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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Dotseth

How Do Real Estate Probate Sales Work in San Diego?

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**Understanding Probate Real Estate Sales in San Diego**

This should not be considered legal advice. We are not attorneys and recommend that you consult with a probate attorney in San Diego. We can recommend several! This information is prepared to give you a snapshot on the real estate sale portion of managing an estate in probate.

Properties come to market through various channels like owner sales, broker sales, and bank foreclosures, each offering unique opportunities at different times and prices. Another real estate transaction is probate sales. What exactly are probate real estate sales, and how do they function in San Diego? Let's delve into the details to understand whether they are viable for buyers or sellers.

**What Are Probate Real Estate Sales?**

Probate courts handle the administration of estates when individuals pass away, and the courts will manage the distribution of assets including real estate. If the deceased owned property did not specify distribution in a will and did not hold title in a trust, the court oversees the real estate sale to settle debts and distribute proceeds among heirs or creditors. This ensures a fair and regulated process, preventing disputes among heirs.

In simpler terms:

- When someone dies without a will, their property, including real estate, is managed by a probate court.

- The property is sold through a probate sale process overseen by the court.

- This process is designed to ensure transparency and fairness.

**How Does the Probate Sale Process Work?**

The probate sale process involves several steps to ensure fairness and legality:

- Appointment of an administrator to manage the sale. This person is often called a Personal Representative. It is often a relative but not always.

- Appraisal of the property to determine its fair market value.

- Listing the property on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) with a minimum sale price set by the court, if the listing must be court approved.

- Acceptance of offers, which can be subject to court approval.

- Potential bidding at a court hearing to finalize the sale.

- If this is NOT a court approved sale, the personal representative will make all final decisions on the home sale without the court's final approval. But the PR will report in to the court on all activities.

**Specifics of the San Diego Probate Sale Process**

In San Diego, probate real estate sales follow additional guidelines:

- Properties are listed on MLS once approved by the probate court.

- Sales must use a standardized Probate Purchase Agreement Contract.

- Offers require a 10% deposit of the sale price.

- Properties are typically sold as-is without contingencies.

- It is best if the property is listed and sold vacant and clean or at least broom clean.

**Pros and Cons of Probate Real Estate Sales**


- Guaranteed minimum sale price set by the court, if this is a court approved listing/sale.

- Some potential for buyers to acquire a property a little below market value.

- Defined process with clear steps. Probate is not a mystery. The rules are set by the court.

- Hiring a "traditional" Realtor is not the way to go. All listings should be handled by a Certified Probate Specialist. We are all certified probate specialists at Blend Luxury Real Estate.


- Properties are sold as-is, without disclosure of previous maintenance or condition due to property unknowns.

- Sale process can be lengthy and complex. Heirs get impatient.

- Requires understanding of probate laws and procedures.

**Avoiding the Probate Process**

For property owners who would like their future heirs to avoid probate sales:

- Create a valid will to dictate property distribution.

- Most importantly, put your real estate in a trust to avoid probate.


Probate real estate sales require understanding and preparation. Navigating the probate process in San Diego demands adherence to legal procedures and transparency. You can manage the probate with a lawyer to help you or not. All of this is happening while you are also managing your grief and emotions. For those who are charged with managing a probate sale, we at Blend Luxury Real Estate are certified as California Probate Specialists and have helped hundreds of families close sales and distribute funds to heirs. And we'd love to talk to you and work with you! Our probate division has its own website,

Kimberly Dotseth, Blend Luxury Real Estate, California DRE #01179760 (619) 261-1909 and

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