Thursday, September 27, 2007

Is the Paperwork Different in a Probate Sale?

With a keen insight of the marketplace and familiarity of the Probate Code, The Sanborn Team handles the sale of real property through Probate & Trust accurately and promptly. As you may know, the sale of real property through Probate & Trust is not the same as the sale of property outside of the court system. Probate and Trust sales required special disclosures, listing agreements and purchase contracts.*
Since the seller of a probate has usually never lived in the decedent's or conservatee's house, they are not required to fill out certain disclosures that express the condition of the property. These disclosures are:
  • Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement
  • Earthquake Hazards Report
    Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory
  • Local Area Disclosures
  • Seller Property Questionnaire
  • Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure

Also, the listing agreement and purchase contract are different as well. Probate & Conservatorship listings must be on the Probate Purchase Listing Agreement and all offers must be on Probate Purchase Agreement.

You will discover that all agents are not experts in the sale of real property through probate and trust sales. This lack of experience can only lead to the trustee/administrator to fail finding the best buyer and fail to provide the correct paperwork that protects the trustee/administrator. Although to many real estate agents the sale of probate seems similar enough to a traditional transaction, this sale takes a comprehensive understanding of the court requirements.

The Sanborn Team brings you and your clients over 30 years experience of marketing and selling Probate and Trust properties. To find out about why we are the experts, please visit our website at

*These forms are created by the California Association of Realtors

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why do some Probate Sales NOT Require Court Confirmation?

When you spot a property that is a probate property - the first questions most buyers ask is, does it require court confirmation?

When a probate property does not require court confirmation, it is either a Trust Sale or the executor of the estate has been granted "full authority powers." Under the Independent Administrations Estates Act (IAEA), the administrator of the estate can handle the decedents estate without court approval. In order for the administrator to obtain these powers, his/her attorney follows a direct procedure for this to happen. If the administrator has full independent powers they may elect to list the property for sale and once they receive an acceptable contract, their attorney mails out a Notice of Proposed Action stating the terms of the proposed sale to all the heirs. The heirs then have 15 days to object to the sale. If there is no objection within 15 days, the sale goes through without any court hearing required. *

To see the hottest probate properties, please visit our website at

If you have any questions when it comes to your probate and trust real estate needs, please don't hesitate to contact us. 310-777-2858

* It's crucial to always contact a professional attorney to handle all your probate needs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What is a Property Profile?

What is a Property Profile?
A Property Profile is a report that provides details on a specific property. It contains information such as square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, zoning information, use code, tax information and ownership information. Additionally the profile has the recorded documents, such as the grant deed, quitclaim deed, and copies of deeds of trust. The report can also contain sales comparables, school information, and neighbor information.
Why is a property profile important?
When you are thinking of selling a home through probate and trust, the first step is to order a property profile to find out the exact details about the home. There have been occasions where the administrator is confident that the property is in the name of the decedent and it has turned out that the decedent, before they died, transferred the property to someone else. Also, you may not be aware if there is a loan on the property.
Whenever you are working with an Estate it is good to get property profile. You can always call us, with no obligation, and we will order one for you FOR FREE! Also if you need a rough evaluation of the property, please call us 310-777-2858.
To find out why we are the real estate experts when it comes to selling property through probate and trust, please visit our website at

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First you gotta get the fish... then you go for the shark

In today's changing market, Probate & Conservatorship Real Estate Sales are faced with new challenges. We have been seeing that probate sales that require court confirmation are having a hard time getting the first buyer to put in their first offer. Getting that buyer on the hook is the challenge but once we get the buyer then we go after the shark...
Let us tell you a short story.
We had a sale in court this week and we sold the property to an over-bidder for a price exceptionally higher than the original offer. It took months for us to get an appropriate initial offer in on the property. Then we recharged our batteries over here at The Sanborn Team and re-marketed the property, letting everyone know that the property was available for purchase by an over-bidder. We began hunting for our shark.
With just about 6 weeks to get an over-bidder we continued to advertise the property weekly. The week before the confirmation hearing, we heard from a couple of buyers that said they were going to attend court.
Lo and behold, entered our shark, who purchased the property for more than $100,000 above the original offer!
So the key to selling a probate property that requires court confirmation is to get the first buyer in, at an appropriate price, and know that if there is any value left, the property will be sold to an over-bidder in court.
With our type of market exposure it's impossible to sell a property for under its value.
To learn more about our marketing techniques, please visit our website at or call us directly at 310-777-2858.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Over-Bidding in Court: Why It's Important to Read the Instructions

Although we discussed this in the last week, we would like to share with you a new tale from the court...

Today we had a hearing to confirm the sale of real property located on Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks, California. Before the hearing, we always qualify any over-bidders to make sure that they have followed the exact instructions. In order for a potential buyer to purchase a property in court, the buyer must provide:
  • A cashier's check for at least 10% of the opening bid amount made payable to the Estate.

We cannot accept anything less... we cannot accept a personal check... we don't like to take cash... and, very importantly, we cannot accept credit cards.

So today we had two potential buyers in addition to the original buyer who put in the accepted bid. One of the buyers presented to the attorney and the seller a check for $76,175 (exactly 10% of the opening bid amount) made payable to the estate. The second buyer presented a cashier's check for only 3% of the opening bid - $22,853.

Whenever we get inquiries about court hearing, we fax or e-mail instructions on exactly the terms of the sale and how to over-bid in court. It states clearly that in order to bid in court you must have a cashier's check for 10% of the opening bid price made payable to the Estate. We provide the opening bid amount and the name of the Estate, Trust or Conservatorship to which the check is to be payable.

As we are re-explaining the process to the buyer with the 3% check, we notice that behind the check he is holding the instructions on how to bid we had sent to him and his agent for this property. His agent was standing there holding the same piece of paper. Obviously they had not read the instructions.

Unfortunately we had to turn down this buyer. However we did sell the property to an over-bidder for much more than we expected.

When you work with The Sanborn Team, we make sure that all potential buyers, whether at the intial stages of the sale or as an over-bidder in court, have all the information on how to write an offer or over-bid in court as well as the terms of the sale.

We know that selling real estate can be time consuming and overwhelming. What we do is SAVE you lots of time when it comes to your real estate needs. Please visit our website at or call us 310-777-2858 directly to find out how we handle Probate & Trust Real Estate Sales and how we are different from most agents.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Truth. What the Media Doesn't Tell Us About The Mortgate Industry

The Sanborn Team is trying to keep you posted on the Mortgage Industry. While there are many articles telling you that the sky is falling... here are some statistics that you will find interesting.
Delinquencies vs. Notice of Default vs. Foreclosures


Delinquencies cover any missed payment - even if it is just for one month, it is reported as a delinquency.
  1. The delinquency rate on sub-prime loans was running 13.77%, which is up from 13.44% from the previous year. In the last quarter, the delinquency rate dropped to 12.4%.

  2. The delinquency rate on Alt-A loans is only 2.69%, while prime loans are at 2.57%.

  3. Combining the three rates with the loan volume gives you a delinquency rate for all loans in the U.S. of only 4.84%. The record low is 4.00%.

  4. California's delinquency rate is only 3.25%.

Notices of Default

Notices of Default are filed when lenders' loans have been delinquent for a specific period of time. These loans begin the foreclosure process. The four states that have the largest number of loans in foreclosure are California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona. Yet, in the 1st quarter, 24 states saw a decline in foreclosure starts and 36 states saw a decline in the 2nd quarter!

  1. Only 3.23% of all sub prime loans have entered the foreclosure process, with the most defaults occurring on loans from January 2005 to January 2006.

  2. Only 1.28% of all prime loans have entered the foreclosure process

  3. In California, the last quarter saw 53,943 notices filed, with most filings on loans originated from the summer of 2005 to the summer of 2006.

  4. The lowest number was 12,417 in the 3rd Quarter of 2004.


Foreclosures occur when the buyer has been unsuccessful in curing the debt, and either a lender or an investor has acquired the property. As of the last month, there was 1 foreclosure filing for every 693 homes in America.

  1. For sub-prime loans, 68% of the buyers are able to prevent the foreclosure by either refinancing the property or successfully selling their home.

  2. For prime loans, the foreclosure rate is .86%. Last year, the U.S. saw a combined foreclosure rate of only 1.09% while California's rate was 1.17%.

  3. California now ranks #4 in the nation in foreclosure - down from #1!!!

The media will try to scare you with numbers like $1 trillion in loans needs to be recast for this year and that foreclosures could cost lenders as must as $2.3 billion! They never mention that there is $10.4 trillion of mortgages with $56 trillion of equity in American households. Add to that the wealth of the U.S. at $70 trillion, with the value of stocks between $15 and $20 trillion, while the bond market is even larger. So these losses (should they occur) should not have any great effect on home prices.

Please feel free to contact us directly at 310-777-2858 or visit our website at

Provided by the Mortgage Brokers Association, Federal Reserve & the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Over-bidding in Court: What NOT to do

In order to bid in court, a buyer must present a cashier's check for at least 10% of the opening bid amount and it is to be made payable to the Estate, Conservatorship or Trust. If a buyer does not have this, they cannot attempt to purchase the property. So if you set your dreams on having that particular property you better come to court and be prepared.

The other day we were having a sale in court and up walks this lovely young couple, Fred and Cindy. Both dressed in their best “Sunday” clothes and holding hands, they came up to us and said they were here to bid on the house. They started to tell us how excited they were since they had been looking for a house for over a year. They had gotten priced out of the market so they really could only afford houses that need some updating and work. The house they came to purchase was a cute as a button little Spanish casita in need of everything. Their kind eyes told us how they started drawing up plans and Cindy was particularly in love with the sun-filled yard.

When the attorney arrived and asked to verify their funds, Fred pulled out a personal check from his back pocket. The check was written payable to the Estate, however it was only for 5% of the opening bid. The attorney had to tell the couple that they could not buy this property because A) the check needed to be for 10% of the opening bid and B) the check needed to be a cashier's check.

At that same moment, an investor all in black with sunglasses on top of his head presents a check for exactly 10% of the opening bid, made payable to the Estate, and in the form of a cashier's check.

Fred and Cindy were devastated. As we walked through the double doors into the court room, we looked over our shoulder and saw them walk slowly away.

So be prepared. Don’t let a silly mistake take away the home of your dreams or a great opportunity.

To find out more how the over-bid process works in Court, please contact The Sanborn Team at 310-777-2858 or visit us on the web at

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Questions to Ask While Interviewing a Real Estate Agent for A Probate & Trust Real Estate Sale

When you have been faced with the arduous task of selling real estate for your dearly departed or have been nominated by the court to handle the Estate, it's important to use the most qualified and experienced real estate agent when selling the property. Selling real estate can be overwhelming in the first place and selling a property through the probate system can be even more complex.

There are many professional real estate agents, so it's to your advantage to list the property with an experienced real estate agent that specializes in the sale of real property through probate and trust. The probate process differs dramatically from a typical real estate transaction, thus it's important to interview agents and find out if they really understand and know how to market and sell a probate & trust property.

Here are some examples of questions you may consider using when interviewing a real estate agent:

1. How long have you been selling properties through probate & trust?

2. How is selling a probate property different from a traditional transaction? How can I expect it to be different?

3. How will you market the probate property?

4. What kind of documents will I have to sign to list the property?

For the full list of questions and why these questions are important to ask, please visit our website at or call us directly at 310-777-2858.

We know it can be difficult and overwhelming when dealing with an Estate. For your Real Estate Probate & Trust needs, please call us today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Can you change the way you hold title when you purchase a property in probate?

When you are buying a probate property, there are many details to handle - and the steps must be followed to the letter. As a buyer, you may be nervous or excited, so it's important to prepare and anticipate each step.

At the confirmation hearing, the judge always asks how you are taking title. You need to decide in advance how you will take title because its very difficult to change after the court confirmation.

Recently a buyer purchased a property and told the judge he chose to hold title as his sole and separate property. After the escrow opened and after speaking to his accountant and reviewing the tax consequences, he decided to change how he held title by adding his wife's name to the title. He requested to change his vesting without realizing that it was going to cost him a pretty penny. When you purchase a property in court you receive a court order showing that you purchased the property and in order to change the vesting, you have to change the order. This means that the attorney would have to go into court and change the order - at the cost of the buyer. This is an expensive change.

It's important to know how you will take title in advance of purchasing property, especially probate properties. You should always speak to you tax consultant.

If you want to get a list of different ways to hold title, please contact us directly at or 310-777-2858.

To take the mystery out of buying and selling Probate & Trust Properties, please visit our website at

Monday, September 10, 2007

How to Hold Title for Real Estate. What is Joint Tenants?

What does it mean to hold title as Joint Tenants?

There are several options when it comes to holding title for real estate. It's common to hear that you take title as sole and separate property, tenants in common or joint tenants. But what does it really mean when taking title as Joint Tenants?

It is very common for husband and wife or domestic partners to hold title as Joint Tenants. Holding a property as Joint Tenants means that if one of the owners dies, the remaining owner(s) acquire the share of the deceased owner automatically. This is known as rights of survivorship.

To find out the other ways to hold title*, please call us at 310-777-2858 or visit our website at

*How you hold title is very important. Please consult your attorney and/or tax advisor.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Recent Property Reductions

Opportunities in Glendale, California!

1422 Rock Glen Avenue #301
2 Bedroom 1.75 bath condo
Top floor with views
Master suite
Great balcony
Reduced to $299,000

538 Glenwood Road, Unit #1
3 bedrooms + 2 baths
Living room with fireplace
Front facing unit
Laundry in the unit
Reduced to $435,000

Both are Probate Sales Subject to Court Confirmation

For additional information go the or call us at 310-777-2858

We take the mystery out of buying properties through Probate Sales!

Q. What is an Administrator? Another Probate Term

A. An Administrator is a person or entity appointed by the court to administer an estate when no will exists. When a person passes away without a will, the court will have to appoint a person to be in charge of dealing with the person's assets, such as a house. When a house needs to be sold and there is no will, the property has to be sold through the probate process.

To learn how to buy a house in probate, please visit our website

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What is a Court Approval Sale?

When the Executor of the estate does not have "full independent powers" the sale has to require court approval, also known as court confirmation. First an offer has to be accepted on the property and then the attorney will petition the court for confirmation of the sale. Once this petition is filed a court date is set and it usually takes place between 30-45 days after the petition is filed.

Here is the twist... At the Court Confirmation hearing, the accepted offer may be overbid by other buyers. As we discussed yesterday, the minimum overbid is 10% of the first $10,000.00 plus5% of the balance up to the amount of the accepted offer.

Let the Sanborn Team take the Mystery out of selling and buying probate properties. Please visit our website at to learn more about it!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

How is the over bid amount established?

When a property is sold at a court hearing there is open competitive bidding.
It is important to understand that in order for there to be a court hearing an initial bid has to be accepted and the attorney for the estate must petition to have a hearing date.
The minimum first overbid price is set by a statute in the Probate Code. That amount is 5% of the accepted initial bid plus $500.
Further incremental bidding is established by the presiding judicial officer at the hearing.

The Sanborn Team is here to take the mystery out of court confirmed sales.
Call us for any of your Real Estate needs.

Warren Buffet's Real Estate Guru

So where is the market turning... going... or spinning??

Our company, Prudential California Realty, is an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. You may not know the name, but our company is owned by HomeServices of America - the second largest residential real estate brokerage in the country.

Click on this link to see what the head of our company, Ron Peltier, says about the Real Estate Market.

Let us know what you think!