Thursday, March 27, 2008

How to Overbid in Court

Probate...Court Confirmation...What Does It All Mean?

As you are looking for a home, you will occasionally come across real estate ads that say, "probate sale, court confirmation required." So, you may be asking yourself, what is a probate sale, anyway? And, more importantly, what does probate mean to a real estate purchaser?

If you find real estate for sale through probate, you will have to go to court to make the purchase or overbid on the property. To overbid in court there are several things you need to be aware of:

  1. Terms of sale: most of the time, the terms of the probate sale are "as-is", no contingencies, 10% initial deposit and 30-day escrow. No contingencies means you do not have an inspection contingency, finance contingency or appraisal contingency. The seller will not do any termite work or repairs on the property.

  2. Qualify to bid: In order to bid in court you must bring a cashier's check for at least 10% of the opening bid price. For example, if the opening bid is $420,000 you will need a cashiers check for $42,000. Be sure to have your agent check with the listing agent to see who the check needs to be payable to.

  3. Do I sign a contract? No. There is no contract if you overbid on the property and are the successful purchaser. You will have what is called a certified court order stating that the property was sold to you.

It's very important that your agent be familiar with the terms and the process of purchasing probate and trust real estate. If you want to learn more about probate real estate, please visit us at or call us 310-777-2858.