The Personal Representative, also known as the executor or administrator, is given full or limited authority to sell the real estate portion of the estate.
In either situation, the experts at Bay Property Group can help you navigate the real estate process with the least complications for you and your family.
As a refresher, the Personal Representative is the individual responsible for winding down the earthly affairs of the deceased. The duties of the Personal Representative are many but essentially, they are tasked with liquidating the estate’s assets, paying debts and distributing the remaining proceeds to the heirs entitled to them.
The Personal Representative is often an executor/executrix who is named in the will to “execute” the will. If there is no will, if the will does not explicitly name an executor, or when the named executor is unable or unwilling to serve, then probate court will appoint an administrator/administratix.
When carrying out their duties, the Personal Representative will be supervised by the court to a greater or lesser degree, depending on whether the PR is granted “full” or “limited” authority, and this is an important distinction, particularly when there is real estate involved.
The law is governed by the Independent Administration of Estate Acts (IAEA). Generally, the Personal Representative with “full’ authority has the power to sell property, while those with “limited” authority must obtain court supervision for the sale of the property.
Full authority is somewhat misleading – it does not mean the Personal Representative can do anything at whim without consequence. The Personal Representative must act in the best interests of the estate and their actions can be subject to questioning later on by the Court or a beneficiary but they have the authority to take care of business without delay. This includes the selling of personal property, stocks and even real estate.
Keep in mind, in some instances the PR is required to send a “notice of proposed action” 15 days prior to selling the estate asset. This 15-day notice alerts beneficiaries of the sale and gives them the opportunity to object if they don’t think it is a good decision.
Limited authority requires more court scrutiny.
If the PR has limited authority, the process of selling property must go through a series of court-regulated steps that must be adhered to by the letter. Deadlines must be followed, the documentation is specialized and the court’s guidance must be honored throughout the marketing of the property, offers, negotiation and eventual sale. Given the potential landmines in this process, it makes sense to hire a real estate team like Bay Property Group that understands the intricate details.
Setting a price for the estate property can be tricky in cases where the PR has limited authority, because a court-appointed referee will give an appraised value. While buyers of probate real estate may be looking for a bargain, the property must be sold for 90% or more of the Probate Referee’s appraised value. A real estate team like Bay Property Group will guarantee maximum exposure to qualified buyers using the most aggressive marketing possible to attract the highest offer.
Once a buyer is found, we will assist the seller in negotiating terms that are agreeable to both parties. With an accepted offer in hand, a notice of proposed action is mailed to all of the heirs, simply stating the terms of the proposed sales. If the heirs have no objections, the sale of the property can proceed without a court hearing.
We’ve only scratched the surface here, but suffice it to say that when it comes to probate, trust and inherited property sales, not all REALTORS® are created equal.
These transactions can be complex and it requires experts that make sure that all of the I’s are dotted and t’ are crossed. Bay Property Group can reduce your stress by knowing the property sale and other services are handled by professionals that will be honored to assist you.
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Written by Lewis Canyon
A native of San Francisco, Lewis Canyon’s roots run deep in the community. With a background in clinical psychology, his animating principle is helping others build lives through every means at his disposal. An award-winning REALTOR®, Lewis was licenced in 2003 and is an expert in complicated probate real estate transactions. Email Lewis for guidance in settling the estate in the most efficient manner.