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we buy houses in probate in Texas

Selling Your Probate House In Texas

Navigating the sale of a probate house in Texas can be complex, but with the right approach, it can be a smooth process. Let’s explore the essential steps to successfully sell your probate property in the Lone Star State.

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we buy house in probate in Texas

Selling a House In Probate in Texas Guide

If you’re hoping to sell some of your personal inheritance, such as your property, you may have to go through the probate process. Selling a house in probate in Texas isn’t so straightforward, though, as many factors must be taken into consideration. This guide explains the process so that sellers can better understand the options they have when they sell an estate in probate.


Probate Sale Meaning in Texas

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A probate sale happens when a property owner with an estate either dies without a will or the document needs to go through the courts for verification. This verification process is called the probate process. During this process, the court oversees the sale of the deceased person’s estate, ensuring it is passed on to the rightful heirs. Depending on the inheritance, probate sales can be seamless or complicated. Probate lawyers typically give advice and help sellers navigate the process so that they’re in accordance with the law.

Probate Process For Selling Real Estate in Texas

The probate process in Texas is also known as the estate administration, and it involves three major steps for sellers:

File Probate With the Local Court

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To start the process when you have a personal inheritance, you must file a petition with the probate court in the county where the deceased person lived. This petition must be filed within four years of the person’s passing. There are different petitions, so it’s important that you file the correct one.

By filing a petition, you are asking to represent the decedent and carry out their wishes. You are also allowing the court to oversee the sale of the decedent’s estate. Executors are usually named in the will. However, if there is no will (intestate estate) or if the person who died did not name an administrator, any interested party can apply for the position.

Once you file a petition, the clerk’s office posts a public notice announcing your petition. This allows any possible heirs to contest it. The public notice goes up for two weeks.

The Court Appoints an Executor

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If no one challenges your petition and you meet all the qualifications, the court reviews the petition and officially appoints you as the designated executor. As a personal representative of the decedent, you now have the legal authority to begin the estate planning. You also have 90 days to do a comprehensive inventory of the deceased person’s estate. This includes listing all debts, taxes to be paid, and the estate assets.

Once you submit the inventory and all the required documentation – such as the death certificate of the person who has passed – you must contact the beneficiaries. If none are listed, the court decides who should inherit the estate. Sellers are in charge of notifying the creditors as well. The creditors can then decide if they wish to file a claim.

The Administrator Sells the Probate Real Estate

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The third step in the process is when the representative of the estate (the administrator) sells the probate real estate. Before selling any part of the estate, the seller must get a valuation of the property. Depending on the case, sellers may need to get court approval before listing the estate for sale. At this stage, sellers may choose to work with a realtor or sell the house to a company that pays cash. After the sale, the assets are used to pay off the decedent’s debts, while the remaining assets go to the rightful heirs. Once the estate assets are distributed and the house is sold, the estate is officially closed.

When Can The Executor Sell The Probate Property in Texas?

In Texas, an administrator can sell the probate house once the court has officially appointed them as an official representative of the estate. Sometimes, the court requires the administrator to seek approval for the sale and get an appraisal. This typically occurs if there are specific objections. However, typically, as soon as the court appoints you as administrator, you can get an appraisal and list the property.

Can You Sell A House Before Probate Is Complete in Texas?

Yes, you don’t have to wait until the probate procedure is complete. In Texas, sellers can sell the probate house before the process is finalized. However, the money from the sale goes into a probate escrow account and can only be distributed after the process is complete. The account temporarily holds the funds until all debts are paid and the court approves how the money is to be distributed. A probate escrow account ensures the money is properly distributed and the interests of everyone involved are protected.

Do You Need To Go Through Probate to Sell an Inherited House in Texas?

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If you are an administrator and, therefore, the seller of an inherited house, you typically need to go through probate. However, there are some exceptions. If the estate is held in a living trust, probate isn’t necessary. The trustee passes the property on to the parents (if the deceased is a child) or the siblings. In addition, probate isn’t necessary if the estate has a right of survivorship clause. The latter refers to an estate that is jointly owned. So, if one owner has passed away, the property goes directly to the surviving spouse – or whoever is co-owner.

Texas Probate House Sale Issues

While selling a house in probate can be a seamless experience, issues do sometimes crop up. Some issues include:

Time-Consuming Process

Selling a house in probate in Texas can take anywhere from six months to two years. This long process can be emotionally draining for the administrator and all the beneficiaries. Everyone involved may be unable to move on until the estate is sold. The house may start to deteriorate during this time, so repairs may be necessary.

Potential for Disputes

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There may also be disputes amongst the beneficiaries. Each person may have different opinions about how to sell the house and what its value is. They may also disagree over how the administrator intends to distribute the income from the estate assets. In addition, there may be challenges to the will. Some beneficiaries may believe that what the deceased person willed was created under duress and may get the courts involved. A legal battle may prevent the sale of the probate property. Creditors’ claims can complicate the sale process as well. If the creditors’ claims are significant, they may take a large chunk out of any profits from the sale of the probate property. Finally, beneficiaries may not be happy with how the administrator is carrying out their duties and may file objections in court.

The probate procedure can end up being costly. Many probate sales require the expertise of a probate attorney as they are experts on inheritance laws and requirements. If the procedure is particularly long, these costs can add up. In addition to legal fees, there are also court costs, such as filing fees for the petition, getting certified copies of various court documents, and more. Once the probate property is ready to be sold, there are additional fees, such as appraisal fees and real estate agent commissions. If the probate procedure is long, the property must be maintained. Furthermore, the administrator needs to continue paying utilities, property taxes, a capital gains tax if the property has appreciated, and insurance. There is no inheritance tax in Texas, so this does not figure into the legal fees. However, there are taxation issues to consider.

Options You Can Consider When Selling a Probate House in Texas

Sellers have various options when selling a probate house. Here are three common options.

Listing The Probate Property With A Texas Real Estate Agent

A common route is to list the probate property with a real estate agent in Texas. Here are the pros and cons.


• Realtors often have years of experience when it comes to selling probate property. They can expertly guide you through the paperwork and legal requirements, providing any information you need.

• Real estate agents have access to multiple listing services (MLS) as well as other marketing tools. This can help attract a large pool of potential buyers.

• An agent acts as a personal representative for the seller, meaning they can handle negotiations with interested buyers.

• They can also handle all the paperwork, freeing up your time so you can manage other parts of the estate.

• Bringing in realtors significantly reduces stress as they manage the details and do all the paperwork.


• Real estate agents require commissions. In Texas, this fee is roughly 5-6% of the final sale of the estate.

• The sale can take a long time, especially if costly renovations are needed to prepare the house for the market or if the buyer needs a lender’s approval from a bank.

• As a seller, you’ll have limited control when it comes to marketing strategies and negotiating offers.

• The sale of the probate house depends on the agent’s experience and performance.

Selling The Inherited Estate To A Family Member in Texas

Another option is to sell the probate property to a family member. While there are several advantages, it also comes with some challenges. Here are some pros and cons:


• Selling to a family member is often an easy sales process as the sale is personal.

• The difference between a traditional sale and a family sale is that the sales process tends to be faster. It’s often a matter of simply handing over the title and receiving cash.

• Selling the probate house to a family member means the inheritance can remain in the family.

• There may be fewer costs as sellers can do away with paying realtors, closing costs, and marketing expenses.


• Getting a fair market value may be a challenge as the family member may want to purchase the estate for a lesser value.

• There may be personal disagreements over the estate. This can complicate the sales process.

• Transactions may not be handled with the same legal detail as a traditional sale. Overlooking details or any part of a contract can complicate matters down the line.

Selling A Texas Probate House As-Is To A Cash Home Buyer

For sellers looking to get rid of a probate property quickly, selling the house to a cash home buyer can be an attractive option. Here are some pros and cons:


• Cash home buyers don’t require middlemen. This makes the sales process fast, less formal, and hassle-free. In fact, some transactions can be completed in a matter of days.

• Another advantage is that cash home buyers purchase the probate house “as-is,” even if there is still furniture in the house. That means the seller can sell the probate house and simply walk away.

• Renovation can be a costly undertaking. When a cash home buyer purchases a probate house, no repairs are needed. This saves money and time, especially if the house is in poor condition.

• There are also no hidden costs when selling a probate house to a cash home buyer. Sellers don’t have to worry about paying realtors, closing costs, or appraisal fees. A seller simply hands over the title and receives cash.


• Because cash home buyers are investors and plan to renovate the house themselves, their offer is often less than the market value.

• Sellers won’t have the opportunity to list their property, which means there is limited market exposure.

Probate House Sale Frequently Asked Questions

Can you sell a house without going through probate in Texas?

Yes, there are ways you can sell a house and avoid probate in Texas. If the estate is held in a trust, is transferred to another person on a death deed, or there is a survivorship clause, you can avoid probate. In all three cases, the probate procedure is not required, and the transfer of ownership is more straightforward.

Can you live in a house during probate?

It’s possible to live in a house during probate so long as the administrator of the estate and the court agree. In addition, you can live on the estate as long as your presence doesn’t interfere with the decedent’s estate and distribution of those assets.

Can you empty a house before a probate in Texas?

Although it’s possible to empty a house before probate in Texas, you should ensure all beneficiaries are aware of what you remove. As the administrator is typically the one to manage the estate and remove belongings, you should document everything you remove and get approval from the administrator and/or the court.

How long does it take to sell a house in probate?

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The length of time it takes to sell a house in probate in Texas depends on the complexity of the estate. If there are no complications or disputes among the beneficiaries, the process can take three to six months. If there is an estate affidavit (the estate is worth less than $75,000), the procedure is simpler and less expensive. However, if there are legal proceedings and court issues – the house was in foreclosure, there was a sizeable mortgage, there is a dispute amongst the heirs – the timeline can extend to two years.

Do all heirs need to agree to sell inherited property?

In Texas, all heirs typically need to agree to sell the inherited property. However, the will may state otherwise, or the court may order a sale. In most cases, since the beneficiaries hold a personal share, they must agree unanimously. In cases where there is a disagreement, the court must intervene to resolve the dispute. If the person who passed had substantial debts or liabilities, the court may determine that the sale is necessary to pay off the debts.

Easiest Way To Sell A House In Probate In Texas

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Selling a house in probate can be complicated after a person has passed, but it doesn’t have to be if you sell the house to a cash home buyer once probate is complete. When sellers sell probate property to a cash home buyer – whether it’s single-family houses, mobile homes, or condos – they don’t need to renovate or make any repairs. Moreover, hidden costs won’t eat up the profits. This is true in many cities, including DallasFort Worth, Austin, Houston, Arlington, and El Paso.

If you have further questions, contact a real professional – Sell My House Fast. Sell My House Fast is a local house-buying company in Texas. We’ve built our business by buying houses for cash. We promise competitive cash offers without the hassle of dealing with agents, etc. We operate throughout Texas and have bought many inherited houses from sellers going through the probate process.

f you require additional assistance or have specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (281) 225-1729

What you need to know about the probate process and selling a house

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