What is Probate Property Investing anyways?

Published On 2008-10-16
What is Probate Property Investing anyways?

Have you ever heard of probate property investing?
Many folks have not. If you haven’t, it is not your fault. For the last 5 years, foreclosures, preforeclosures, shortsales and the like have dominated the investor’s conversational landscape. All the while not giving probate property investing the “oxygen” it deserved. Probate investing was the ugly duckling. That was fine with me. In this unique, virtually undiscovered niche, I racked up deal after deal netting phenomenal profits. While many investors exhaustively tried to work short sales with stubborn banks, I found probate deals with ample equity for substantial discounts. While many investors grew frustrated with preforeclosure folks who “don’t want to sell”, I received call after call from motivated sellers looking to quickly liquidate (aka: unload) probate property.

So what is probate property investing? It is buying real estate (at a huge discount of course) from the estate of a person who has passed on. (They call that person the ‘decedent’). When someone passes away, they tend to leave possessions behind. Those possessions might be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cars, boats, TVs, jewelry, antiques and yes – real estate. If the decendent’s possessions were titled (owned) only in their name, the heirs have no authority to sell them and collect their rightful inheritance. Unless of course the estate is ‘probated’. Probating an estate allows someone to act as the quarterback for the estate, sell the estates possession and distribute the money to the heirs.

This is where YOU as an investor can greatly benefit. You can help the estate by offering to buy the real estate contained therein. Many times the estate is highly motivated to sell probate property. Highly motivated sellers = great deals for buyers. Why are these sellers so motivated? Too many reasons for me to list here, but let me name a few.

  1. Probate properties are often vacant. Vacant properties are a hazard. If you doubt me, just try to get a vacant property insured.
  2. Probate properties are often outdated or in disrepair. Heirs do not want to fix them.
  3. Probate properties are often inherited by out of town folks. Long distance estate settlement is laborious. This increases their motivation substantially
Provided by Quinn Niego