Massachusetts Conservator / Probate Purchase?

5 Replies

Hi Everyone,

I found a house I'm interested in purchasing for my family to live in, but it's being sold via a Conservatorship here in MA. The house is not currently on MLS, and I've had my attorney contact the court appointed Conservator (Conservator is also a local real estate attorney). I've also spoken with the Conservator myself but he wasn't exactly forthgiving with information other than "I can show you the house". It sounds like they have fiduciary rights to sell the property, but I haven't been able to find a lot of details about how this situation works in terms of the probate/legal process, if/when the courts get involved, and how long something like this might take to close.

I'm usually on BP looking for information related to my REI/Flipping interests, but honestly, this one is not something I'm really looking to "make money on" as it is in a location and town that we'd want to be in for the long term, and I simply want to find a nice house in a premium town. I was hoping somebody out there might have some info on how the Conservatorship / Real Estate process might work out, and how long something like this might take to actually close. Any information you all have would be greatly appreciated.


In my State, CA, all conservatorship real estate is sold via court confirmation and ultimately a court order.

The marketing may be conducted off-market but more likely will be either listed with a brokerage on an MLS or via real estate auction.

Here, there are very strict rule requiring compliance, including legal pub of sale, following 90% of court referee's appraised value rule and then there's the confirmation hearing. If not sold via auction already, our court hearing create a sort of bid system, meaning that despite being the buyer who has provided a 10% deposit, your offer is still subject to overbid by another buyer with a higher offer, subject to certain overbid formula.

It's an old system designed to minimize or eliminate shannigans for court confirmed sales.

This being the case here, I still suggest going for it if you like the property.

It can help if the conservator wants you to be the buyer. 

You can then engineer a plan for a pricepoint and perhaps terms that favors you, as buyer, in the eyes of both the seller and, hopefully the bench officer (judge). 

I'm sure you can understand that I'm not going to tell you here in open forums what I'd do to make many hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially for free.

Steven, how did your probate situation work out?  I find myself with a potential purchase in Mass with the same situation.

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