Investing in real estate isn’t as easy as you think, particularly if you’re going to deal with a deceased estate. Typically, buyers like you can be attracted to purchase properties from a deceased estate since it can be a secure investment for those who want to consider new investment opportunities in properties that sell for less than actual market value.
However, dealing with a deceased estate can be a complicated process. Although it comes with good value, it’s essential to review the ownership structure before signing the contract to make sure of a smooth and hassle-free transfer.
If you’re planning to invest in a deceased estate, here are a few things you need to consider from the get-go.
What Is A Deceased Estate?
A deceased estate refers to the assets and properties that belong to a person who has died. These can include real estate properties, personal possessions, money deposited in bank accounts, shares, income, and many more. Moreover, the estate will hold the assets of the deceased in trust from the moment of death of the person until their transfer to the persons designated in the will.
For purposes of administration, the deceased estate will be managed by an executor who is appointed in the dead person’s last will or an administrator who is appointed legally by the Supreme Court.
Just like other real estate investments of properties sold by courts such as foreclosed and tax-delinquent properties, buying probate properties or deceased estates can present you with a variety of benefits. These may include:
- A Motivated Seller – Since the executor is tasked with the management of the properties of the deceased, they’ll be motivated to sell them by accepting the market value of the property. Meaning, you can be confident that the property will be disposed of quickly through an auction.
- Best Property Value – Because of their nature, properties belonging to a deceased person are often sold at less than the actual market value. This means that the investors can ask for a lower price from the owners to close the deal quickly.
- Good Renovation Potential – Most deceased estates have excellent potential for renovations because they’re often composed of old properties. They allow you to invest in a property that can be renovated to get the best value for your money.
Deceased Estate Investment Considerations
Knowing the general nature of a deceased estate, you’re aware by now why this can be a significant type of real estate investment. At the same time, as in most other real property investments, there are some things to consider in order to ensure a trouble-free transaction in securing your investment.
When investing in a deceased estate, you should remember to complete thorough research as well as to examine the grant of probate or letter of administration, the legal ownership structure of the property, the mortgages and other encumbrances on the property, and your own investment funds.
- Thorough Research
Before committing to any property investment, conducting thorough research about the sale and learning some key elements about the transaction details are very important. Although the purchase of a deceased estate can be a significant real estate investment these days, you still need to take a look at some legal and tax implications of the transaction.
In this context, it’s a good idea to talk to some professionals including property tax specialists, estate planning lawyers, and the designated executor of the estate, to mention a few. Completing this process will help and allow you to have a better understanding of the paperwork and the legal processes required to complete the sale.
To see the bigger picture, it would be best if you can also do some market research to determine the general market value of the property. In understanding the capital growth potential of the transaction, you can determine if you will be making a sound investment or not.
- Grant Of Probate Or Letter Of Administration
Before investing in a deceased estate, don’t forget to ask for a copy of the probate or the letter of administration to ensure you’re working with an authorized executor of the estate. Also, a grant of probate or letter of administration is a requirement for the smooth transfer of the property from the seller to the buyer.
At the same time, you should be aware of the timeframe that you will need to set aside for this transaction. Most probate processes can be lengthy and time-consuming undertakings. To avoid complications along the way, find out how long probate takes before you enter into a contract of sale.
Aside from the documents mentioned, you should also make sure that the name on the title of the property isn’t that of the deceased but that of the seller. That way, you’ll minimize the risk to yourself as a buyer.
- Ownership Structure Of The Property
In addition, you should also find time to check the property owner of the deceased estate you’re dealing with. Typically, a property belonging to an estate can’t be subject to sale without the consent of the heirs designated in the will and with the deceased person’s name on the title. This means that the property to be sold should be transferred to the heir or the executor before you can execute the contract of sale.
Remember, knowing the ownership structure of the deceased estate beforehand can save you a lot of stress. With this properly done, you can guarantee that the property you’re investing has no ownership issues so that the transfer is as hassle-free as possible.
- Mortgages And Other Encumbrances
Note that, examining the title itself will not always tell you when the deceased estate has been mortgaged or subject to other encumbrances. Therefore, to avoid investing in a problematic property, conduct a particular query and see if there’s a mortgage on it. If there is, check the status by asking whether the lender has consented for the title transfer to proceed with the sale or not. By doing this, you know that your real estate investment doesn’t come with problems.
Similar to buying an asset, you also need to get your funds in order so you can proceed with the sales process quickly. Aside from paying in cash, you can take advantage of many real estate finance options that can help you take possession of property coming from a deceased estate.
On the other hand, before shelling out your money, consider how all the costs can affect your finances. Be sure to stick to your decision regarding your budget. Fortunately, most deceased estates come at reasonable prices, so you should be able to proceed with your investment with the steps presented in this article.
Care and attention should be exercised when buying a property where a deceased estate is involved. As a buyer, you should keep these suggestions in mind to ensure that the sale is completed without trouble.