Sell My Home: Choosing the Right Realtor for Probate Sales

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sell My Home: Choosing the Right Realtor for Probate Sales

Probate real estate sale
Probate real estate sale

Introduction

If you are put in a situation with a property in probate, you may feel stressed about handling the process. Here’s my best piece of advice if you want to lower your stress… don’t use your friend. This may be a natural choice for a regular home sale, but you may want to reconsider who you choose as a real estate agent when selling a probate home.

Choosing a real estate agent wisely
Choosing a real estate agent wisely

What is a Probate Sale?

First lets discuss what puts a house into a probate sale. Usually someone leaves behind a trust or will for when they die. The document outlines how their assets should be distributed among descendants or organizations. However, sometimes the will isn’t clear, or there isn’t even a will.

What is a probate sale
What is a probate sale

This leaves the decisions to the family. Sometimes the court gets involved. In regards to real estate, the family would be dealing with a probate court to manage the selling of the family member’s home.

Lack of Specialized Knowledge

Probate sales come with a unique process. Since a probate house sale in Arizona includes working with the court and legal system, it is more involved than a standard real estate transaction. Your friend may not be a bad real estate agent, but if they do not specialize in probate real estate, you may not have the appropriate resources necessary to succeed in your home sale.

Legal Criteria for Agents

Within the Arizona Administrative Code for the State Real Estate Department, Rule R4-28-1101 specifies the guidelines for real estate agents:

An agent or broker should not “provide professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside the…broker’s field of competence without engaging the assistance of a person who is competent to provide those services, unless the…broker’s lack of expertise is first disclosed to the client in writing.”

In simpler terms, if you or someone you know has a family friend they want to use to sell their inherited property, consider advising them to ask their realtor friend if they are competent to sell a property in probate or trust administration. If they are not proficient in such a sale, ask them to disclose their lack of expertise in writing. Failure to do so could result in liability, fines, and damages.

Follow the law of probate sales
Follow the law of probate sales

Make sure to find someone with a deep understanding of probate laws, court procedures, and estate administration to handle your probate transaction. Without someone with the specialization, you could run into facing mistakes or oversights, potentially jeopardizing the sale or putting you at legal risk.

Potential Conflict of Interest

Selling a house in probate involves various stakeholders with their own objectives. There can be multiple heirs along with the executors, attorneys, and the potential buyers. These parties may have conflicting interests. If you choose a friend as your real estate agent, you introduce one more player who may have a conflict of interest.

Conflict of interests
Conflict of interests

Your friend may become torn between loyalty to you and the obligations to the other parties involved in the probate sale. They may feel pressure to put your interests over the other beneficiaries, possibly leading to disputes or resentment among family members.

Impartiality and Neutrality

The probate process often requires negotiation and even mediation to ensure equitable distribution of assets. Your real estate agent may find it difficult to maintain impartial judgment as a friend but also as a mediator and realtor when negotiating.

With probate properties, it is essential to have a neutral and impartial probate real estate agent to represent you interests. You need someone to advocate for fairness among all parties involved. Not all real estate agents possess the skills and expertise for a probate sale. However, at Unbiased Options Real Estate, we specialize in probate real estate and can help navigate the legal process successfully as a neutral party.

Emotional Attachment

When selling probate real estate, high emotions often infiltrate the selling process. The home being sold often holds sentimental value for you and other heirs to the property. By allowing a friend to represent you in the probate sale, you may be inviting one more person who holds emotional connection to the property into the selling process. This would add more layers of complexity to the already stressful situation.

High emotions amid probate sales
High emotions amid probate sales

Personal emotions usually lead to clouded professional judgment for a friend to act as your probate real estate agent. You friend could feel the need to cater to your personal emotions and needs rather than fulfilling their legal and professional obligations with the sale. The actions may be well-meaning, but your agent’s emotional attachment could lead to decisions that would not benefit you financially or could prolong the sale.

Family Conflict

Dealing with probate sales already involves delicate family dynamics or disagreements among heirs. Using a friend as a real estate agent adds the potential for complicating these family relationships further. The friend may show loyalty toward you, causing resentment or drama from other family members involved in the real estate journey.

Family conflicts during probate sales
Family conflicts during probate sales

When dealing with situations with high emotions such as a probate home sale, it’s best to find a good real estate agent who can stay neutral and clear headed. You want an advocate who will keep everyone’s interests in check while also dealing with the legal aspects. Real estate professionals such as Unbiased Options can help you keep the emotional complexities calm through the probate process.

Limited Marketing Reach

In order to effectively market a probate property, a real estate agent’s strategy differs from a traditional real estate transaction. They would need to find the unique niche of people who are interested in probate homes. Usually this consists of investors or people looking for a renovation project. By relying on a friend to be your agent, you may be limiting the market reach for the house.

Network of probate real estate agent
Network of probate real estate agent

Your friend may have a network of contacts and resources, but unless they specialize in probate sales, they may not reach the right buyers. Without the sphere of influence needed, your property may stay on the market longer than desired.

Marketing the Listing

Not only do agents in probate real estate need to provide access to the correct market, they need to know how to list the house with the unique selling points of probate properties. Experienced probate professionals know how to position and highlight the property’s potential in order to attract a qualified buyer.

Listing probate properties
Listing probate properties

By working with probate real estate professionals such as Unbiased Options, you can tap into the right network of buyers while giving your property the exposure needed to sell quickly. We are tapped into the probate real estate community and have the resources needed to generate interest from the potential buyers.

Professional Accountability

Professionalism and accountability are critical in any real estate transaction. Home owners expect their agents to engage with them and the other parties involved with expert advice while keeping their interests in the forefront.

You would expect a friend acting as your real estate agent to perform with the same professional behavior as any other agent you would hire. However, the boundaries and expectations may slip as the line between friends and professionals becomes blurred.

Unclear communication affects sale process
Unclear communication affects sale process

With high emotions in a probate sale, the stakes may be higher. It is essential to hold clear expectations and communication. While a friend may be well-intentioned, without prior expertise in probate real estate, they may not be the best candidate for accountability and professionalism for your selling process.

Unbiased Options

When working with skilled probate agents such as Unbiased Options, you know you have an accountable partner. Our team is devoted to honesty and integrity throughout the probate sale. With consistent and clear communication, you can be assured of frequent updates and peace of mind that your probate property will be handled with knowledge on the legal system and market.

Unbiased Options specializes in probate sales
Unbiased Options specializes in probate sales

In the case of issues arising, you can trust that we will handle them promptly with professional conduct. Our reputation and success are built on our commitment to serving our clients with their interests in mind.

Selling a probate home doesn’t have to be scary or stressful when you have Unbiased Options as your trusted ally by your side through every step.

Conclusion

While it seems tempting to turn to a friend in your time of need when selling a probate home, pause to consider the drawbacks to this approach. With its complexities, a probate sale is not a traditional real estate transaction. You will want specialized knowledge and skills on you side, and if your friend does not focus on probate sales, you could be in trouble by choosing them to represent you.

Choose probate real estate professional
Choose probate real estate professional

Instead, consider partnering with a probate real estate specialist. Our team focuses our expertise in probate sales, ensuring the property gets the attention it deserves. From the legalities to the market strategy, we keep communication open and active throughout the process.

Don’t leave your probate property to chance by choosing a traditional real estate agent. Let us help you achieve the best outcome with your probate sale.

If you have any questions or want to start with the probate sale process, contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to make sure you go into the process informed and with confidence.

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