Real estate probate whole saling in California

11 Replies

I’ve started to dig deeper into probate whole saling. I’m curious what I should be looking for at the Los Angeles court? What type of things do you look for in the probate files that let you know you are on to a hot real estate lead?

You'll need the decedent(s) name and probate case number. I cross reference the decedent's last known address to make sure he/she owned the property.

"Notice of Petition to Administer Estate" is the probate heading that will be your starting point.

Every probate file you research is a real estate opportunity.

Thank you for the advice Mark. After several trips to the probate court, I think we are in our way now. I will post more questions as they arise. Thank you for the advice.

Originally posted by @Mark Pedroza :

You'll need the decedent(s) name and probate case number. I cross reference the decedent's last known address to make sure he/she owned the property.

"Notice of Petition to Administer Estate" is the probate heading that will be your starting point.

Every probate file you research is a real estate opportunity.

Originally posted by @Robyyn Flahart :
@Mark Pedroza if they don’t own a home is there still opportunity?

 You'll have to go down to your local courthouse and physically check each file. Usually the decedent had an additional property or two other than their primary residence.

The additional property would be in another county were the probate administration process may or may not have started.

If not, contact the estate and offer to start the process yourself.

Good luck...

@John Moore  You look at the petition for probate as indicated above.  On page 2 there is a note to the estimated value of personal property and real property.  So if it says real property of $1m but you cross reference the decedent's last known address (listed on page 1) you see it's a $500k house then you know there is likely a second house somewhere.  Contacting the administrator or the attorney is always an option. For uncommon names you can check a few real property databases to find out where their other property is.  For common names, in a big county like LA, this can be difficult of course. Within four months of letters issuing by the court the administrator is supposed to file the final inventory. The inventory, or inventories, filed in the court file should indicate all the properties. However, again, this is a few months later so might be too late.  Except not everybody sells the property right away. Some go through probate, keep the house, digest the situation, and then a year later decide to sell. You just never know.  Of course the most desperate sellers tend to sell right away. Good luck in your endeavors.  -John

Originally posted by @John Moore :

@John Palley great advise, thank you. I see you are an attorney in Sacramento. Do you do any work on probate properties in the LA area?

John- I do probate work throughout California so I occasionally am involved with probate properties. Generally speaking my clients hire a Realtor and put the property on the MLS. Due to their fiduciary duty they have to do what is in the best interest of the estate and listing it on the MLS is safest to achieve that duty. They occasionally look to sell quickly or off market but that's rare in my experience.

@John Palley understood. Well I am wholesaling and focusing especially on probate properties. If you ever run across an opportunity for a private property that is interested in wholesaling please let me know. I am also a licensed realtor. Though not using my license actively, I am in contact with a number of investor friendly realtors that work with my investment group and we are always hungry for deals. Please reach out with anything that you find appealing.