Can an Executor Sell a House That is in Probate?


When the time comes to sell the home of a loved one who has passed away, it can be a confusing time. If they left a clear and detailed will, the process could be more straightforward, but there are many situations where a will was not made. In that case, deciding what to do with your loved one's property can cause stress and disputes among your siblings or other involved family members.

If an executor was named in the will, the decision about what to do with the property will fall to that person. If not, a court will decide on an executor, and the process can start from there. However, even executors named in the will cannot perform a sale of the property until they have received a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court.

What is Grant of Probate?

The Grant of Probate is a Supreme Court document authorising an executor to deal with the deceased's estate following the deceased's will. If you are named the executor, it is advisable to apply for a Grant of Probate as soon as possible. A Grant of Probate can take more than four weeks to process, though this can be much longer in the case of a complex will. 

Once the court has granted the probate, the executor can then transfer the title of the home from the Deceased to the new owner.

Selling before the Grant of Probate

While an executor can't sell the property before the court grants probate, it is possible for them to start the process of selling the house earlier. They can list the property as being available for sale, begin advertising, and have a Contract of Sale prepared. This contract will vary from a standard Contract of Sale, and for this reason, it is essential to hire a skilled conveyancer who has experience in probate sales.

What is a property conveyancer?

A property conveyancer is a licensed professional who can provide legal advice and services to guide clients through buying or selling real estate. A property conveyancer assists by creating and verifying documents relating to the transfer of property ownership. Property conveyancing can be performed by a conveyancer or by a solicitor who is familiar with property law. In the case of a deceased estate, it's advisable to hire a property conveyancer or solicitor to guide you through the complicated process of transferring property ownership.

If you're in the process of selling a deceased property, always seek the assistance of a reliable property conveyancer. Jim's Property Conveyancing has offices in Melbourne and Brisbane and can provide you with comprehensive advice and assistance moving through your property transaction.

Contract of Sale documents for properties in probate

There are a few amendments to a Contract of Sale that is subject to probate. For example, the executor is named on the front page of the contract as the vendor who is selling the property. However, a title search will still list the deceased as the registered owner. There will be a special condition in the contract that the purchaser acknowledges the vendors are selling in their capacity as executors of the deceased estate, plus such allusions to the timeframe of the Grant of Probate and a timeframe for settlement.

At settlement, the executor will need to provide the purchaser with a Transmission Application that proves the title was transferred from the deceased to the executor and a Transfer document from the executor to the purchaser.

The process of selling a deceased home can be complicated and stressful. Jim’s Property Conveyancing Brisbane can make this process as easy on you as possible. If you need any help selling a property that is in probate, please get in touch with our friendly and experienced staff on 13 15 46. Jim’s Property Conveyancing Brisbane, can help clients to prepare and verify the legal documentation

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