From time to time you may either be asked to list an estate sale or you may have a buyer making an offer on an estate sale. There are some things to be mindful of with estate sales that are worth mentioning.

For starters, there may be several executors (estate trustees). This may mean a longer irrevocable may be required, and having all trustees agree on a price may be a cause of frustration for you.

Also, you will want to ensure that a Certificate of Appointment (probate) has been obtained by the Estate Trustee. This means a court has certified that the will is valid, that there are no objections to it, and that the Estate Trustee has the authority to dispose of the assets of the estate. If the Certificate has not yet been obtained, it may take months for the process to be completed. If your buyer is making an offer on an estate sale, or if your seller client (the estate of the deceased person represented by the executor) lists and sells the property without the Certificate having been obtained, a probate clause should be inserted into the offer. The probate clause allows the seller time to extend the completion date, thereby providing more time to obtain probate. The clause (copied from Webforms) is below:

The Buyer and Seller agree that the Seller, upon giving a minimum of _ days written notice to the Buyer (excluding, Saturdays, Sundays and Statutory Holidays), may unilaterally extend the date set for completion, one or more times, not to exceed _ days in total, for the purpose of obtaining a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.

Note that if it’s your buyer making the offer, you will want to ensure the extended closing, and the length of the extension, work for your client. For example, if your buyers have already given notice to their landlord and have nowhere to go if this house does not close within 60 days due to the probate extension, this may not be the right house for them.

As always, I am here to help. If you have questions regarding this topic or any other, don’t hesitate to call/text/email any time.