7 Steps To Selling A Probate Property
When someone passes away, If the property they owned was just in their name it would need to be either sold or transferred. When Selling property there are a few things we would advise following up on.
"Visiting the Property"
Assuming that the property is now empty, The first step should possibly be going round to the property to make sure it is safe & secure. Switch off anything that may have been left on and check that all doors and windows are locked and covered.
It may also be worth getting in touch with an insurance provider to make them aware the owner of the property has died, And adjusting the relevant insurance needed whilst the property is vacant.
When dealing with a property that may have been bought a long time ago, There is a possibility that the home ownership data may not be available via Land Registry, Such as the property Deeds etc. Before allowing access to the property it will be worth going through all the documents left behind and taking as much relevant information as possible. During this time it would also make sense to remove any valuable sentimental stuff from the property.
"Contracts & Subscriptions"
Start making contact with the local authority and make them aware nobody is living in the property to avoid a high council tax bill, If this is not done early there is a high possibility you could be the next in line to pay council tax arrears. Likewise with energy providers, They will also need to be contacted and made aware of a future correspondence address.
If the property had internet connection or a phone line installed we would also recommend contacting them.
"Valuating the Property"
Now you will need to find a a local estate agent to choose from who has somebody experienced valuing probate properties. We would strongly advise going to more than one Estate agent to get your valuation.
Research into any open bank accounts and debts that are outstanding against the property are also necessary to get a true valuation of your property once it has sold, As they will be deducted where applicable.
There is al inheritance tax which needs to be factored in when selling a probate property.
This will vary from case to case but things such as previous partners, Number of family members will meed to be considered. Speaking to a specialist company in this area will is advised.
"Grant of Probate"
Applying for the grant of probate, Which is a legal document that gives you authority over the deceased estate. Selling the property will not be an option until this has been legally.
This can be done by contacting the HM Revenue & Customs who will confirm, any inheritance tax that has been paid or needs to be paid.
"Instructing an Estate Agent"
Now you can legally put the property on the open market and start instructing local Estate agents. There are a number of things which you can do when to give your property the best chance of sale such as, Hiring professional photographer , Fixing any snags and cleaning the property. For more tips on selling your property fast read for our dedicated blog post on the subject.
In some cases it can take over 5 months for the Grant of Probate to be issued, And even longer in more complex cases. Fortunately the property can still go on the open market whilst the application is going through however a completion on the property will not be possible. This why we advise on putting the Grant of Probate before instructing solicitors.
"Appointing a Solicitor"
When your property is on the market you will also need to have appointed a conveyancer. Like the Grant of Probate a sale on the property will not be able to complete without a legal representative to take the offer through the necessary buying stages.