Wholesaleing Probate Leads in Tx

8 Replies | Houston, Texas

I can come up with the offer, negotiate the price, and get it under contract, but what happens when the heirs haven't gone through the probate process in Texas? 

Is my P&S agreement supposed to be structured a certain way? Closing date contingent upon court/attorney approval...

Is this something I let them handle on their own while under contract or am I suppose to guide them threw the court process?

Will the title company help us out?

I'm stuck.....I've been every where reading about prabate deals in Texas! 

All advice would be greatly appreciated! 

I started out wholesaling and birddogging, eventually focusing on probate properties.  It was only after the crash that I went to law school and became an attorney, so I'm very familiar with these deals.

Wholesaling probate *contracts* is no different than wholesaling any other source.  You get a property under contract with the heirs.  Ideally you want to get all the purported heirs on board first.  Take the contract to the title company and open escrow.  The underwriter will instruct the escrow agent on what needs to happen before a title policy will issue.  Once the deal is in good shape, you can assign that contract for a fee - just like any other wholesale deal.

Because each property will have a very different set of facts and circumstances, I can't tell you what will be required.  But your job as wholesaler is to get marketable title (an industry term of art).  Most of these can be resolved by affidavits of heirship.  More complex cases may require opening a probate case to get a court order.  I've been hired by heirs to do exactly that.

If you are doing this in Texas, you should become highly familiar with the Texas Estates Code. Here's a PDF with bookmarks, and here's a link to the Texas statutes.  And here's a link to a PDF if Texas intestate descent and distribution chart.  The reason you need this is to know if you are dealing with a proposed heir, or just some rando looking to scam you.

Originally posted by @Jerel Ehlert :

I started out wholesaling and birddogging, eventually focusing on probate properties.  It was only after the crash that I went to law school and became an attorney, so I'm very familiar with these deals.

Wholesaling probate *contracts* is no different than wholesaling any other source.  You get a property under contract with the heirs.  Ideally you want to get all the purported heirs on board first.  Take the contract to the title company and open escrow.  The underwriter will instruct the escrow agent on what needs to happen before a title policy will issue.  Once the deal is in good shape, you can assign that contract for a fee - just like any other wholesale deal.

Because each property will have a very different set of facts and circumstances, I can't tell you what will be required.  But your job as wholesaler is to get marketable title (an industry term of art).  Most of these can be resolved by affidavits of heirship.  More complex cases may require opening a probate case to get a court order.  I've been hired by heirs to do exactly that.

If you are doing this in Texas, you should become highly familiar with the Texas Estates Code. Here's a PDF with bookmarks, and here's a link to the Texas statutes.  And here's a link to a PDF if Texas intestate descent and distribution chart.  The reason you need this is to know if you are dealing with a proposed heir, or just some rando looking to scam you.

 Wow, thanks for the input. I've been online reading different articles on probate from different attorney websites in Texas,  listening to podcasts,  watching YouTube videos etc. As of now I'm just building rappor with the heirs and offering my assistance in every which way I can, at the same time learning in the process. Soon we will negotiate on a purchase price. I just wasn't sure on actually contracting the property and opening title, the risk involved on my part. 

So your saying, I can actually assign the contract before probate court is initiated, as in find buyer?.... End buyer will have to wait for court approval to acquire the property?.. I'm out the deal? 

Lead Facts: 

there is a will filed/in place

Loved one just recently passed a month ago, Heirs have not filed a petition to probate the will. 

Heirs are in agreeance to who's keeping what property/assets so there are no disagreements in those areas. 

No.....

  1. Get contract.
  2. Open title.
  3. Do what underwriter says to get marketable title.
  4. THEN you can assign the contract.

Sometimes the underwriter's requirements are simple as an affidavit of heirship that's easy to get or as difficult as getting an affidavit of heirship when no one is around to attest.  Sometimes requires a court order.  Sometimes the underwriter's requirements are bat-s!t crazy (then you either move the file to another title company or pass on the deal).

After you do one, it becomes clear.  Not sure about "building rapport".  For me, it was sending a letter then contract, but whatever works for you.

Hope this cleared things up.

Originally posted by @Jerel Ehlert :

No.....

  1. Get contract.
  2. Open title.
  3. Do what underwriter says to get marketable title.
  4. THEN you can assign the contract.

Sometimes the underwriter's requirements are simple as an affidavit of heirship that's easy to get or as difficult as getting an affidavit of heirship when no one is around to attest.  Sometimes requires a court order.  Sometimes the underwriter's requirements are bat-s!t crazy (then you either move the file to another title company or pass on the deal).

After you do one, it becomes clear.  Not sure about "building rapport".  For me, it was sending a letter then contract, but whatever works for you.

Hope this cleared things up.

 Now I understand what your saying. Thanks for the reply! 

@Jerel Ehlert I just stumbled upon this posting, looking for help with probate leads. I saw you say that it's essentially the same as doing a regular assignment of contract, this leads me to wonder. 

on the deals I do now, where I'm dealing with the owner directly and not heirs, I am able to assign and all costs associated with title get passed along to my buyers. should I be expecting to shell out cash for the title work prior to assigning, and make it up on the backend from my fee? 

Thanks again for all the insight you gave here, extremely helpful. bookmarked every link you included! 

@Duncan Hayes No you can still have closing costs and title assigned to end buyer.

As mentioned, normally an affidavit of heirship can take care of it if probate has not been filed, that requires 2 third party "witnesses" that knew the deceased on top of the heirs signature.  Talk to your title company.  If there are no 3rd parties, there are alternate methods. Title company will literally tell you step by step what you need to do to clear title.

Don't stress too much about them.  Treat it like a normal deal. Probates are usually the best deals in my experience!

Originally posted by @Duncan Hayes :

@Adriel Hsu thanks for your response. Greatly appreciated.

Muniment of title is still a thing in TX, correct?

Yes it is. In Michigan it's Letters of Authority for Personal Representative.

See attached:

https://courts.michigan.gov/Ad...

(This not a legal answer only theory)