Can A House Be Sold While In Probate In Los Angeles California?

Can A House Be Sold While In Probate

The answer to the popular question of “Can a house be sold while it is in probate in Los Angeles California?” is “Yes.”

But you must carefully follow your state’s probate rules and regulations. The probate court will monitor every step of the process and will also oversee all aspects of the property sale. If you’re the executor, you have a fiduciary and legal obligation to also monitor and approve all the terms of the sale. It can be a complex process, but reading below will help to make things go a little more smoothly and put you more at ease.

Can A House Be Sold While In Probate In Los Angeles California?

Appointment of Administrator/Executor

First and foremost, did the decedent’s will designate someone specifically as the executor? Secondly, is that person willing to serve in that capacity, if he or she is officially appointed as the executor? If no one has been designated as executor in the will, then the court and/or other relatives will appoint a near relative to act as the executor of the estate Oftentimes, the terms “executor” and “administrator” are both used, but are the same person.


The next step in the probate process is to have the property appraised at its current fair market value. But you must make sure the appraiser you choose is a licensed and reputable appraiser. The property must sell at a price that is at least 90% of the appraised value, so look for an appraiser with familiarity with the area where the property is located, especially if there are unique features of the property that may increase the value of the property.


This is the step where the answer to “Can a house be sold while it is in probate in Los Angeles California?” makes more sense. And you’ll start by having a real estate agent list the house on the local multiple listing service (MLS) so that buyers will know it’s for sale, as well as that it’s a probate.

An interested buyer will make an offer, typically with a 10% deposit. You can either accept or reject that offer. If you do accept it, the offer is then subject to court confirmation. You must submit the offer through your probate attorney to the court for confirmation. If everyone is in agreement, then a date is set for the sale to be finalized in the court.

When the offer on the house in probate has been accepted and confirmed by the court, a Notice of Proposed Action must be mailed to all the heirs. This document states all the terms and conditions of the potential sale. The heirs to the estate will then have 15 days to review the notice and raise any objections that they might have. If they don’t have any objections, then the sale will move forward without a court hearing.

Can A House Be Sold While In Probate

Overbids on the Property

Now, here’s where it can get a little more complicated. Before the court confirms and approves the first potential buyer’s offer, the judge will ask those present in the courtroom if any of them would also like to submit a bid on the property. If no one does, then the sale proceeds as outlined above with court-approval being granted to the first potential buyer’s offer.

If there is an overbid, the first potential buyer’s 10% deposit must be refunded before the new sale at the new bid price can move forward. When the overbid is accepted, the new buyer must then also submit a 10% deposit, which is required and must also be a cashier’s check. The check for the accepted overbid deposit is presented to the executor (administrator) at the winning bidder’s acceptance hearing.

Upon court confirmation and approval, a formal sales contract will then be signed by all parties. But it is a specialized kind of sales contract because it cannot include any contingencies. No contingencies is a big deal, as that means it is an “AS-IS”. If there are a lot of repairs, those are all now the responsibility of the buyer. Escrow closes soon after the hearing, usually within 15 days.

Can a house be sold while it is in probate

Remember, even though it seems like a process the answer is “yes” to “Can a house be sold while it is in probate?” When it comes to a probate sale, there are some complicated rules for selling a house. It’s always a good idea to seek the help and guidance of a probate or real estate attorney (or someone who specializes in both) to help guide you through this process.

We’re ready to help you reach your real estate goals and to help with any questions that you may have. Contact us at (424) 242-9304 or fill out the online form.

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