Friday, March 04, 2011

My Client Cannot Be in Probate Court to Bid on a Property. What should I do?

Just this past week this question came up twice. Two buyers were expected to over-bid on a property.

The first buyer contacted us prior to the sale date. We were able to provide the buyer with detailed instructions on what the attorney for the estate would require in order for someone to bid on the buyer's behalf. Every attorney has his or her own guidelines, but in general most agree that the Power of Attorney needs to be specific to the property that is being sold.

The second buyer sent his real estate agent to court and did not contact us prior to the hearing. The estate's attorney was able to speak to the agent prior to the hearing and establish the ground rules under which he could bid. In this case, the agent had a Power of Attorney specific to the property, but he wanted to enter the name of the buyer as an LLC. This was not acceptable to the attorney, who stated that the name of the buyer for the purposes of the sale had to be an individual, not an LLC.

The bottom line? If you are buying real property through probate or trust, or if you are a real estate agent representing such a buyer, be aware that the court has no flexibility when it comes to overbidding. A phone call in advance to the estate's attorney or the probate real estate agent could save the sale and get you the property you want.

No one wants to get in the way of an over-bid in court.The Sanborn Team spends a lot of time working with buyers and agents to assist them in getting ready to over-bid. We send out instructions to the agents so they know how to counsel their clients - and we're always happy to answer questions about court proceedings. The goal of the Sanborn Team is to see that every property sells for the maximum price.

The Sanborn Team has more than 30 years of real estate experience specializing in the sale of probate and trust properties. For more information about us and to view our probate listings, please visit our website at