In Probate selling a property and need to sell house fast?
Published by Property Saviour
The UK's No.1 Fast House Sale Company
February 28, 2016 - Read time: 3 minutes
In Probate selling a property and need to sell house fast?
Acting as an Executor in a sale? Want to know if you can sell before the grant of probate? Selling a jointly owned house when one owner has died? What are the legal fees on a probate sale? We can help to guide you through the steps required to sell your inherited property.
Do you need a grant of probate to sell your inherited house?
The initial question to ask is do you actually need to go to the trouble of obtaining probate. If a loved one has passed away and a surviving husband, wife or partner would like to sell the property a straightforward check on the title deeds normally can identify what documents or additional steps are needed to sell the property.
If the property is in joint names and one of the owners is still alive then invariably the house can be sold without having the Grant of Probate. How to obtain grant of probate or letter of administration.
Sale by surviving joint seller under Joint Tenants or Tenants In Common?
-Tenant in Common
If the property title contains a ‘restriction’ under the names of the owners in this format “No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate, except a trust corporation, under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court.” then the property appears to be held as tenants in common or otherwise pursuant to a trust. In this case you would need appoint the second trustee to receive the sale monies with the surviving partner and sell the House. The proceeds can easily then be kept by the two trustees pending the Grant of Probate post sale.
– Joint Tenants
If you have no restriction then the house was held as “joint tenants” and so the title automatically passes to the co-owner with no the need for probate. All you would be required to provide to us to sell the property is a certified copy of the death certificate.
Death of Sole Owner or last surviving Joint Owner
If the property is held in the deceased’s sole name or, if held in joint names and both owners have passed away, then Probate or Letters of Administration are needed to sell.
What is the difference between Probate or Letters of Administration?
Probate gives effect to the Will from the deceased and an Executor named within the Will obtains the Grant of Probate.
Without a Will the UK Government rules determine who is to benefit from the deceased’s estate. These are not straightforward. An Administrator is appointed to manage this and is usually one of the beneficiaries.
In both cases the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration give the Executor or Administrator power to deal with the estate and sell the deceased’s assets including any real property – houses or flats. The Executors would therefore appoint the lawyers and estate agents on the sale. When the house is sold, and the other assets are collected, the money from the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.
How is a Grant of Probate obtained?
Before the Grant of Probate is accessible a tax return must be submitted to HM Revenue and Customs confirming the amount of inheritance tax payable.
The return gives information on the deceased’s assets at the date of death, including details of any property (houses or flats) as well as the value. An application is then made to the Probate Court for the Grant of Probate.
Is it possible to sell before probate is granted? Will we have to wait for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration before placing the house on the market or accepting offers?
If you sell a jointly owned property where one owner is still living then as noted above you can sell before the probate is granted.
Even where Probate is vital if the application to the Probate Registry is pretty straightforward practically you are able to run the sale at the same time as the application for the grant. Both the conveyancing for the sale process and probate take around the same period of time – usually 4-6 weeks normally.
Clearly you may not exchange before the Grant is obtained but in the current market as sales may take time we’d recommend the marketing of the property for sale at the earliest opportunity. Of course you can sell inherited property to us, as we specialise in buying residential properties in probate.
When the estate is liable to pay inheritance tax or it is a more complex application and or you’ll find complications you may wish to progress the Probate aspect first before the sale because the Probate process will take much longer additionally, the delay in obtaining these documents could frustrate any potential buyer.
It is of course advisable to obtain Probate asap to avoid any potential delays whatever the situation – where things are urgent we have obtained for Probate for clients in a couple of weeks when a sale has been agreed.
It might be worth calling us to discuss the estimated timescales for obtaining probate before progressing very far in the transaction.
Where there is no Will and you need to obtain Letters of Administration there is no power for the Administrators to handle the assets, including marketing the property, before the actual Letters of Administration are granted. In reality however estate agents will not check this distinction between Probate and Letters of Administration and will happily market the property for you if you ask.
What other costs are anticipated when selling?
The estate agents fees – these can vary considerably from between 1% – 2.5% on average however this depends on the type of agency agreement sole or multiple contracts and the area in which you are selling. Some internet agents offer lower rates.
If you sell inherited house privately to Property Saviour, then this fee will not be paid.
You may also have to pay for clearance of the property unless the buyer is willing to take the property “as seen”. We will buy the property and offer you a free house clearance.
What documents will you need for the sale of a probate property?
To prove your ability to sell we will simply require original or an official copy of your Probate or Letters of Administration plus the usual identification documents from the executors e.g. passport and utility bill.
The executors or administrators of the estate would be the parties who will be required to enter into the contract to sell the property and complete the enquiry forms. The information you have on the property might be limited but most buyers will want some replies to basic enquiries whilst they will understand that your knowledge as Executors could be restricted.
We used another solicitor to apply for Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration. Do we need to use them for the sale also?
Again the answer is no. As they have a ‘captive audience’ they may try and charge you a higher price for dealing with the sale. You may find that by instructing another solicitor on the sale you will get better value and hopefully a better level of service.
What if I am selling a probate property with a short lease. Can I extend it as an Executor?
It is possible for the executors to serve a Notice of Claim to extend a lease in accordance with the statutory procedure contained in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.
However please note executors only have a period of 2 years from the date of the Grant of Probate to do this.
This is on the belief the property is residential and the deceased had himself owned the property for 2 years and all other statutory qualifications had been met.
We will buy your property probate with short lease without any issues.
The executors have two courses of action. They could extend the lease themselves or maybe more likely sell the property with the benefit of a Notice of Claim that could then be assigned (transferred) into the buyer on sale. This would stop the buyer needing to wait 2 years before extending the lease themselves.
What areas of the country do you cover?
We provide a specialised service for probate property buying in all of England, Scotland and Wales.
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