Randy also has a network of professionals for properties that need repair, clean out, estate liquidation, etc. Most agents aren’t knowledgeable in this sphere and that is why you should call Randy to handle the disposition of the estate’s real estate. To wit, Randy will help the Buyer’s Agent (who may bring an offer to purchase) navigate the process while interacting with the Probate Attorneys to ensure a smooth and hassle free transaction. In times like these you don’t need to worry about the probate process as you have enough going on. Having Randy on your side to aid you in settling the estate is vital to reducing any more worry. As a Probate Real Estate Specialist, Randy is sure to get you the highest possible price for any and all real estate to be sold as he uses several marketing techniques that acheive positive outcomes. You can reach Randy Adrian at (813) 404-9361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: We are not attorneys and the information provided shall not be construed as Legal Guidance.