Probate is the legal process where a will is validated, an executor or personal
representative is appointed to administer an estate, debts are paid, and
the remaining assets are passed on to the decedent’s beneficiaries.
If you were appointed as an executor (or personal representative) of an
estate, you may need to sell the decedent’s home if it was not expressly
bequeathed to one or more beneficiaries.
In the above scenario, the home would be sold and the proceeds would be
split up among the heirs of the estate. So, can you sell a house during
probate? Yes, under the above circumstances. In order to sell a home that
is in probate, you must follow strict requirements laid out by Tennessee’s
probate and real estate laws.
Here is a general breakdown of selling a home that is in probate:
- Get the home appraised by a certified appraiser.
- File a petition with the court, asking for permission to sell the home.
When you petition the court, be sure to explain the method of sale; for
example, whether you intend to sell at auction or on the open market,
and include the appraisal.
- Do not put the house for sale until you receive approval from the court.
- Put the house on the market.
- Accept an offer from a buyer.
- When you close the contract, make sure the buyer has lined up enough financing
to cover all of the costs related to the property.
Can We Sell Before Probate?
Generally, people cannot sell decedent’s homes before probate; most
title companies would not be willing to do that. You see, when a probate
case is filed, the title company has the legal proof they need, stating
that an executor is entitled to sell a decedent’s property. If a
title company was to allow someone to sell a decedent’s property
and they didn’t go through the proper channels (in this case probate),
then the buyers would have the right to sue the title company and the
person who tried to sell the house.
Generally, an executor cannot sell a house before probate; they can only
sell it during probate, OR the beneficiaries can sell a house after probate
has wrapped up. Keep in mind that a house cannot be sold until: the court
appoints an executor, or probate is completed, or until after probate
To speak with a Nashville probate attorney,
contact my firm today!