To a lot of people a home can be more than just bricks and mortar. A home whether it is being sold within the probate home process or just simply by the direct homeowner is often times more than just a business transaction to the seller.
Usually when a person has lived in a house for a period of time they have built up memories and experiences so naturally the value that the home may have is worth more than just dollars. The reason that it’s particularly important for us the service providers within the probate community is because in order to properly provide a service we must be aware of feelings, needs, and wants of people we are trying to help. And when looking to buy a probate home, we must go directly to the;
And even though they are not the ones on title of that probate home, they are the individuals who are in control of the outcome of whose hands that property will be transferred to.
You will find a great number of these rightful heirs have an emotional attachment to the probate home. If you put yourself in their shoes, you can imagine what it must be like for someone to close a chapter of their life. Selling mom’s and dad’s home where maybe those heirs grew up could be a very emotional task for some. I have found a big commonality in these types of instances and that is that these loved ones that are still left behind want to see this probate home go to someone who continues to give a sense of life to this property.
Now as a real estate investor or a real estate agent, you personally are not going to move in and build the next life of memories within these walls. However, by you taking control of this probate home, you can assure everyone that this home will be transformed into a beautiful livable condition that is in essence what every potential new buyer wants in order to move in and begin to create their next set of experiences.
So being aware and sensitive of what may be in your seller’s heart and mind is important. Also, don’t assume that you know how people feel but rather be open to the different personalities and different circumstances that a particular family may have. It may be that someone who has inherited a house and is now going through this legal headache called probate has no emotional ties to the probate home.
Be aware, be sensitive, be respectful, and be a service provider.
Frequently Asked Questions about a Probate Home
When I have captured my batch of probate home files and I notice the home listed in the estate is also listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service used by licensed agents and brokers), what do I do?
At Probate Fox, we teach that first we are marketers and second real estate investors and/or agents. Having said that, we need to get our message out to as many well qualified and well targeted people as possible, and probate home listings on the MLS are usually not it.
Why? Because when a probate home is listed on the MLS, two things happen.
- It is now controlled by the listing agent.
- It the probate home publicly viewable by all the other real estate agents who can now bring their buyers and bid it up to the highest and best offer possible.
If it’s a property you are really interested in buying, then I recommend you contact the listing agent, especially if the listing price is reasonable.
Find out what kind of traffic this probate home is getting. If it’s a heavy fixer (which most probate homes are) then it will be nearly impossible for a conventional buyer to qualify for a mortgage loan, especially if they are trying to buy with an FHA program.
Your angle could be contacting the listing agent and letting him or her represent you on the purchase so that they can get a full listing commission from both sides and you get the probate home at a discount with all attention on your offer versus other offers from other agents representing other buyers (as long as it is also in the best interest of the seller also known as the probate estate since they are representing both sides).
It’s a win-win all the way around and you get to build a relationship with an agent that can go out and find you another probate home to buy at hefty discounts that you in turn will either add value by bringing them up to its retail market condition and then reselling or by simply assigning to the investor who will pay you your wholesale fee.
If a probate home is listed on the MLS and it expires without it being sold, can I contact the seller directly?
Yes, but if you are a licensed real estate agent, you cannot contact that seller when that particular home is listed by a fellow agent, but as soon as that listing expires and it is not renewed (you will know that by the MLS), then absolutely treat this like any other expired listing. The big difference with probate is that often times you actually have a seller who does want and needs your help. Many times the problem was in the listing agent not knowing how to assist the seller with probate details and selling the house.
If you are an investor without a real estate license, then you can technically contact that seller any time, but I would recommend you wait until that listing is expired since we always want to maximize our time and at the point the house is being by serviced by an agent. If it is a probate home that is of big interest to you because maybe… it is located within a close proximity to your residence, office, or rental property, or whatever specific reason you may have, then I recommend you do everything in your power to buy that home. Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid to go after what you want. You could send the seller a letter, give them a phone call, or even better yet, go to the executor or administrators home and visit them in person.
The object of the game is for you to acquire more homes, more often, and with more ease.
Let Probate Fox be your resource for all of your probate real estate investing education when t comes to buying, listing, and selling more probate home.