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Probate Real Estate vs Foreclosures

Aug 17, 2007
Probate is the legal process by which the estate of any deceased person is validated and executed. It can be a long and costly process for the sellers. Probate validates the Will, if one exists. It pays off existing creditors and distributes the assets to heirs and beneficiaries. The reason probate real estate bargains exist is that they are a part of the estate of a deceased individual. There is no legal hassle involved in buying such property. When you acquire property that is a part of an estate, you help the beneficiaries to settle the estate via a sale of assets. All the property, furniture, stocks, bonds, real estate, cars, etc have to go through probate.

Not all beneficiaries are interested in keeping and maintaining everything they inherited. The estate might also involve people who live in another city or even another state. They may not wish to relocate just to look after or inhabit property left to them. Sometimes, a house may be willed to more than one person. In this case, the property must be sold in order to ensure that everybody gets their fair share. Most beneficiaries who decide to sell would rather sell for less money immediately, than wait for much better prices. The attorney fees keep eating away at the final gains. So, you are likely to encounter very highly motivated sellers who would appreciate your help in getting on with their lives.

Trying to make a profit in foreclosures can be quite difficult. The foreclosure business has become quite popular recently. You probably end up chasing the same foreclosures and REOs that all your competitors are after. In many areas, it is very difficult to handle the procedures, even if you are interested, because of saturation. With a probate, there is no publicity or listing and hence, very few people would actually know where to find these properties. With probates, the person who knows the market is liable to profit up to 30-50% discounts.

When buying foreclosures you are very often dealing with people who do not really want to sell the property. The homeowner doesnt trust you and he feels that you are taking advantage of his misfortune. Foreclosures involve getting the homeowners out, which is not very pleasant. People who offer the properties in foreclosure could also be bankrupt at the same time and would prefer staying in their house, rent-free and delay the procedure. They also have others knocking on their doors and calling them at all hours and realtors promising them full equity and full price.

So they see themselves with many options and may not want to talk to you. The homeowner is losing the roof over his head and in some cases, can get quite nasty. In probate, the people do want to sell and the house is very often not their primary residence. So, you end up dealing with people who are not only motivated to sell, but also not highly stressed about it.

When someone passes away, their heirs are left with a very large responsibility in the form of real estate that many don't like dealing with. If you can offer a reasonable price, a quick sale and a simple solution, they will be more than willing to sell to you. Trying to dispose off a property far away from where they live becomes very difficult for them. In most cases, they don't want to hold on to the property and don't want to figure out the logistics either. This is especially true if there are bills to be paid against the estate of the deceased.

Many people who are over 65 years old defer their property tax liability. When they pass away, these deferred taxes become due. The heirs inherit this tax liability and in many cases, like to turn the property into cash at the quickest possible time, to pay these taxes and other costs like Liens or Attorney's Fees.
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