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Probate Real Estate Court Records and Wills.

Probate real estate is inheritance property which belongs to beneficiaries or heir apparent. When a person dies, their estate is placed in probate unless they have executed a revocable living trust. If the decedent has executed a Last Will and Testament, the designated Estate Administrator will be in charge of handling the estate. If the decedent dies without a Will (intestate) a probate judge will assign someone to administer the estate.

In order to sell probate real estate during the probate process, the Estate Administrator must petition the probate court. When multiple heirs are entitled to probate real estate, they must all agree to the sale via written contract.

Investing in probate real estate can be a lucrative venture. All that is required is the ability to research courthouse records and good communication skills. Unless a Will is protected by a Revocable Living Trust, it is a matter of public record. A visit to local courthouses can provide a list of Wills presented for probate.

Once you obtain probate Wills, search for property deeds held in the decedent's name. Property deeds contain information about loans and potential liens against real estate. If the decedent owes a considerable amount of money on the probate real estate, or the heirs reside out of state, chances are good they will want to sell the property quickly.

Contacting estate administrators requires diplomacy. You can send out postcards or personal letters, contact them by phone or visit them in person. Regardless of the method you choose, be certain to let them know you are offering a solution. If they are not interested, do not continue contact. If they are interested, express your condolences for their loss prior to presenting your purchase pitch.

Probate real estate must first be appraised to determine its market value and tax rate. Once the Estate Administrator, heirs and probate judge have approved the sale of probate real estate, a court confirmation hearing must take place. If multiple investors are interested in purchasing probate real estate, each investor is required to submit their bid to the court. Upon acceptance of the final bid, escrow generally closes within 30 to 45 days.

Probate property does require a bit more legwork than other types of real estate investing. However, it's not uncommon to purchase probate real estate at 20- to 30-percent below market value. Oftentimes, the property is in good condition and requires few repairs or major renovations.

Probate real estate is perfect for investors involved in house flipping and rental properties. It can also offer significant savings to first-time homeowners or individuals who desire a second home. To better understand the benefits probate real estate offers, consult with a private real estate investor who specializes in this niche. Doing so can help you obtain a higher than average return on investment and expand your investment portfolio.