When a person passes away, their estate will go into probate where the court decides how the assets will be distributed. Real estate will often be part of the estate and will go through this process. Probate real estate can be a bargain for real estate investors. If you are looking into this, you need to know how you can find these properties.
One of the first places that you should look when it comes to probate real estate is the auction houses. Most auctioneers will advertise to get interest in their events and you need to look for this. However, it is important to note that not all auction houses will work with real estate and you should contact them to find out if they do.
If the auction house does deal with real estate, you should ask to be added to their newsletter where you will get information about upcoming auctions. These newsletters will contain a lot of information about the houses that are going under the hammer and you can easily find probate homes there. Of course, you will be bidding against other people at the auction and you need to consider this.
County Clerk Offices
Estate sales and probate hearings will all have documents that are filed with the county clerk’s office. This is why these offices should be your next stop when looking for real estate. These hearing and sales can happen quite regularly, depending on where you are so many offices will have a mailing list. When you are on the mailing list, you will get information about when documents are filed, and you will want to be on the mailing list.
If the office does not have a mailing list, you should look at the county court website. Any closed cases will be a matter of public record and you will be able to find estate sale and probate hearing information. You should also look at building a relationship with the people in the county clerk’s office, so you could possibly get notified when an opportunity arises.
County Probate Courts
Active probate cases will be handled by the county probate court and you can get information there as well. The process of getting the information they have could be simple, but it could also be hard. Some probate courts will have a mailing list where you get information of the attorney who is handling the case. However, this does not happen very often.
You will generally have to build a relationship with the staff at the court. This could be the only way of getting the information that you need from the court. However, it is important to note that this will not always work.
One of the most obvious places to look is the classifieds as this is where you will find a lot of house sale information. Probate sales are slightly different as they will generally be in the form of an announcement. The reason for this is that the person in charge of liquidating the properties can only think of putting up an advert in the classifieds.
While these listings are generally easy to find, they do get a lot of attention. This means that you will be fighting with other investors for the property. This is one of the reasons why many investors do not look at the classifieds.
News and notices of foreclosure will often be published in newspapers and online journals. When it comes to probate properties, you should look for news or notices of the foreclosure of an estate. This will show that the person has passed, and the home is part of a probate estate instead of a normal foreclosure.
Reading the obituaries might seem a bit ghoulish, but it is a good way to find leads for probate real estate. When someone dies, and they owned property, it will go through probate so knowing who has died will help you find properties. Obituaries also provide you with the name of the deceased which can help with your property search.
When you use a lookup search, you will be able to find out more about the person. This can include where they lived and who their family is. This can help you get the lead you need for a property, but there is no guarantee that the property they lived in was owned by them.
When probate is triggered, an advertisement is placed to notify creditors, so they have a chance to claim debts from the estate. This will include the hold liens on the estate and any other form of debt. The challenge you face with this source is finding the local newspaper that these legal notices are published in.
Local communities will generally have one authoritative publication which is used for these notices. If you are unfamiliar with the area, you will have a hard time finding these notices. In these cases, you might want to check with the real estate agents in the area regarding this.
The last source that you have for buying a house in probate is the probate attorney. This is one of the best sources of leads that you can use as they will be representing probate cases in the area. Probate attorneys will generally handle a number of probate cases which increases your chances of finding the real estate that you want.
These attorneys will be happy to work with real estate investors as they generally look for buyers who can quickly liquidate the estate. If you present yourself as a dependable and serious investor, you will find that you get a call every now and them about the quick deals that the attorney has. These deals are ones that most investors will never hear about, but that you will have the first option on.
There are a number of different sources that you can use to get probate real estate leads. Probate attorneys are considered the best, but if you feel nervous about dealing with them, there are other options.
Tarik Pierce is the founder of InvestorTrip.com and regularly contributes articles to this website.
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While his background is mostly related to trading stocks, he recently gained interest in real estate crowdfunding with Fundrise.