Buying or selling a property in probate?

Barker Son & Isherwood LLP


Phone 01264 353411


Probate is the process that an estate must go through after someone has died. It allows the Executors named in their Will to tie up all the loose ends, like paying any outstanding bills, selling their property and distributing their assets as they wished.

Statistics suggest that one in ten properties on the market today are properties being sold as a result of Probate. So what does this mean if you are a buyer of a home being sold as a result of Probate?

First and foremost, some of these homes may be in need of modernisation, particularly if they have been family homes for many years. You should realise that any discount you think you can negotiate for this will already have been factored into the price. As with any home that needs improvements, it is unlikely to have up-to-date electrics, nor up to date central heating, effective insulation or be particularly energy efficient therefore you will need to take this all into consideration.

If you are looking for quick completion, a probate sale is probably not for you. The process can take much longer than usual, with a time scale of at least six months.

But what if you are selling a property in Probate?

Selling a property is often one of the main things that hold up the completion of the Probate process. If the property is in an area that is not performing particularly well in the current housing market, this can really cause problems for you.

Firstly, inform the insurance company that the property is now vacant and is likely to be for the foreseeable future. You will be offered a ‘vacant property’ policy and you may even need to change insurers.

Clear the property out of any clutter and present it as well as you can. Redirect the post to your address so there is nothing there to spoil the appearance when people are coming to view it. If there are any small jobs that need doing, do them as this will encourage buyers to see that the property is looked after.

You should get three different agents round to offer you a valuation on the property and remember, the highest valuation may not be what you are looking for right now. Either way, you now know what value you can expect for the property for Inheritance Tax purposes.

If the property has been on the market for some time, you may decide you would like to change estate agents and consider reducing the price you are willing to accept in order to complete the sale.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a property going through Probate, please contact our knowledgeable Conveyancing team, who are on hand to advise and assist you with your decision. You can contact Jane Derbyshire directly at 01264 325813, via email: or via our online enquiry form.


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