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7 Ways Probate Investors Can Help Settle Estates

Sharon Vornholt
2 min read
7 Ways Probate Investors Can Help Settle Estates

Settling an estate can be an overwhelming job for those left behind.

The vast majority of the people involved in the probate process have to deal with all of this in what is undoubtedly a very emotional time their lives. They can be confused about the actual probate process and all of the tasks involved with settling the estate.

When you can step up as the expert, these folks are genuinely happy that you are able to offer solutions to their particular problems.  Probate investors provide a valuable service to the executors and family members.

Here are 7 Common Roadblocks Probate Investors Can Remove

1. Sellers are often perplexed by the legal aspects of settling an estate, and they usually have no idea that you can help them navigate this process.

My closing attorney is one of the most valuable members of my team.  Once I have a house under contract, his office will run the title and determine if everything is in order to close the sale of the house. If not, we know exactly what must be done early on; well before the time I have found my end buyer.

2. Most Executors and Personal Representatives don’t know the exact time they are able to sell the house.

These folks may not be responding to your direct mail pieces because they aren’t aware that they can sell the house early in the process of settling an estate. Part of your job as probate investors should be to educate them on how you can assist them.

Related: Probate Investing: The Basics and Tips for Success

3. Family members may take months and months sorting through paperwork, photographs and other personal items looking for things of importance.

One day they look up and realize that they haven’t actually made any progress cleaning out the interior and exterior of the house and they get discouraged.

4. The people settling the estate are often embarrassed by the appearance and condition of the property, and they hesitate to even call a probate investor for this reason.

In these cases they will often put off doing anything.  When a seller mentions the condition of the house when you first speak to them, if you can put their mind at ease by saying this is pretty typical (which it is) you can often remove the final stumbling block for the person settling an estate to move forward.

5. When they are nearing the end of the probate process and they still have a mess, they often lock the door and walk away.

You know the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”. They just can’t face having to finish the job of cleaning out the house. This is one of the most common problems you will find in probates and one of the easiest to solve. You should always offer to finish cleaning out the house as part of your offer.

6. They have no idea that probate investors can take care of liens, back taxes, house payments that are in arrears and other types of issues like these.

Once the Executor understands that these costs can be rolled into the closing, this is one more roadblock that you can remove.

7. Executors and Personal Representatives that are trying to save money with the probate attorney and do most of the work themselves, often miss one of the things that need to be done before the estate can be settled.

I send the contract over to my closing attorney immediately when I am purchasing a home so I don’t have any last minute surprises.

Related: Working with Probates: Overcoming the Challenges

We are in the Problem Solving Business

Whatever it is that is holding them up; preventing them from selling the property, that is the problem you need to solve.

After all, we are not really in the “house” business. We are in the problem solving business.  This is especially true for probate investors.

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.