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How to Best Market and Sell Probate Real Estate:

1. Choose the Right Agent:

The key to a successful sale is to list your property with an agent who understand both the complexities of fiduciary sales and the needs and challenges that may arise from your unique probate, estate, trust or conservatorship situation. 

When interviewing agents be sure to ask:

  • How many probate, estate and trust properties have they sold in the last year?
  • How much of their business is focused on probate sales?
  • What are the specific services that they provide that will meet the needs of your unique situation?
  • What sets them apart from others and what are their references?

Be sure to list your property with a seasoned agent with in-depth knowledge of the fiduciary sales process, the real estate market, and one who offers you a full range of services. This will ensure your property is sold at its highest value while saving time and money.

2. Set Clear Objectives for the Sale:

Whether selling a small condo in Concord, a mid-century home in Millbrae or a Victorian mansion in San Francisco, Andrew's objectives are always the same:

  • To get as many qualified buyers as possible into your property until it is sold.
  • Effectively communicate to the seller several times per week the results of our activities.
  • Powerfully negotiate the highest dollar value…between you and the buyer.

3. Use a Proven Property Preparation Strategy:

Following are the market-proven steps that Andrew uses in order to get aprobate, estate or trust property ready for sale:

  1. Assists with estate liquidation and/or removal of personal items prior to sale, if necessary. Oversee a team of trusted and highly recommended professionals, including Estate Liquidators, Cleaners, Haulers, Painters, Handymen, Locksmiths and Gardeners.
  2. Works directly with attorneys to determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to administer the probate, trust or estate sale process. Updates attorneys and clients regularly to ensure complete compliance with the estate’s wishes and all County and State requirements.

4. Market Your Property for Maximum Exposure and Resale:

The following are the market-proven steps that Andrew knows effectively sell a probate, estate and trust property for top-dollar:

  1. Submit your property to our local County Multiple Listing Services with full color digital photos and a “virtual tour.”
  2. Price your property competitively…to open the market versus narrowing the market.
  3. Develop a list of features of your property for brokers to use with their potential buyers.
  4. Contact the top agents in the marketplace (the 5% that sell 90% of all properties) to notify their potential buyers.  Fax, email or hand-deliver them a feature sheet about your property.
  5. Actively prospect at least 3 hours a day, and talk to as many as 30 people per day (150 per week) widening the range of potential buyers for your property.
  6. Stay in regular contact with buyer leads, sphere of influence, past clients, and neighbors for their referrals and to find prospective buyers.
  7. Use a custom  “800 Info Homeline” phone number for your property, allowing buyers to obtain 24 hour information. (This service captures ALL callers’ phone numbers and allows us to immediately contact potential buyers.)
  8. Advertise your property to the 1.7 Million readers of the San Francisco Chronicle real estate section and the Bay Area Real Estate Times Magazine.
  9. Market your property online as a featured listing on  Realtor.com (The largest real estate Website), Yahoo Real Estate, Google Real Estate, Trulia.com, Pruweb.com, SFPRU.com, Craigslist.com and devries4sfhomes.com, and others.
  10. Add additional exposure through a professional sign and lock-box.
  11. When possible have cooperating brokers in the area tour your property.
  12. Follow-up with and obtain feedback from all salespeople that have shown your property.
  13. Stay consistently updated on recent showings, buyer feed-back, and current market conditions.
  14. Pre-qualify all prospective buyers. Speak directly to all lenders to verify a prospective buyer’s ability to qualify for the loan amount.
  15. Be well represented in all offer presentations or negotiations to ensure you obtain the best possible price and terms.
  16. Remarket the property within two weeks of the court date for maximum overbid potential (if applicable).
  17. Handle all follow-up upon a contract being accepted…all mortgage, title, and other closing procedures.
  18. Deliver your check at closing. 

How to Buy Probate Real-Estate

There are many advantages in buying probate property. Because probate properties often require additional work, buyers that are looking to purchase a home and build equity may find value where others don't. Given the higher demand "move-in ready" homes, the competition among buyers for probate properties may be less and more advantageous for buyers and sellers alike.

There are also important conditions and rules in probate sales that set them apart from other real estate transaction. It is important to note that probate real estate is:

  • Often subject to court confirmation.
  • Sold “as-is” without repairs, additional inspection, or retrofitting
  • Sold without contingencies. Requiring the bidder to secure financing in advance.
  • Often governed by special disclosure documents that dictate the terms of sale.

It pays to work with a savvy probate estate agent that can help the buyer secure the property under the right terms and avoid over-bidding or being unprepared for the court confirmation process. Andrew is and experienced and reputable probate agent selling properties in all greater Bay Area Counties. Contact him to learn more. 

More detailed information about the mechanics of Probate sales including a detailed walk-through of the probate process can be found on this page.

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