Vanessa Pineda-Klein
Coldwell Banker Realty

Probate home sale



If you inherited a property that needs to go through Probate in order to sell, here are a few things you should know: 


  • What is a Probate sale? 

If all owners on title to a property are deceased, and the property is not in a Trust, a court case is filed to deal with transferring title to heirs or beneficiaries; subsequently allowing them to sell or transfer the property.


  • Is Probate sale different when there is a will vs. when there is no will?

In both cases the court will appoint a personal representative to pay debts and expenses, collect assets, sell the property and distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries. 

The appointed representative is usually called either an Executor, if there is a will or an Administrator, if there is no will (called dying in state)

Intestate succession (no will) is quite a complex and therefore I recommend seeking the advice of a Probate attorney. I have a list of attorneys that can provide assistance and answers your questions. 


  • How do I start the Probate process? 

A person, "the petitioner," must start a case in court by filing a Petition for Probate (form DE-111PDF file type icon). The case must be filed in the county where the person who died lived in or in the California county where that person owned property, if they resided outside California. 

To start a probate case you will need more forms than just the Petition for Probate form.  I can refer you to a competent Probate lawyer for help with your case. 


  • What happens after a probate case is filed?

The probate clerk sets a hearing date.

  • The petitioner must give notice of the hearing to anyone who may have the right to get some part of the estate, plus the surviving family members even if there is a will and they are not named in it. Any person who is interested in the court case may file a Request for Special Notice (form DE-154PDF file type icon), which means that they must receive a copy of paperwork filed by the person who is chosen to manage the estate.
  • The petitioner CANNOT mail the notice. It must be mailed by any other adult who is not a party to the case.
  • The petitioner must arrange for notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation.
  • A court probate examiner reviews the case before the hearing to see if it was done correctly.

Once all the paperwork has been reviewed by the examiner and corrected, if necessary, the judge decides who to appoint to be in charge as the personal representative of the estate as an Administrator or Executor.


  • The sale of property

Once an Administrator or Executor is appointed by the court. The administrator or executor signs a listing agreement to sell the property. 

How the sale will be handled court confirmation or no court confirmation) depends greatly on the courts.


  • How can an experienced Realtor like me, help you with the sale of your property that is in PROBATE?  

As as realtor, I can recommend reputable professionals that can assist you in the court process, help you prepare the home for sale (repairs) and handle the sale of the home. As daunting as the process may seem, I've found that with the right people everything is more manageable. I will guide and be with you every step of the way. If you need assistance do not hesitate to contact me direct at (510) 258-2924.