When bidding on a house at a probate auction the judge will request you have representation (an agent). People that don't have an agent may opt to use the listing agent but if you don't know them it's probably best to have an agent that you know there representing you.
Usually a probate auction is held because a property has an accepted offer and is in escrow. It's more of a hearing than an auction accept other potential buyer's can go and offer more than the current escrow price. You will need to bring a cashier's check for 10% of your bid amount. My experience is that judges will sometimes allow for you to go higher without having to provide more money but it depend on the judge you get. If you overbid on the property and the current buyer doesn't go over your bid than you are now the person in escrow on the house. The overbids are in 5% increments.
You should be able to do your inspections but make sure before your bidding that your agent requests all current inspections from the home and disclosures (such as if the person that passed away died in the home).
If you need representation, let me know as we have experience going to probate court and my husband is a Realtor and attorney.
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
I know there are cities where they CAN'T even give homes away! I also know cities where they are ending way over starting bid. Do your due diligence, get some coaching from an experienced investor, and / or agent. You might even consider going to a couple of other auctions before the "real deal" you are looking at to know what to expect. I wish you the best!
Jeff and Cheryl Fox
800-917-8080 Toll Free
16133 Ventura Blvd. 7th Floor
Encino, CA 91436