When Can you Sell a Home in Probate?

when can you sell a home in probate

This article will answer “What is a Probate?”, will give an overview of the probate process, and when in that process the sale or transfer of a decedent’s home should take place.

Opening a Probate Case in Portland, Oregon

Probate is the process of administration and distribution for the estate of a deceased individual. Many states require a probate procedure for distribution of the decedent’s assets and real property. To initiate a probate process, the first step is to determine if the decedent has a valid will (testate) or no will (intestate), or if there is a recorded transfer on dead deed. If there is a valid will, a petition to probate the will must be filed in the circuit court where the decedent died. In Portland, for example, that would be the Multnomah County Circuit Court. Once filed, the personal representative identified in the will is appointed to begin administration of the estate.

If there is no valid will, someone—preferably a close family member—must petition the court to appoint a personal representative to administer the intestate estate. Additional information to determine, if readily available, includes: locating beneficiaries of the deceased, physical location of all real property, and possible creditors or liens against the estate. Discovery of this information is required for the probate process so this information is helpful to facilitate movement of the administration.

When to Sell or Transfer a Home During Probate in Oregon

The probate process involves several procedural steps. Certain steps must occur before the property can be properly transferred or put up for sale. These steps can each take months and many of the steps involve drafting and submitting pleadings (legal paperwork) to the court for review and approval.

In some cases, it may be helpful to work with a local lawyer. The legal steps that must be taken include:

  1. Notifying the beneficiaries of the open probate
  2. Notifying the creditors of the open probate
  3. Addressing all local, state or federal tax liability
  4. Taking an inventory of the decedent’s assets
  5. Submitting an inventory to the court where the petition was filed
  6. The court issues a final judgment approving of and closing the probate

Before the final judgment order is issued approving of and closing the probate, the personal representative must execute a Personal Representative deed (PR deed) and record it with the appropriate county clerk’s office. The PR deed transfers the decedent’s interest in the house to the personal representative and authorizes the personal representative to sell or transfer the house. The personal representative cannot sell or transfer the home without an order from the court if a probate is opened.

Once recorded, the personal representative may prepare to list the property for sale or transfer.

Preparation for Sale or Transfer During Oregon Probate

Because the Probate process can be daunting, it may be best to get legal advice or a lawyer early in the process. A lawyer can assist filing the necessary documents, collecting any funds due from life insurance, and help generally with transferring the estate’s interest in real property and any tax concerns.

Before the home can be properly sold and as the process for the administration of the estate moves forward, the subject property will need an evaluation. Contact your local Realtor that specializes in the sale of a probate home and estate sales to obtain one. This will also enable the Realtor to be prepared to put the home on the market as soon as a court order to sell the home is given.

In addition to a current market value of the home, your attorney may advise you to obtain a date of death appraisal, or value of the home at the time of passing. An experienced probate real estate agent can provide both values, the current market value and the past date of death value.

If questions remain, we recommend contacting Romano Law today to discuss available options. Or, please give our top 1% sellers agents a call at 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on our site. We look forward to connecting with you.

September 23, 2022

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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