Cruth, Home Buyer in Aitheoir

"The Probate Realtor". What does that entail?

Asked by Cruth, Aitheoir Tue Mar 31, 2009

I realize that much property trades when people die, in probate sales. What does "The Probate Realtor" mean? What special experience or expertise do you have in this area? Is there special information about this somewhere? Thanks

Help the community by answering this question:


Its absurd! Every book, website & seminar on selling real estate in probate or trust comes from one point of view. How can the buyer amass wealth buying property in distress through probate or trusts. Families at a time of great crisis and stress are cajoled by hucksters and charlatans to Sell their home FAST or Get cash NOW!! they are playing on the fears and worries of families in a time of need.

12 years ago I created a company and said we would be the one company who would be the champion or advocate for the estate. Rather than the buyer making the profit I would devise a system that would allow the family to sell their home for a top top fair market price letting the family pocket the equity rather than the buyer. I came up with our “Fix & Sell” strategy. At NO upfront cost to the estate we would fix up these properties.

It’s embarrassing, the fact is, that most real estate agents are LAZY. They just want to put that For Sale sign in the lawn and collect a check. I decided to break that mold and carve out a niche that would be a WIN,WIN for all the people involved. The family would win, the attorney involved would win, the Realtor would win, the neighborhood would win and the new family who would buy the home to live in would win.

I had already been in real estate for 9 years when I listed a home for sale in probate. I got every book I could find and read all the current information and was astonished to find that there wasn’t one company, book or website that gave a plan for estates to maximize their equity. In fact what I discovered is that there was a whole continuum of needs that went way beyond just putting a FOR SALE sign in the front lawn. Families had to deal with the sale, the donation or disposal of all the personal property, the clothing, the furniture, the abandoned cars. Then there was the gardening, the utilities and the pool service. In addition there was the issue of eviction with rogue caregivers and hostile family members. On top of it the home generally had not been touched in 20 years. The homes needed to be re-roofed, carpeted, painted, inside & out, hardwood floors needed refinishing, appliances, were broken and worn and baths and kitchens needed updating. The list was HUGE!!

The list was HUGE but I had a ace up my sleeve. I had already done a number or renovations and I could marry that to my skills as a bit of a computer nerd so that I could organize the entire process.

There is another reason why the vast vast majority of homes in probate & trust sell in rundown condition. Not only is there a giant list of things that need to be done but there is a substantial monetary cost involved. To renovate these homes it can cost on average of $20-25 thousand dollars. So if you have other siblings involved and you put up all the money, all the time dealing with the personal property, evicting the occupants, hiring the contractors, and gardners etc., when the times comes to dividing the proceeds of estate are you only going to get the same equal share as your siblings???

That was the final piece of the puzzle. What if I could do all of this at NO upfront cost to the family. Not charge any interest, Not charge any points and not even file a lien against the property? In fact the ONLY fee we make is the same fee you’d pay any regular Realtor without all of our specialized services.

The result. I have sold over 200 Probate & Trust estates! I invite you to visit our website, to see the many successful Before & After estates and read the dozens of letters from families who attest to the professional manner in which we have Fixed & Sold our estates. We truly are the family’s “One Call Solution”

For any questions you have you can visit our website or call us at 800.579.4380

Paul A. Hargraves

ph: 800.579.4380
fax: 866.820.4129
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 18, 2011
I think the Realtor was just marketing themselves. In a nut shell,There are two different probates, one is with court confirmation, (which means it needs to go before a judge, and can also be over bid at the court house). The buyer cannot have any contingencies.
The other way is without court confirmation and no over bid.
Probates are like most sales except that there are no seller disclosures, and it's always sold AS-IS.

If you need more info, I would be happy to send it to you.


Dave Tap Tapper
Cashin Company
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
I am known as "THE PROBATE BROKER" here in Orange County, California.

To answer you questions:

(1) I am a real estate broker and have been licensed for over 27 years. Additionally, I am a practicing probate attorney licensed by the State Bar of California, and have been in private practice for 10 years.

(2) Please feel free to visit my website at: or contact my office at (800) 440-5294.

Sam Mamola, J.D.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2014
There is more than just being a probate realtor. Anyone can do this but to be "certified" is quite different.
I am a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES) This is accomplished by attending seminars and passing a certification test.
Knowing probate process, time lines, and laws in the state in which you are licensed.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2013
A probate Realtor should have studied the probate code and interacted with other professionals in the business such as attorneys, professional fiduciaries and referees. The probate process is not just 2 types as some think. Some types can morph into the others depending on how well the beneficiaries are getting along. The short story is that each probate has its own issues and the prospective fiduciary or beneficiary should spend some time talking to as many people as he or she can.

Michael Stephens
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 16, 2013
The best way to find out what 'the probate realtor' means is to ask the person who advertised him- or herself as one, then to compare this information with other realtors who are knowledgable in probate sales. Probate is a legal process under which real property can be sold. There are certain rules and proceedings that must be met. That is true for probates with or without court confirmation.

Should you want to pursue probates, dealing with an agent who can navigate the process and provide you with valuable information about the property and the process is a must.

Feel free to call me at 415-200-7202.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 1, 2012
New Notice of Petition to Administer Estate filed here in Sacramento county BUT real estate is in the SF Bay Area peninsula...if you would like to work it, call me at 916-716-0023
Flag Sun Jul 22, 2012
I think there's a number of things a Realtor that specializes in probate can facilitate for an estate administrator, executor/executrix, going through probate proceedings. Here's a few things in my opinion, that really stand out.

1.) Consultation on home repairs and upgrades. Ensure the home sells for the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time, with the highest return on investment.

2.) A list of contractors to help facilitate any upgrades or home repairs. In the case of a home going through probate proceedings, Realtors that specialize in probate, typically have contractors in place that don't get paid until the home closes. This is very convenient to the executor/admin of the estate.

3.) Property going through probate proceedings sometimes follow a different set of rules under state and local ordinances. Cruth - I'm located in Austin Texas so I can only give you this example, if you inherit a property through probate proceedings in Austin Texas, you're exempt from having to get the local City of Austin Energy Audit performed. Reference:…

4.) Help the family assess whether they should sell the home quickly via wholesale markets; or follow the steps mentioned above and sell it for retail.

These are some the most important services I think an agent can offer a client, going through probate. An experienced "Probate Realtor" will help prepare a client for the unexpected and ensure the client reaps desirable results based off their needs.


Christopher Watters, Realtor/Broker
Watters International Realty - Austin, Texas
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 25, 2010
Maybe this helps:

IN CALIFORNIA, when real estate of a deceased person goes into probate, the sale of that real estate becomes subject to certain legal requirements and regulations.

In the majority of cases in our area today, the estate representative (an executor or administrator of the estate) has the authority to sell the property through powers granted by the Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA). When the estate representative has full powers under this act, he/she may elect to sell the property without the need for a court confirmation hearing. Unless there are objections by interested parties to the estate, which could require the sale to be confirmed in a hearing, the sale can usually be completed with a minimum of additional requirements. Most estate sales sold under the IAEA are completed very smoothly and differ very little from most other sales.

In some cases, the estate representative sale of property in probate may be granted only limited powers through IAEA, in which case a confirmation hearing is required. Even if the estate representative has full powers, he/she may elect to have the sale confirmed in court.

When court confirmation is either chosen or required, certain procedures are generally followed, as required by law and/or custom:

An offer is presented and conditionally “accepted” by the estate representative. This purchase agreement is not binding on the estate.

After all buyer contingencies are removed from the accepted offer, a petition for the court hearing is made. The date of the court hearing depends upon the court calendar at the time, but is generally 20-40 days from the date of the petition.

The buyer needs to deposit 10% of the purchase price prior to or on the date of the court confirmation hearing.

The sale, together with the accepted offering price, is advertised for a statutory period in a local newspaper.

There is open, competitive bidding at the court hearing. The minimum first overbid price shall be an amount equal to the accepted purchase price of the accepted offer, plus five percent of that amount, plus $500. In the event of such an overbid, the court shall determine any further incremental overbidding amounts - for example, $1,000 or $2,000. The bidding stops with the final bid.

Any person who bids in court must make an unconditional offer (i.e., obtaining financing and approving inspections should not be a condition of the offer) and if confirmed must present a cashier’s check deposit for 10% of the purchase price as described above, or as determined by the court.

In the event a buyer defaults after a court confirmed sale, the buyer may lose his/her deposit.

If the court confirms the sale to an overbidder rather than the original buyer, the original buyer’s deposit shall be refunded. If the sale is confirmed to the original buyer, the deposit shall apply to the purchase price.

The purchase price accepted must be at least 90% of the probate referee’s appraised or re-appraised value of the property.

Real estate commissions are subject to approval of the court.

(borrowed from:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 15, 2009
Probate real estate is about applying a niche skill and service model to satisfy the needs of those going through the probate and estate settlement process. The benefit to real estate agents is that billions of dollars of real estate are sold each year in estates.

Often times the sale of real estate in an estate creates additional transactions for real estate professionals because many times estate beneficiaries; buy a bigger house, become real estate investors or buy their vacation "dream home"y when the inherit money.

The best resource in the industry for real estate agents to build their niche practice in on the web site (and support sites). This marketing platform has over 20 web sites to help agents find and service estate executors. Also they have a long list of attorneys which provides networking opportunities for agents.

Exclusive niche marketing like this technique eliminates competition and builds a strong business franchise.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 26, 2009
looks like it was a good site at one time
Flag Tue Oct 28, 2014
Yes, sounds like a marketing statement. Not many realtors have been through both court-confirmed probate sales and probate sales without court confirmation. I happen to have done both. Disclosures and offer procedures differ in each case. I believe probate sales have their pros and cons.

Shaban Shakoori
TRI Coldwell Banker, SF's #1 Office
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
This has to do with the familiarity of working with probate sales. These are rather complex sales involving attorneys, numerous additional phases and in some ways an ability to prepare the mindset of potential buyers is the most important aspect of all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 4, 2015
It basically mean that the realtor have experience on the probate process with or without the court confirmation, exempt disclosure, sold probate properties, and work with probate attorney and market themselves to receive probate listing. However, some probate can be more challenge than other. If you work with the experience probate realtor. It's may make your job so much easier and the probate realtor is the one who educating you. Not the other way around.


C:916-271-5119 O:916-706-1339…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 1, 2015
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