An easy guide to selling a probate property.

Selling a property in probate can be an overwhelming and stressful process which is why we’ve compiled a handy guide to give you some advice on how to sell your property quickly and with minimum hassle.

Applying for probate

When a property owner dies, they should have identified a specified person who they wish to take care of the legal affairs of their estate. This person will be required to have ‘Probate’ or a ‘letter of administration’. Either of these things will allow them to act as a legal personal representative so that they can sell the property in compliance with the terms detailed in the will of the deceased.

Firstly, go through the assets and liabilities left by the deceased. This means adding up the value of the property, bank accounts and building society accounts as well as investments and personal effects. For final statements you will be required to send a death certificate.  Then you can apply for probate by yourself or through a solicitor but it’s unlikely that you’ll need to do this if:

  • You already have a joint share of the property
  • You have a joint bank or building society account with the deceased
  • The sum of money left in the account was very small (usually under £5,000)

If you need to apply for probate you will be required to complete a probate application form (PA1) and an inheritance tax form. Once completed, these will need to be sent to the probate registry along with the death certificate, original will and three copes (including any amendments made) and an application fee of £215. You will be sent an oath by the probate office and for this you will need to either go to a commissioner for oaths (a solicitor) or a local probate office. This will be your promise that the information you have provided is correct.

Dealing with utilities

One thing that can often be overlooked in the process of selling a probate property is sorting out the final payments for household utilities. These could include the final bills for electricity and water, council tax and if the house is empty you will have to buy

Capital gains and inheritance tax

If the deceased’s estate is worth more than £325,000 you will be required to pay inheritance tax. This is 40% on anything above £325,000 but can be reduced to 36% if 10% or more is donated to charity. You will have six months after the date the person has died to do this. Capital Gains tax is tax on the profit you have made from the sale of the property.

Preparing the house for sale

It’s no secret that first impressions will count so make sure that your property is prepared before you put it on the market. Make sure your property is clean and de-cluttered and that both the interior and exterior are given a fresh look if needed. This can be done quickly and cheaply if you do it yourself.

An established company such as Probate Purchasers will give you all of the advice you’ll need for a house probate sale and gives you an alternative way to sell if you’re struggling with the traditional route.

Tim Jackson