Probates

17 Replies

the actual script may not be necessary.i would like to just point out areas that are pertinent (from research):

-Be sensitive as a death has occurred

-acknowledge the role of the personal representative/executor and the huge responsibility they have in settling xyz's estate

-the benefits of selling to you(7-30 day closing, any condition,save on commissions etc)

-call to action

Roger - Here is the letter I re-wrote from another letter.  Feel free to swipe it.

Probate Property Rescue Group, L.L.P. Kevin F. Griffin - Chief Rescuer

Personal Representative Name
Address
City, State, Zip

Good Morning (Name),

First, let me take a moment to offer my condolences on the passing of your loved one. While I know this can be a very emotionally sensitive time (both of my parents have passed, and I was the Personal Representative for their estate), I also understand you may be facing some serious decisions with which I may be able to assist you. The reason I am contacting you is that often, real estate property must be sold in order to pay property taxes, any outstanding liabilities, credit card balances, funeral costs etc., and of course, to distribute the proceeds to the heirs. And sometimes, there is considerable pressure to sell the property quickly, in order to satisfy these debts.

I buy real estate, and occasionally personal property found in estates. It is my understanding that the property located at: (property address) may be available for purchase.
I buy property in this area and would be interested in making an offer. I do understand that at this time, selling the property may not necessarily be a priority for your family; and if that is the case, I apologize. But if in the future the heirs do decide to sell, please save this letter to contact me, and I’ll be happy to make an offer to buy.
Some of the advantages I may be able to offer you are:

1) Paying all cash.
2) Buying the property in it’s “as is” condition.
3) Saving you from having to do any rehab, landscaping, cleanout, or cleaning.
4) Saving you from having to take the time to conduct, or hire a company for an estate sale.
5) Closing the sale very quickly, often in thirty days or less.
6) Saving you considerable time and extra attorney’s fees.
7) Saving the 6% real estate commission and attendant fees.
8) Helping to move the process forward towards resolution. (I remember feeling honored to be able to do this one last thing for my parents; but it was quite a load to shoulder.)

Are you aware that you do not have to wait until probate is completed to sell the property? As the Personal Representative for the estate, the court has given you the authority to act on behalf of the estate (with the permission of any other heirs), cash out the asset, and proceed to final distribution. You can check this in the Letters Testamentary which gave you legal authority over the estate.

If you decide to sell the property, there is no reason to complicate the process, run up extra attorney and miscellaneous fees, and pay a 6% real estate commission. If you wish to discuss this further, I can be reached at:

I wish you my kindest regards,


Kevin F. Griffin

Been doing this for many decades.

Eliminate any and all syrupy condolences. it you don't know the family, it's inappropriate and comes off as insincere when sent by stranger.

Reduce the length of this letter by cutting out about 2/3 of the superfluous stuff.

Your opening sentence is your "headline" and your Post Script is you Call to Action.

The job of the letter is not to tell and sell. It has one job and one job only: to get the recipient to call you (or take the single action identified in your CTA). 

Then, it's YOUR job to convert the caller into taking the next step.

@Kevin Griffin seems like a two page letter. Candidate to be tossed in the garbage. Try to reduce wording. If you mail to PR, cc to heirs at the bottom of your introduction letter. And include your phone number and/or email address. 

Mark (N-CA) 

Sac/Placer counties 

Rick H./Mark Pedroza,

    Thanks for the advice.  Don't you think that CCing the heirs might be construed as trying to go around the PR and possibly force the sale?  I took my phone number and email out of the letter before posting it.

@Kevin Griffin

Re-read your letter. You mentioned PR and heirs in your letter as they both have an interest in the property that's to be liquidated. One way an heir can go around and force a sale if an heir(s) files an addendum to the estate. Court process should remain the same though. If you CC the heirs, PR may assume that you've sent your introduction letter to heirs as, again remember, the heirs have an interest in the property. 

Mark. 

(I'm not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Seek assistance from FL legal aid-probate) 

Mark,

    After giving this some thought, I believe that folks in general would probably go to your point of view far more often than mine.  What I was trying to do was not stir up a hornet's nest with families that don't get along very well.  Unfortunately, in these families, money can be a flash point for disagreement.  Mentioning both the PR and needing the other heirs permission was simply for those acting as the PR, as many in that position don't fully understand the responsibilities of the PR, as this is very often their first time doing it.  As for both you and Rick H. saying my offer of condolence is too syrupy, I disagree.  The folks receiving this letter obviously realize that I'm not a friend or family member.  My intention is to let them know that I am sensitive to their situation, and not come off as too cold and calculating.  (Polite vs. syrupy.)  I believe that the letter lets them know that I'm interested, without pushing it too far.  Rick- I disagree with your idea that the letter is simply to get them to contact me.  My idea is that the letter is meant to pre-sell them on why they should think about using me, and then contact (hopefully call) me so that they can hear my voice and understand my intention is not to swoop in and grab their property without caring about their position in the situation.  Since you are obviously a student of marketing, you must have noticed how big making connection (at whatever level, given the situation and the people in it) has become in marketing.  And is very successful for good reason; it works if the connector understands the situation, and how to approach the people in it and get them what they need (in this case emotionally, and possibly financially).  My letter is meant to make that connection in the right way (I also disagree with your assessment that it is inappropriate; because they know that I am not a friend or family member, and wouldn't take the expression that way.  Polite vs. syrupy), give them what they need emotionally given the situation, and ask if they would be interested in selling the property while at the same time acknowledging that this may not be the right time.  No, this letter sets exactly the tone, and hits all the points I want them to know about.  However, I will have to bow to both of your far longer experience with the probate arena (I'm a newbie), and create a shorter version to split test them for results.  Again, thank you for being willing to give well intentioned advice.

Kevin

@kevin griffin

I have seen this same letter before, and it was tweaked on also as you have done. It has a blend of condolences and offering services without any cheesy $$$ or star symbols. I'm not a fan of salesy probate letters. And I like that it seems to lean towards adding certain components of the probate records in it. Yes, it's long but overall I like it. Hope it works out for you.

Hi @Roger Jones , not many people are doing probate training out there but if you're interested in the full monte, there's a product I can personally introduce you to. It's by a guy called Steve Howell and as far as I know, he's the only one offering such a comprehensive package. You get his step by step videos, all his marketing material, contracts, scripts, lead sheets, excel spreadsheets to organize your business, past/current webinars with live case studies, 60 day Voxer support and more.

He's built a lifetime product and genuinely wants people to succeed, he'll give you his personal support. 

Email me if you're interested.

(ps, I use his stuff and generated 7 viewings this week!)

Cheers - Michelle

When the PR is an attorney how successful are investors getting them to sell direct to you rather than with a broker involved?

I reached out to one PR who was an attorney for a womans estate and as a fiduciary for the estate he would need to seek the highest and best for the property which means opening it up to brokers and the market. 

Any suggestions how to sway them away from that and sell to you?

@Rick H. Great advice, thank you. Currently consolidating my probate list current and past. In your experience, do you recommend mailing first, calling second, for probate lists? I have no problem cold-calling vacants, et all, but given the circumstances of probates, I want to be appropriate. 

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

@Rick H. Great advice, thank you. Currently consolidating my probate list current and past. In your experience, do you recommend mailing first, calling second, for probate lists? I have no problem cold-calling vacants, et all, but given the circumstances of probates, I want to be appropriate. 

 If you are comfortable cold calling the PR's by all means do it. If there's also an e-mail address provided that is also another option..

Originally posted by @Michelle Williams :

Hi @Roger Jones , not many people are doing probate training out there but if you're interested in the full monte, there's a product I can personally introduce you to. It's by a guy called Steve Howell and as far as I know, he's the only one offering such a comprehensive package. You get his step by step videos, all his marketing material, contracts, scripts, lead sheets, excel spreadsheets to organize your business, past/current webinars with live case studies, 60 day Voxer support and more.

He's built a lifetime product and genuinely wants people to succeed, he'll give you his personal support. 

Email me if you're interested.

(ps, I use his stuff and generated 7 viewings this week!)

Cheers - Michelle

 Do you still have that information? If so can you email it to me?