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Selling a House in Probate in Ohio

Losing a loved one is hard on a family. It can be much more difficult if you are now having to deal with the deceased’s estate. Unfortunately, in most situations, when a loved one dies they leave behind a house, vehicles, and sometimes a lot of debt. If there is a will in place in Ohio, many of the difficulties can be more easily navigated; if not then the probate process will be much more difficult.

Probate Sale Meaning Ohio

Probate is the legal process for distributing a deceased person’s property and assets to their heirs and beneficiaries as well as settling any outstanding debts. The probate process will either carry out a person’s will or follow Ohio state law if there is not a will in place. The probate process is court-supervised, and individuals can be entitled to receive assets, debts, and taxes owed by the descendent. A probate sale is a small function of the probate procedure. When a loved one has passed away and owns real estate also known as real property, the courts will dictate that it must be sold at the best possible price, to increase the value of the estate so that any debts can be paid.

Probate in Ohio is usually required and the process can range from being very simple process to very complicated. With that in mind, it’s usually smart to get the assistance of an attorney, who will represent the beneficiaries and make sure they get their inheritance. In some instances, an estate affidavit may be necessary. An Ohio small estate affidavit is a formal contract that can expedite the distribution of assets of a decedent’s estate to the correct beneficiaries. 

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An Ohio small estate affidavit is a form that, when approved, hastens the distribution of the assets of a decedent’s estate to the rightful recipients. This helps the estate avoid the traditional probate process, which can be long and expensive depending on the nature of the estate.

Probate Process For Selling Real Estate in Ohio

When a loved one, often a parent, has died, the chosen executor must sell the property to cover the mortgage or any taxation issues. This needs to happen quickly or lenders, creditors, and even insurance companies will start to call. Selling a house in the probate process is possible; people do it daily. However, without the correct guidance, usually in the form of an experienced attorney, individuals can run into many problems. Below are detailed steps to help you understand the probate process.

1. File The Will

You will want to file the will in the county your loved one lived; filing the will usually takes place at the clerk’s office. Even if the house or real estate does not actually have to go through the probate process, if a will is present, it must be filed.

2. Court appoints an executor.

If there is a will and the will states who the executor, or personal representative, is, then that individual will be appointed. If your loved one dies intestate, or without a will, then someone must step forward and act as the executor or the court will issue a Letter of Authority assigning the executor role. This Letter of Authority gives financial and legal power to the executor. Given the complexity of the case, oftentimes it is best to have an attorney take over this role, especially when dealing with an intestate estate.

3. Real Estate Appraisal

The task of an executor, or personal representative, is challenging. The executor will oversee the appraisal, marketing, and sales of the house, paying probate fees, and distributing proceeds. Real estate is generally the biggest part of the estate’s value which means it’s very important to get the appraisal done by a professional who understands the Fair Market Value of the area and the property. This appraisal price will be reflected in the asking price and the actual value of the property. The property must then be sold for at least 80% of the appraised value in Ohio.

4. Sell the Probate Real Estate

It’s important to move quickly towards selling the property to avoid the costs of maintaining the house and reduce the estate’s liabilities, which include taxes. Keep in mind, the court will also need to approve the sale of the house. Any potential buyers need to understand this process, as it is not a quick or timely process and will take up much of their time. Remember, when it does come time to transfer the deed, it is important to get title insurance. Title insurance will protect you if there are any problems related to the prior ownership of the property.

When Can The Executor Sell The Probate Property in Ohio?

After the executor, or personal representative, has been appointed and has had the probate property appraised they then have the legal right to market the property to buyers. This means they can immediately start looking to sell the probate property in order to settle any debts that could exist.

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Can You Sell A House Before Probate is Complete in Ohio?

Yes, you can sell a house in probate in Ohio before probate is finalized. Proceeds from the sale go into a probate escrow account and are dispersed once the probate is complete and all outstanding debts have been paid. An easy and fast way to sell a house in probate is through a cash home buyer, although you can have a real estate agent list the house if you don’t mind waiting a little bit longer for the sale.

Do you need to go through probate to sell an inherited house in Ohio?

You can absolutely sell an inherited house in Ohio when probate is not required. Below are a few situations where the probate procedure will not be required.

Situation 1. Living Trust

When the deceased person left the property in a living trust, or living will, probate can be avoided. This type of estate planning is the most beneficial to everyone involved. A formal will explains who will be assigned as executor as well as provides an explanation of who the beneficiaries are and what each beneficiary inherits. Once the beneficiaries are spelled out they will take ownership of the estate, unless they are too young, in which case a legal guardian can assist with the transition. Needless to say, a beneficiaries inheritance is made a lot easier with a will.

Situation 2: Holding Real Estate Jointly

When someone co-owns real estate with the deceased, the ownership of the property will transfer to the other person automatically. This is called a right of survivorship.

Situation 3: Testamentary Trust

A Testamentary Trust is a trust that is contained within a will. An individual would be named as the executor and given the power to act as the estate administrator after an individual is deceased. In this situation, the court would still be involved in the administration process but not as heavily as they would in the probate process.

Situation 4: Transfer on Death (TOD)

First, make sure the Transfer on Death Designation Affidavit (TOD) is recorded correctly. If so, it will allow the deceased to transfer the real estate property to a designated individual upon their death. This Affidavit makes the probate process unnecessary. 

Ohio Probate House Sale Issues

Many issues can arise when selling a house in probate. One of the most common issues is time delays. Since the court has to approve the application, it can take significantly longer to sell the property. Another issue we see quite often is the expense of selling.

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When selling a house in probate there are several fees that come up. These fees relate to attorneys, filing paperwork, appraisals, and executor fees. All of these come out of pocket, and we haven’t even started on the fact that the properties in probate usually need a significant amount of work to make them sellable to the common person. The larger issue with repairs is often the executor, or personal representative, is not able to use estate assets or money to fix them; so, they must pay to fix up the house out of their own pocket.

Options You Can Consider When Selling a probate House Ohio

Listing The Probate Property With A Ohio Real Estate Agent

A realtor who specializes in probate houses can be a great option when selling a probate property in Ohio. It is important to make sure that you properly vet the agent though, as the probate process is very confusing and time-consuming and an inexperienced agent can make it much more difficult. In addition, there is a record number of new real estate agents throughout Ohio, meaning many of them are less experienced and less qualified. If you want to sell the property with an agent, find one who has previously sold a house in probate and understands the local laws. It’s also important to keep in mind that when selling a house with an agent, you will owe a 6% commission and it will take significantly longer to sell when compared to other selling avenues. Other methods, such as a cash home buyer are a lot easier and since you aren’t holding onto the property as long, there is little risk of going into foreclosure.

Selling The Inherited Property To A Family Member in Ohio

This is a very sensitive time for a family. You can absolutely sell the inherited property to a family member but be wary. Your family is most likely going through a lot right now and mixing family and money can get very complicated and messy. It’s important to be clear with one another and make sure every step of the process has the correct documentation. With that in mind, often selling the inherited property to a family member can sometimes be a great choice.

Selling A Ohio Probate House As-is to a Cash Home Buyer

Selling a probate house as-is to a cash home buyer is by far the easiest and fastest way to sell an inherited house. Cash home buyers are real estate investors and they have worked through the probate process before. They don’t have to wait to qualify for a mortgage or loan and they buy almost exclusively fixer-uppers, so you won’t have to make any repairs. In addition, these companies will not flake on you; they have cash and need to buy houses. You won’t even have to clean the property or clear out any of your loved one’s personal belongings before selling to a cash buyer. A company like H3 Homebuyers will buy houses in probate in any condition.

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“I sold my house to H3 Homebuyers, and it was a super easy process. I called and talked to Ryan, and we had an agreement signed by the end of the day. Two weeks later we closed on my house, and I didn’t have to do any repairs or fix anything. I would recommend them to anyone needing to sell their house fast with no hassle.”

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Probate House Sale Frequently Asked Questions

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

As the executor, or personal representative, you are now the house seller and can sell the house without going through the probate process if there is a will and the will has a “power of sale”. This allows the executor to sell the real estate when it is in the best interest of the estate without any approval from the probate court.

Can You Live In A House During Probate?

Yes, you can live in a house during probate in Ohio. You do need to ensure you are following all the rules set forward by the estate and most likely provide proof that you are residing in the property and paying rent. If you are living in the house during probate, you should also keep track of anything going on with the property, such as repairs that are needed or improvements that have been made. Also, if you are a surviving spouse in Ohio then you can reside in the house during probate. As a surviving spouse, you have the right to live in your marital home for one year without paying rent to the estate. In addition, a surviving spouse will receive an equal amount if the real estate must be sold.

Can you empty a house before probate in Ohio?

No. You should not empty the house before probate is through. Actually, it’s a smart idea to change all the locks on a house going through probate. This ensures that others, who had a key previously, don’t start emptying the house without anyone knowing.

How Long Does It Take To Sell A House In Probate?

It can take anywhere from two months to years to sell a house in probate. There are many variables that go into this broad timeline; a few of which are if there was a will if the decedents are in the same state as the deceased estate, and if the property is in a trust. It’s important to realize that holding onto an asset like real estate, without the proper maintenance can be very costly.

Do All Heirs Need To Agree To Sell Inherited Property?

This is a complicated question. It’s definitely a lot easier when all the heirs agree to sell the inherited property together, but this often doesn’t happen. In addition, it’s important to know that the executor needs the permission of the heirs to sell the house. Simultaneously the heirs need the permission of the executor to sell the inherited real estate. If there is a dispute between the heirs and the executor or just among the heirs, often a mediator or attorney can help resolve the issue. It’s best to reach out to an attorney for more information or advice; a qualified attorney or lawyer will help determine what steps are needed. Also, be aware that when you sell your probate house, you may be on the hook for taxes related to the proceeds from the sale in Ohio.

Easiest Way To Sell A House In Probate

The easiest and fastest way to sell a house in probate is by going straight to a cash home buyer. These real estate investors understand probate procedure, have cash readily available so they don’t have to qualify for a mortgage, and don’t require any repairs on the descendant’s estate. A private investment company, like H3 Homebuyers, is by far the easiest and best way to sell a house in probate.

Contact us today by calling us at (937) 303-1499 or click here to get a fair cash offer.

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Final Thoughts: Selling a Probate Property in Ohio

Dealing with the loss of a loved one and the difficulties of selling a probate property can be incredibly challenging. Seeking legal advice and a good house buyer can alleviate a lot of the issues you are most likely facing. If you are looking for an easy way to help during the process of selling a probate house, H3 Homebuyers can make it a lot easier. We offer fair prices and a fast and easy way to sell your house in probate in OH. We buy houses in probate throughout Ohio, no matter the property’s condition.

These findings apply to all cities in Ohio including Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Mansfield, Toledo, Youngstown, and more!

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