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Real Estate Tips

What You Should Know about Buying Estate Homes for Sale

Posted on Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Are you considering a home purchase? An estate sale could be the right choice for you.

Estate homes for sale: the sign is tempting and the ad is enticing, but should you really jump at the chance to buy an estate home? What do you need to know before you buy through an estate? There are differences between both the homes and the sales process that you will experience when you purchase an estate home.

What is an Estate Home?

While an estate might bring to mind acres of manicured gardens, the word estate has a different legal meaning. When you are buying an estate home, you are buying the home of someone who has passed away. No one person has directly inherited the home, and the heirs have decided to sell the house.

Benefits of Buying an Estate Home

When people choose to sell an old family home, they often do so because they cannot decide who wants to live in the home. That home may not be in the ideal location for those family members, who often already have homes of their own. This means that although family members are still interested in getting enough money for the property, they are also motivated sellers. This can be to your financial advantage when you are buying estate homes for sale.

Challenges of Buying an Estate Home

If you are buying a home in an estate sale, it could be well-maintained, but chances are that there could be some idiosyncrasies with the property, especially if the person who lived there was struggling to keep up with yard work and maintenance. You may not be able to get a home inspection if you are bidding on the home, so you need to be able to manage the potential additional repair and maintenance needs of the home.

If there are heirs who disagree on the sales price or if the sellers of the property are scattered across the country, the process of buying an estate home can be more complicated than it would be if you were buying from a person who lived in the home. However, with the right real estate and legal advice, you can navigate these challenges.

Sometimes, people who have inherited an estate home have a lot of emotional connections to the property. This can be both a challenge and an opportunity, as they want to see the property go to someone who will love it like they do. This could be their final goodbye to their first family home.

Be prepared to take on potential repairs and maintenance when you buy an estate home.

The Process of Purchasing an Estate Home

The process of buying an estate home is different from that of buying a home from the owners. You need to talk with the executors, administrators, and heirs instead. If you are interested in buying an estate home, this is the process you will follow:

  • Talk with real estate agents and look at ads to find a probate home. The listing will note the property available; the date, time, and location of the court hearing where the property is to be sold; and the amount of any offers already made to the estate.
  • Research the properties that interest you.
  • Contact those connected to the home to discuss how they are handling the sale. If the court has established a sales price already, they may be able to negotiate with you directly.
  • Attend the property hearing in court. Be prepared to bid on the home, and know what you can afford. While an auction might seem like a way to get a deal on a property, know that properties sold at auction generally sale at a fair price.
  • Decide whether you are comfortable taking on any repairs and maintenance required, as bids are generally unconditional. You cannot stop the bidding process to arrange a home inspection.
  • Have at least 10 percent of the bid available immediately to secure your purchase.
  • Arrange financing or be prepared to arrange it soon after the bidding is complete.

At Open for Homes, we are here to help you find the home that best fits your needs. Whether you are considering estate homes for sale or you would like to buy a downtown apartment, we can help you make the decision that is right for your family. Take a look at the blog at Open For Homes for insight into home rental and sales issues that can help you make your home purchase decision.