The key to making money in real estate investing is to turkey real estate investment continually find properties to buy at less than full market value. Right now with the condition of today’s real estate market, you can make even more money if you plan on holding them for an extended period of time. Another option is to turn them as soon as you buy them. The choice is yours.
So let me say it again. You must buy your houses at a discounted price. Your profit will be made when you buy the house, not when you sell it. So the wisdom of the ages is … continually find properties you can buy at a discounted price and you will become a very successful real estate investor. If you can find properties to buy at 60-80% of market value, do a little fix up and sell, you will make lots of money.
Since people who have inherited properties generally want the money and not the house, they will often take a quick sale at a discounted price. The previous sentence is the core of the Probate business. The heirs want the money not the house. Are you starting to see why probate properties are so attractive?
So … what is Probate? Probate is the process of distributing the assets of an estate. In simple language, after all creditors and any liens against the property have been satisfied, the heirs generally divide up the remaining money. Pretty simple, huh? Another function of probate is to pay any taxes that the deceased still owes. Can you see why the estate might be motivated to sell to you with a quick sale if they have back taxes to pay? Think they might like some quick cash? So the bottom line is the heirs don’t want the property… THEY WANT THE MONEY!
The complete Probate process can take anywhere from six months to two years or more depending upon the complexity of the estate and the intent of the attorney involved … if there is an attorney involved. Please don’t get confused here. It is not necessary to wait for six months to two years to purchase these properties. Once a Petition for Probate has been filed and a Personal Representative has been appointed, they will have the authority to act for the estate and sell the real property (or personal property) to you. In some states, the Probate Court may hold a considerable amount of control over the Personal Representative, and the selling of real property may require the court’s permission. By calling your county’s Probate Court, you can determine the exact procedures for your state.
Now let’s talk about the duties of the Personal Representative (ie; Executor, Administrator, all the same thing). I could list the fifteen or twenty items that the PR has responsibility for, but the only one that concerns you is if the court has awarded him/her the authority to sell you the house. The Letters Testamentary is the legal document giving the authority to the PR to sell the property. The Petition for Probate gives the name and address of the PR. These documents will both be found in the case file in the Probate File Room at the court house.
Now let me add this. You do need to become familiar with how this system works in your state. Every state is different. You need to visit the probate court and if possible find a clerk of the court to explain to you the exact process used where you live. All states are very, very similar but you need to know exactly what your state expects.