Selling a House in Probate Texas Guide

The probate procedure is usually an emotional process for those involved, particularly since it involves the loss of a loved one combined with all of the fine print that must be followed to ensure that probate goes as smoothly as possible. That process tends to involve awarding assets to the recipients who have been designated as such in a will.

The items awarded in probate can include a house, and this may be real estate that the recipient isn’t interested in moving into themself. If that describes you, that likely means that you’re looking to sell a house in Texas that’s in probate. We’ll help you understand what goes into that.

Table Of Contents

1. Selling a House in Probate Texas Guide

2. Probate Sale Meaning In Texas

3. Probate Process for Selling Real Texas

4. Do You Need To Go Through Probate To Sell an Inherited House in Texas?

5. Options That You Can Consider When Selling a Probate House Texas

Probate Sale Meaning In Texas

probate court and house sale in Texas

When someone dies, their assets are passed on to their heirs. These can be essentially anything of value, ranging from simple personal property, such as a common pen purchased a few weeks prior, to multiple houses worth millions of dollars apiece.

However, in some cases, it was either unclear who the assets should go to or the deceased person did not create a relevant document to communicate. If either situation happens, the personal representative, who is in charge of estate planning and administration, may decide that the best option is to sell the relevant real estate and distribute those funds to the appropriate people.

And there are cases when who a house goes to has been clearly defined and legally accepted. When that occurs and it’s combined with one or more relevant parties deciding to sell that real estate, the personal executor can handle that.

That said, it’s important to note that, in many cases, anyone from the general public can outbid someone who’d agreed to buy it at the court confirmation hearing. That’s one of the reasons why many are hesitant to attempt to buy a house in probate, but that risk doesn’t dissuade House Buying Girls. And if you want to sell your probate house to us, you’ll know that you’re guaranteed to have it sold for at least the cash amount that we offer, regardless of what may happen at that probate hearing.

Probate Process for Selling Real Estate in Texas

inherited house for sale in Texas

The first step of the formal probate process for selling real estate in Texas is to file with your local statutory probate court if you have one. Those who live in highly populated areas often do, as at least one is located in 10 of the state’s 15 largest metropolitan areas. Regardless, you can reach out to your county clerk’s office, which will assist you with your probate claim, possibly pointing you toward a local probate court while doing so.

Once this has been handled with the presentation of, if possible, a will, a certified death certificate, and the money to pay related fees and taxes, the court will appoint a personal executor. This is usually the person who the decedent designated as such.

However, if that individual doesn’t want or is not able to take on that role or no such designation occurs, the first probate court proceeding will result in a decision about who this person will be. Potential personal representatives can petition for the role. There are no specific qualifications, although possessing attention to detail, not having a conflict of interest, and not making this personal are considerations that the court will most likely take into account.

At this point, the personal representative will initiate the process of selling the decedent’s probate real estate if doing so is desired or necessary and in accordance with the will, if there is one. This is in addition to their other duties, such as ensuring that the decedent’s final income tax return is filed.

When Can the Personal Executor Sell the Probate Property in Texas?

The moment a personal executor has been appointed by the court, the ability to market the applicable real estate may begin. However, the process cannot be completed prior to the court confirmation hearing as it may need to be made available for purchase to the general public before any sale is finalized.

Note that if the decedent left substantial debt and other liabilities, particularly if they directly relate to the probate house being sold, that can complicate matters. However, the bottom line remains that all interested parties want the real estate to be sold for as much money as possible.

Also, keep in mind that if its value has increased since the person died, capital gains tax will usually need to be paid. However, there’s no inheritance tax applied in Texas.

Can You Sell a Texas House Before Probate Is Complete?

Yes, you can sell a Texas house before probate is complete. The straightforward reason is that the sale of property in probate is finalized by the judge at the second of the three probate hearings. An indirect reason is that you can find an interested party that wants to buy the house, such as House Buying Girls, at any point following the appointment of a personal executor.

Once probate is finalized at the last probate court hearing, the funds earned from that sale are dispersed to one or more people who have the right to them, depending on the required payment of any outstanding debts that creditors are requesting be paid and other relevant factors.

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

in probate for sale in Texas

There are ways to avoid probate when selling an inherited house in Texas and ultimately change the name on its title to the buyers.

A notable exception is possible if the decedent had set up a living trust. This documentation results in related real estate and other assets being owned by the trust—i.e., they’re no longer part of the estate of the person who set up that trust and recently died. As a result, that house can be immediately passed on to the preferred person.

A notable exception is possible if the decedent had set up a living trust. This documentation results in related real estate and other assets being owned by the trust—i.e., they’re no longer part of the estate of the person who set up that trust and recently died. As a result, that house can be immediately passed on to the preferred person.

A similar option is for the decedent to have created a transfer on the death deed (TODD).

If either of those scenarios resulted in you owning the house without the need for probate, you can then transition right to seller mode and sell that property to whoever you’d like to without getting that sale approved by a probate court.

Conversely, if there is no will or trust, which results in an intestate estate, the court is required to decide who receives the real estate and other assets that this person owns. If there is a surviving spouse, that person will usually be awarded much of what’s being passed on. Other close descendants, such as siblings and parents, may receive substantial portions as well.

However, you may be able to save on many probate-related costs if a small estate affidavit can be used to transfer ownership. However, the property must be worth $75,000 or less, and any debt that the estate had needs to be covered by its total assets so that lenders are paid off if doing so is possible.

Texas Probate House Sale Issues

This isn’t necessarily an issue, but you must keep in mind that if this real estate is being sold through the probate procedure, you cannot guarantee to a potential buyer that they’ll be able to purchase it since the judge has to approve it and will probably allow overbids to occur. That said, an overbid would result in you and any other beneficiaries receiving more money for the willed property.

Also, consider that it might take months or years to complete a Texas probate house sale. This timeline depends on how complicated the situation is.

In addition, an outstanding mortgage should be paid off before an inherited property is sold, or a buyer should be willing to take care of that mortgage while purchasing the real estate. One example of the latter type of entity is House Buying Girls, as we regularly buy probate houses with mortgages attached.

Another concern is that if the decedent’s probate estate has non-real estate debts that must be paid to creditors that are significant enough, the house may need to be sold regardless of who’s named in a will or otherwise so that those are paid off. In that scenario, that beneficiary would never gain ownership of it or the money that it’s sold for.

Options That You Can Consider When Selling a Probate House Texas

house sold in probate in Texas

f you’re the seller looking to pass on the probate house that you received as part of your inheritance to someone else, you have several options to consider as far as doing that goes. Take note of the significant differences between them.

List the Probate Property With a Texas Real Estate Agent

Using a Texas real estate agent is a commonly used option to sell probate property. You’d then get your house cleaned, fixed up, and listed on the market.

If you’re considering going down this route, make sure to keep in mind that it tends to be one of the more time-consuming options to consider, which means that you’ll also need to ensure that you keep up to date on taxes, property insurance and any other expenses and related requirements as you wait for it to sell. And note that the real estate’s selling price will be reduced by fees, commissions, and related expenses.

Selling the Inherited Texas Property Yourself

Engaging in a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) process is another option. In doing so, you essentially take on the role of realtor and are solely responsible for finding a buyer for your probate property. This is best for those who are already experienced in real estate, as learning as you go can be incredibly time-consuming and costly.

However, if it’s a relatively simple sale, such as to someone you know and trust, that’ll help make this option more desirable.

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

You could sell Texa probate real estate to a cash home buyer, such as House Buying Girls

One of the most significant benefits of going down this path is that you don’t have to clean or fix anything, and you can leave unwanted belongings inside. That’s because cash home buyers purchase all types of properties in as-is condition.

As long as you’ve removed anything that you want to keep once you’re allowed to do so, you’re all set to finalize a sale of your real estate in this manner.

Can you live in a house during probate?

Yes, generally, you can live in a house during probate, but this can cause complications in some situations. One example of the latter occurs when there are multiple beneficiaries, and one or more of them live on the property to the exclusion of the others.

Also, keep in mind that if the decedent was renting out their real estate when they passed away, that contract takes precedence. Ambiguities in relevant legal documents can also result in issues regarding who’s allowed to live in a probate house.

Of course, if a living trust was used, the house was automatically transferred to the relevant beneficiary, and there was no probate; that person could move in immediately, depending on the title’s intricacies.

Can you empty a house before probate in Texas?

Although you can usually live in that piece of real estate during probate, you’re not allowed to empty the place of personal property, that is, throw anything out or move things to a different location.

One of the reasons why is that something that one person may think of as junk can be another’s treasure. For example, if you were to throw out an old book, you likely didn’t know that it was a rare collectible worth tens of thousands of dollars. As a result, you may be sued for all of the money that was lost when you tossed that valuable part of the decedent’s estate in the trash.

Wait until probate is complete and you 100% own the property and its contents before you discard anything.

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

The length of time it takes to sell real estate in probate is determined by the court. Any sale isn’t finalized until a judge says that it is, which usually takes months.

However, you can get someone to agree to buy it, pending the court’s approval, much quicker. This is especially true if you use cash for a house company, such as House Buying Girls, as we could get you to that point in days.

Do all heirs need to agree to sell inherited property?

All heirs don’t need to agree to sell inherited property as part of the probate process. However, when a disagreement occurs, the situation gets more complicated, more time-consuming, and costlier. When that happens, the court usually sells the real estate to the highest bidder, similar to a foreclosure auction. This may sound simple enough, and it is, but accompanying that are extensive court, attorney, and auction fees that could’ve been reduced or avoided.

Easiest Way To Sell a House in Probate

The easiest way to sell a Texas house in probate is to sell it to House Buying Girls and have a judge either finalize that or sell that part of the decedent’s estate to an overseller. Regardless, you don’t have to clean, repair, or remove anything.

If you have any questions about how we can help or what goes into selling a probate house, reach out at (214) 393-8026 or by filling out the short form that’s on our website. We’ll get back to you within hours and will be glad to help you solve the situation that you’re in and provide relevant information and advice. We possess extensive experience buying inherited houses from sellers who are in the midst of probate.

And keep in mind that we operate throughout the Lone Star State. So, if you have an inherited house in Dallas that you want to sell, contact us. Do you now own a condo in Houston that you don’t want? We’ll take it off of your hands. Maybe you’re the beneficiary of mobile homes in Odessa. We’ll buy those as well. It doesn’t matter where your Texas real estate is located, whether it’s in a city like San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, or Lubbock or in a smaller community such as Alpine or Emory.

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