Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Fiduciary's Dilemma through the Probate sale

As we watch the real estate market creep toward recovery, we see two factors driving successful sales: price and condition. The price has to be very low and the condition has to be pristine. These days, pristine means clean, painted AND updated bathrooms and kitchens.

As you may have noticed, real property sold through probate is always offered as is. That's part of the appeal of probate properties for buyers: they're often fixers. The property owner may have lived in the house for many years and deferred a certain amount of maintenance.

In today's market, when pristine sells, heirs or fiduciaries may be tempted to look for a higher price by fixing up their loved one's home. But as soon as they do more than a major cleaning, they lose the protection of some of the disclosure laws of probate.

So the fiduciary is faced with a dilemma: lose the protection of probate or drop the price to a level where the house will be noticed in a price-driven market?

We are always available to answer your questions about probate and trust sales or any aspect of the real estate market. Give us a call at 310-777-2858 and visit or website at: