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How Long Does It Take To Sell a House Through Probate?

Property Saviour » Inherited Property » How Long Does It Take To Sell a House Through Probate?

Once you have obtained a Grant of Probate or a Letter of Administration, it can take up to 6 months for the property to go under offer and a further 3 months for the conveyancing process to take place.

Having dealt with countless probate cases, Executors are unable to provide detailed responses to enquiries, as they don’t have the intimate knowledge of the property as the deceased.  Another reason many agreed sales collapse is due to the condition of the property requiring work; the mortgage lenders refuse to lend.

Having said that, you can expedite the sale of inherited property by selling to genuine cash house buyers such as Property Saviour.

We can make you an offer in 48 hours; if you accept, we’ll exchange contracts and insure the property and once you receive the Grant of Probate, we can complete the purchase within 10 days. 

In this article, we’ll cover Grant of Probate in much more detail, including the holding costs and various ownership scenarios where a Grant of Probate or a Letter of Administration may not be required.

You can skip straight to the subject matter that interests you the most.

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How To Sell a House During Probate?

Once you have obtained a Grant of Probate or a Letter of Administration, you can sell the inherited property straight away.  But you don’t have to wait until you have obtained as you can agree to sell a house during probate.

If you sell to a cash buyer like Property Saviour, we will complete the purchase within 10 days or a timescale that suits you.

For most Executors and beneficiaries, inheriting a house after the death of a loved one can be a very stressful experience because most people do not have prior experience of inheriting a house from their parents. Often, an inherited house with no mortgage can be marginally easier to deal with, as you have no banks chasing for mortgage payments or requesting monthly updates on the progress of selling deceased estate property.

Whether you are selling a jointly owned inherited house or acting as a first-time Executor on behalf of a sole beneficiary or siblings, this guide will go through the steps required to sell your probate property – as hassle-free as possible.

If your inherited property has a mortgage, then you must keep up with payments, or potentially, the bank can start repossession proceedings, which no doubt they will expect you to pay for once it transpires that the deceased has passed away.

An Executor has a legal duty to:

How long does an Executor have to sell a house in UK?

There is not a prescribed timescale by when an Executor must sell a house, however, he/she will have to follow a process that includes:

Several steps are involved when obtaining a Grant of Probate when selling a probate property. With mounting pressure from debtors such as utility firms, solicitors, and council tax office.  The fact that the property may not be insured as an empty property, it makes sense to sell the property to a specialist such as Property Saviour.

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How to sell a house after probate?

We can guide you through selling your probate property, whether that’s dealing with the probate office, helping you obtain a Grant of Probate, offering to buy your inherited property for cash, paying your legal fees and reimbursing you for empty property insurance. 

Once you have obtained a Grant of Probate or a Letter of Administration, we can complete the sale within 10 days or at a date that suits you.

With our free house clearance service, you can sell the property in its current condition.  You can also pay off your probate bills and beneficiaries get their inheritance without delay, as your loved one would have wanted.

How long does a probate sale take?

It can take several months with a buyer that requires a mortgage, and that’s if the Executor can answer all queries relating to the property. 

As an Executor will not have intimate knowledge of the property and can’t mislead the buyer, he/she may be unable to respond to the buyer’s solicitors’ queries. 

This gives the bank a reason not to lend, resulting in an abortive sale and additional costs in terms of empty building insurance, probate costs, potential mortgage interest payments and council tax.

That’s why it makes sense to contact Property Saviour, as we can help you achieve a hassle-free cash sale without delay.

How long after probate can a property be sold?

You can sell a probate property immediately once you have obtained a Grant of Probate.  Property Saviour understands that an Executor might not be able to answer all queries relating to the sale of inherited property. 

That’s why we are specialists in buying probate properties quickly for cash.  A sale can be concluded within 10 days or at a timescale that suits you.

how long does it take to sell a house through probate
You can sell a probate property immediately once you have obtained a Grant of Probate. 

Can I sell my house while in probate?

You can’t legally sell a property without possession of a Grant of Probate or a Letter of Administration.  This is because a Grant of Probate or a Letter of Administration gives you the legal authority to sell a house on behalf of the deceased. 

You can, however, agree on a sale of the property at a fair value for cash with Property Saviour – and once you have obtained a Grant of Probate, we can conclude the purchase within 10 days or at a timescale that suits you.

Do you need a Grant of Probate to sell a property?

The answer depends on your circumstances; for instance, if a loved one has passed away and a surviving husband, wife or partner would like to sell the property, a straightforward check on the title deeds normally can identify what documents or additional steps are needed to sell the property.

  1. If the property is in joint names and one of the owners is still alive then invariably, the house can be sold without having the Grant of Probate.
  2. If the property is held in the deceased’s sole name or, if held in joint names and both owners have passed away, then Probate or Letters of Administration are needed to sell.

Do you need a Grant of Probate for Tenants in Common?

If the property title contains a ‘restriction’ under the names of the owners in this format “No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate, except a trust corporation, under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court.” then the property appears to be held as Tenants in Common or otherwise under a trust.

In this case, you would need to appoint the second trustee to receive the sale money with the surviving partner and sell the house. The two trustees can easily then keep the proceeds pending the Grant of Probate post-sale.

Do you need a Grant of Probate for Joint Tenants
All you would be required to provide to us to sell the property is a certified copy of the death certificate.

Do you need a Grant of Probate for Joint Tenants?

If you have no restriction then the house was held as “Joint Tenants” and so the title automatically passes to the co-owner with no need for probate. All you would be required to provide to us to sell the property is a certified copy of the death certificate.

What is the difference between Probate or Letter of Administration?

Probate gives effect to the Will from the deceased and an Executor named within the Will obtains the Grant of Probate.

Without a Will, the UK Government rules determine who is to benefit from the deceased’s estate. These are not straightforward. An Administrator is appointed to manage this and is usually one of the beneficiaries.

In both cases, the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration give the Executor or Administrator power to deal with the estate and sell the deceased’s assets, including any real property – houses or flats. The Executors would, therefore, appoint the lawyers and estate agents on the sale. When the house is sold and the other assets are collected, the money from the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.

How is a Grant of Probate issued?

Before the Grant of Probate is accessible a tax return must be submitted to HM Revenue and Customs confirming the amount of inheritance tax payable.

The return gives information on the deceased’s assets at the date of death, including details of any property (houses or flats) as well as the value. An application is then made to the Probate Court for the Grant of Probate.

Can you sell a property before probate is granted
If you sell a jointly owned property where one owner is still living, then as noted above, you can sell before the probate is granted.

Is it possible to sell before Probate is granted?

You might wonder, will you have to wait for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration before placing the house on the market or accepting offers?  The answer is:

  1. If you sell a jointly owned property where one owner is still living, then as noted above, you can sell before the probate is granted.
  2. If this is not the case, then you will need to obtain a Grant of Probate. The good news is that we can buy your inherited property at a fair market value as soon as you are ready to sell.  We will pay all your conveyancing fees too.

How long is Grant of Probate taking at the moment?

The current timescale can take up to two months to obtain a Grant of Probate. Once you have applied for a Grant of Probate, we can make you a cash offer on your property, and as soon as you have obtained it, you can sell without delay within 10 days or quicker.

What are costs when selling an inherited property?

  1. Professional Executor fees – if your loved one appointed a professional Executor, you could end up paying an hourly fee, and naturally, the longer it takes for the property to be sold, the more it will cost. We’ve seen eye-watering fees being charged.  It is always worth checking if the estate will be charged a fixed fee or an hourly fee.
  2. Council tax – this can be as much as 200% of the normal rateable value while the property is empty pending a sale. It is no wonder beneficiaries feel this is an unfair tax.
  3. Mortgage interest costs – interest and charges will be added daily to the balance.  In the worst case, if repossession proceedings have started, it can add thousands to the cost.
  4. Upkeep and maintenance of the property. See our detailed guide on ensuring your empty inherited property remains secure and free from theft, vandals and squatters.
  5. Empty property insurance – often, your inherited property may not be insured, or the cover has been invalidated due to the property being empty for more than 28 days a year. You will need to buy specialist cover for an empty property.
  6. Conveyancing fees can add at least £1,500 or more. If you sell an inherited house privately to Property Saviour, this fee will not be paid.
  7. You may also have to pay for clearance of the property as it is your responsibility to clear the property.  If we agree to buy your property, we offer you a free house clearance.
What documents will you need for the sale of a probate property
The Executors or Administrators of the estate would be the parties who will be required to enter into the contract to sell the property and complete the enquiry forms.

What documents will you need for the sale of a probate property?

To prove your ability to sell, we will require an original or an official copy of your Probate or Letters of Administration plus the usual identification documents from the Executors, e.g. passport and utility bill.

The Executors or Administrators of the estate would be the parties who will be required to enter into the contract to sell the property and complete the enquiry forms. The information you have on the property might be limited, but most buyers will want some replies to basic enquiries whilst they will understand that your knowledge as Executors could be restricted.

We used another solicitor to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration.  Do we need to use them for the sale also?

You do not have to. They may charge you a higher price for dealing with the sale because they have a captive audience.  

You may find that by instructing another solicitor on the sale. You will get better value and, hopefully, a better level of service. If you sell to us, we can recommend a solicitor who can act quickly to sell your probate property.

What if I am selling a probate property with a short lease?  Can I extend it as an Executor?

The executors can serve a Notice of Claim to extend a lease by the statutory procedure contained in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.

However, please note executors only have a period of 2 years from the date of the Grant of Probate to do this.

This is on the belief the property is residential and the deceased had owned the property for 2 years, and all other statutory qualifications had been met.

We will buy your property probate with a short lease without any issues.

The Executors have two courses of action.  They could extend the lease themselves or, more likely, sell the property with the benefit of a Notice of Claim that could then be assigned (transferred) to the buyer on sale. This would stop the buyer from needing to wait 2 years before extending the lease themselves.

Who owns a house during probate
The Executor is appointed as a legal guardian of the deceased’s estate and to deal with all matters relating to the deceased’s financial affairs. 

Can an Executor of a Will sell property without all beneficiaries approving?

The Executor has the power to sell a probate house without the approval of all beneficiaries as the Executor is appointed as a legal guardian of the deceased’s estate and to deal with all matters relating to the deceased’s financial affairs.  Not all Executors have to agree to sell.

It may well be possible to challenge the Executor’s decision, but you will need legal advice on this matter.

Sell Probate Property Now

You can sell your probate property to us.  We provide a specialised probate property buying service in England, Scotland and Wales.

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