sell an inherited property in Texas


Probate Sale Meaning Texas

What’s a probate sale? Let’s first define probate.

Probate is the formal process that not only ensures that an estate’s assets are passed on to the intended people and entities but also ensures that financial obligations to lenders are handled.

A probate sale occurs when at least some of those assets, possibly including a house, are sold instead of passed directly on to beneficiaries. That money would then be given to those individuals or to creditors.

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Also, the personal representative, the one who handles the administration of those assets and represents the decedent’s wishes as best as possible, may determine that it’s better to pass on those funds to beneficiaries or creditors rather than the real estate itself. There are cases when it’s clear who that real estate should go to, but that person wants to sell it as soon as possible, including before probate has ended.

Regardless, it’s important to keep in mind that a probate sale can’t be finalized until the court confirmation hearing. During that court proceeding, the judge will normally allow anyone from the general public to outbid any current offer. However, despite the risk of ultimately not being able to buy your probate house, Ready House Buyer is ready to present a cash offer for it.

Probate Procedure for Selling Property in Texas

Do you have a local statutory probate court with which to file a probate? In many cases, the answer is “Yes.” Of the Lone Star State’s 15 largest metropolitan areas, there are designated statutory probate courts in 10. If you don’t, then you can work with your county clerk’s office. That’s also who you should contact if you’re unsure where to go to take care of your probate claim.

Once it’s time to do this, bring the required documentation, such as a will, if one had been created by the deceased person before their death, and a certified death certificate. Also be ready to pay any required taxes or fees.

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One of the most important initial steps of this process is the appointment of a personal executor. In many situations, this is a simple procedure, such as when the decedent made clear who the personal representative should be and that individual accepts the role.

However, sometimes, it’s not clear at all. In that case, the probate judge is in charge of appointing someone to that position. Anyone interested can offer to take it on. The judge usually takes into account how detail-oriented they are and if they’ll potentially have a conflict of interest. That said, there are no specific qualifications that are required.

Once this person has been appointed, they’ll, if applicable, work towards selling the probate house.

However, that’s just one of many duties that the personal executor has. Others related to this inheritance include ensuring that everything’s done in accordance with the will as best as possible and that debts left behind are handled. Of course, the final income tax return should be filed. All of that said, unlike in other states, there won’t be any inheritance tax as that doesn’t exist in Texas.

And there are other duties that are specifically connected with the probate house, such as ensuring that any capital gains tax is paid, which is necessary if the real estate’s value is more at the time of the sale than it was when the decedent passed away.

When Can the Personal Executor Sell Probate Property in Texas?

The personal representative can immediately seek buyers for the Texas probate house. However, this generally can’t be finalized until the court confirmation hearing, and that latter gathering sometimes results in the judge accepting overbids.

If the decedent left behind a substantial amount of debt, whether related directly to this house or otherwise, that can complicate things. However, what remains is the intent is to sell the probate real estate for as much as possible.

Can You Sell a House Before Probate is Complete in Texas?

selling inherited property in Texas

You can seek buyers, such as Ready House Buyer, at any time once a personal representative’s been appointed and then sell that probate house, dependent on the court’s approval at the court confirmation hearing.

Note that the court confirmation hearing isn’t when probate is finalized as that occurs later, so, yes, you absolutely can sell real estate before probate is complete in Texas.

Once the sale of the probate real estate’s been finalized, that money is sent to the appropriate entities. The specifics of that depend on if any debts need to be paid off, whether those are mortgages connected with that real estate or otherwise, and any other factors related to the relevant heirs and other beneficiaries. In many cases, the sale’s proceeds are first directed towards a probate escrow account before they’re passed on.

Do You Need To Go through Probate To Sell an Inherited House in Texas?

There are a few ways that you can avoid the probate process and sell a house without it. That said, most of those involve the decedent having already done something to avoid this scenario. In other words, this is generally not possible after that person has died.

One way that the decedent can ensure that probate is avoided after their passing is to utilize a living trust to distribute their assets to their heirs and other beneficiaries. The primary reason why this is possible is because those assets were owned by the trust before they died.

There’s also a transfer on the death deed, which allows a decedent to pass on a house and other types of real estate to others without probate. By utilizing this, the decedent makes sure that this property is never part of the estate.

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Another option is ensuring that two people jointly own a house, which is often the case for spouses. In that case, if one dies, the surviving spouse would solely own that real estate without the need for extensive paperwork or time in court necessary to complete that process.

In addition, keep a muniment of title in mind. This won’t remove the need for probate, but it’ll make it a much simpler process than would otherwise be the case. However, it’s only possible if there aren’t any debts other than liens on real estate.

Also, a small estate affidavit would greatly simplify things but is only a possibility if the estate is, in fact, “small” – i.e., worth up to $75,000.

Note that if the situation involves an intestate estate because no will was left, probate and the appointment of a personal representative become required steps in estate planning. In that case, spouses, siblings, parents and other relatives would likely receive most of the inheritance.

Texas Probate House Sale Issues

sell probate house online in Texas

The main issue with selling a probate house in Texas is that buyers are generally hesitant to purchase one because it’s difficult to know the specifics of the place and the process can be drawn-out as it makes its way through the court system. And that timeline could be extended even more if the situation includes a tremendous amount of complicated financial issues or paperwork.

Also, a buyer would need to purchase the probate real estate for at least 90% of its appraised value and have that purchase approved by the court. Overbids, which must be at least 5% plus $500 over that offer, are usually welcomed by the judge prior to approval, which could cause that buyer to ultimately lose out on owning it.

So, it can be difficult to sell a probate house since there are so many cons to going through this process from a buyer’s perspective. However, one buyer that isn’t dissuaded by the uncertainty of the situation is Ready House Buyer, and we can get you a cash offer for your probate real estate fast. Note that we also regularly buy probate houses that have mortgages.

Another potential issue to note for a seller of probate real estate is that previous debts may result in little or none of the money that it sells going to any beneficiaries, but that won’t impact how easy or difficult it is to sell.

Options To Consider When Selling a Probate House in Texas

When you need to sell probate real estate in Texas, you can take one of a few different pathways. Make sure to carefully consider the differences between them.

List the Probate Property With a Texas Real Estate Agent

sell probate house in Texas

As you go to sell a probate property in Texas, you could use a real estate agent and get it listed.

This is a commonly used option, and there are pros to going this route. Those include working with someone who understands the local real estate market and knows how to maximize the amount of money that’s received for a probate house.

However, this is also an especially time-consuming option, and it can involve you engaging in a lot of legwork, such as costly cleaning and renovations once you’re legally allowed to do so, as well as taking care of insurance expenses and ensuring that no taxation issues arise before it’s sold. Also, keep in mind that the final selling price when going through a realtor is usually reduced significantly once costly fees and related expenses are applied.

Selling the Inherited Property Yourself in Texas

A similar option is to sell the Texas probate property on your own – i.e., FSBO (for sale by owner). That means that you’re essentially the agent. This may sound like a simpler option, but, in many ways, it’s not, particularly for those who aren’t experienced with selling houses. However, a pro is that you won’t have the sales price reduced by realtor fees or commissions.

And this is an especially inviting option if the sale’s expected to be a simple one, such as to a close friend or family member, but even then, make sure to do your due diligence to ensure that it’s ultimately handled and sold in the best way possible.

Selling a Texas Probate House As-Is to a Cash Home Buyer

If you need to sell Texas real estate that’s in probate, another option is to sell it to a cash home buyer. Ready House Buyer is one to consider as we understand all of the nuances that go into a probate sale and would simplify that process for you as we handle the complicated elements on our end. We’re also not hesitant to take on the risks that accompany a probate house sale.

Also, consider that us buying houses as-is means that yours can be in any condition. You don’t have to ever clean or repair anything, which can be costly, and you won’t need to remove anything other than what you want to keep or pass on to others.

Probate House Sale FAQs

Can you live in a house during probate?

sell house in probate in Texas

You can usually live in a house during probate, but you want to make sure to not move anything out of it while there. Also, the situation can get complicated if multiple people are heirs or other beneficiaries and only one or some of them live in that real estate during probate while others want to as well but aren’t being allowed to.

Regardless, one clear example of when a house can’t be lived in during probate occurs when the decedent has rented it out. That contract needs to be seen to its conclusion before anyone else can live there, or a legal agreement to end it early must occur.

Can you empty a house in Texas before probating?

If the probate process in Texas hasn’t been completed yet, but you’ve been 100% approved as the owner of the inherited real estate, then you can empty the property before the probate is finished.

However, prior to that happening, you aren’t allowed to empty a house. That means that you shouldn’t remove or throw out anything, even if you’re living in the home. One of the reasons why is because the items there aren’t yours to do with as you wish. Plus, there may be ones there that appear to be junk to you but are instead worth a lot.

How long does it take to sell a house in probate?

Once a personal executor has been appointed, it can take not much time at all to receive an offer for a probate house, particularly if you work with Ready House Buyer, as we can get you that offer fast. However, finalizing the process often takes months as the buyer must be approved, and, in many situations, overbids would be allowed to occur at the last minute.

Do all beneficiaries need to agree to sell inherited property?

It does simplify the situation if all beneficiaries agree to sell the inherited real estate as well as other assets. However, it isn’t required. But when there is disagreement, the process tends to cost much more in money and time. In some cases when those individuals are unable to agree on selling an inherited property or otherwise what to do with it, the judge will order an auction, similar to a foreclosure auction, and then ensure that those funds are dispersed accordingly.

The Easiest Way To Sell a Texas House in Probate

probate faqs in Texas

Ready House Buyer offers the simplest solution for those who need to sell a Texas house in probate. We’ll provide a fast cash offer and adhere to that as long as there are no later overbids at the court confirmation hearing that result in someone else buying the property instead.

If you have any questions about how all of this works, whether you’re the personal executor or not, reach out. You may do so by filling out the contact form on our website or calling our office at (214) 225-3038. We’ll share the information that you want to know and provide valuable advice.

Keep in mind that we operate throughout Texas. So, rest assured that we can help you determine whether your inherited real estate is in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, or San Antonio. We also work with different types of properties, ranging from houses to mobile homes to condos to duplexes.

Can you sell a house without probate in Texas?

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