Hi there and hope you find this post interesting and educational.
Presently, I’m in escrow on a probate property that is being sold by the estate. My seller chose an all cash offer on the house and now awaits the court confirmation allowing escrow to complete the transfer.
Last week, I receive a call from the executor of the estate (seller) advising me that the empty house was broken into. It was late in the evening thus I informed the seller that I’ll be there first thing in the morning to review the home entirely.
Upon my arrival at the home the executor was there to show me the details. I noticed a combo lock box on the front door and there was the answer to it all. The buyer, who is an investor and just flipping the house, was the one that had broken into the home. Permission was never asked by the buyer to access the home to initiate some upgrading work. The house had all locks changed and some wood work was done to the exterior. As a Realtor that deals often with probate matters I looked for the point of entry. The lock to the sliding door had been broken. Question now was how to proceed.
Contacting the escrow officer was first and the details were explained. It was amazing that the buyer without having the court confirmation of sale began to do things to a property they did now own. The buyer/investor had a few weeks before the court appearance yet decided to proceed as if it was a done deal. It would of been so much easier to have requested permission and the executor/buyer would of had entry to the home to review and not proceed with any work.
Liability is the main issue as the office legal counsel and I discussed. A person being injured on the property would of had the estate responsible. A mailing was done advising the buyer that under no circumstances would any permission be given to work on the house till the confirmation by the court was completed.
Once a probate offer is accepted the Realtor for the estate must be prepared for the unexpected. It was senseless by the buyer to do such a move without asking for permission. Since escrow was complete awaiting the court confirmation no further action was taken. The advisement to the buyer would suffice and the property entry driveway gate was closed. We also placed padlocks on all gates to the property. The buyer was not knowledgeable in a probate sale and believed the right to proceed with work was fine.
All this just an example of what can take place while in escrow on a probate property that is vacant 99% of the time. Should you or someone you know be starting to open a probate matter please contact me. I have many details on the probate section of this site as well as references to timelines and responsibilities of the executor/administrator.
Working for you and with you in the movement of real property of an estate is the mission statement. Drop me a note for a quick reply to your question.