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How To Sell An Inherited House In Texas

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Selling Inherited Property In Texas

When a person passes away, personal debts do not disappear. Instead, the various liability accounts must be paid through the estate assets through a process called probate. Generally, the decedent’s estate must be liquidated so that the cash proceeds can pay off the liabilities. Beneficiaries can only claim their inherited estate portion after all liabilities have been paid in full. If the estate assets are insufficient to cover the liabilities, those personal liabilities would generally not be paid. In many cases, the inheritance must be sold as part of this legal process. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done.

Table Of Contents

  1. Probate Sale Meaning Texas
  2. Probate Process for Selling Real Estate in Texas
  3. When Can the Executor Sell the Probate Property in Texas?
  4. Can You Sell a House Before Probate Is Complete in Texas?
  5. Do You Need to Go Through Probate to Sell an Inherited House in House?
  6. Texas Probate House Sale Issues
  7. Options You Can Consider When Selling a Probate House in Texas
  8. Listing the Probate Property with a Texas Real Estate Agent
  9. Selling the Inherited Property to a Family Member in Texas
  10. Selling a Texas Probate House As-Is to a Cash Home Buyer
  11. Texas Probate House Sale Frequently Asked Questions

Probate Sale Meaning Texas

When someone dies without a personal will, the title to their real estate is typically sold in a formal process known as probate. The court may appoint an administrator to complete the sale or the closest relative may be assigned to represent the estate. The court’s goal is to ensure that the inheritance sells for a reasonable price. Because of this, several steps are involved for a seller to complete a probate sale. The legal process to settle an estate can be both time-consuming and complicated for the seller, but there are options available to ease the burden and reduce the related fees.

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Probate Process for Selling Real Estate in Texas

The probate procedure for selling a property can take months to complete, and it is overseen by the court. All legal requirements placed on a buyer and seller must be carefully adhered to in order to avoid preventable complications and delays. What are the seller’s steps for the probate procedure?

1. File the Paperwork
An estate affidavit application for probate must be filed for an intestate estate when a decedent does not have a will. The filing is through the county clerk’s office, which should be in the county where the person resides. The clerk’s office then assigns the filing to the proper probate court.

2. Assign an Executor
If there is a will, the legal document names an executor to settle the decedent’s estate. If there is no written document, those who are interested in serving as the personal representative and meet the qualification can petition the court. Otherwise, an administrator would be designated by the court to manage the proceedings and to act as a seller for the real estate.

3. Sell the Probate Real Estate
Probate real estate must be sold via the assigned seller to pay off the deceased person’s creditors. The assets remaining would then cover related fees and be distributed to the beneficiaries. During probate, the administrator or executor must market the home, find a buyer and complete the sales transaction. While working with a real estate agent is a common approach for a seller, another option involves selling the probate house to a house-buying company.

When Can the Executor Sell the Probate Property in Texas?

Immediately after the initial probate proceeding, a notice may be issued to notify beneficiaries and other parties about the individual’s passing and to give people time to produce a will to the court. After an administrator or personal representative has been named for the estate, that appointed person must prepare a list of all known personal debts and assets. An inventory of valuable belongings and their appraised values must be provided to the court on behalf of the estate. Creditors are given a chance to come forward to file their claims to the estate’s assets through a certificate. By selling the assets and converting them into cash, the executor or administrator can then settle the personal debts.

Probate Sale

The process of selling a house in probate can be tedious. Often, the shape of the inherited house must be improved by the seller before it can be marketable. Once the real estate is listed for sale by the seller, weeks or longer may pass before a fair offer based on the home’s actual value is made. Generally, the court may need to determine if the written offer is acceptable before the contract between the buyer and seller can be finalized. In many cases, a buyer needs to apply for a personal mortgage, and this can add several additional weeks to the real estate transaction process.

The good news, however, is that the personal representative or administrator can start this process as soon as he or she has been assigned by the court. Before this time, however, the inherited property could not be marketed by the seller or go under contract.

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“I sold my mom’s home to Southern Hills Property Group. It was a tough time and I didn’t have the patience to list her home with an agent plus the work of repairs needed to sell it to the public. It was easy and all went smoothly. They bought the house without any repairs and closed in 3 weeks. Very happy with them”

George C.

Can You Sell a House Before Probate Is Complete in Texas?

During probate, an escrow account for the estate is created by the court to manage payments to creditors. This escrow account also holds all of the money from the estate’s sold assets. The probate process cannot be completed until the personal debts are paid in full or until the estate’s assets are exhausted. Because of this, selling the deceased person’s real estate may be an essential part of the legal process for the seller.

Do You Need to Go Through Probate to Sell an Inherited House in House?

There are instances when an inherited property can avoid probate. If the deceased person worked with an estate planning attorney, for example, he or she may have established a living trust or a transfer-on-death deed. Community property law may automatically give the surviving spouse full ownership of the property. In the event of joint ownership, full ownership may pass to the surviving owner. If your inheritance is not covered by one of these situations, the property typically must go through probate before it can be sold.

Texas Probate House Sale Issues

Before probate, it is important to understand the process and gather all of the information available to decide how to proceed with the sale of a probate house. There are specific seller and buyer requirements mandated by the court that must be complied with by the estate. For example, the court may dictate that the sales price should be a specific percentage of the home’s value. In some cases, a buyer may be required to make a minimum deposit when submitting an offer to the seller. In addition, the court may need to approve the offer before the contract can be finalized. These factors can reduce the pool of buyers who may be interested in the house. They may also extend the timeline and add other complications to the estate proceedings.

Selling Probate

Options You Can Consider When Selling a Probate House in Texas

When beneficiaries think about selling a house in probate, the traditional option of listing that home with a Realtor may immediately spring to mind. While this is one option available to a seller, it is not the only one for you to consider. In fact, there are three main possibilities available. Because each one has its pros and cons, a closer look is in order before you make this important personal decision for the estate.

Listing the Probate Property with a Texas Real Estate Agent

If you decide to list a probate house for sale with a real estate agent, that home may directly compete with the many other homes for sale in the local market. Factors like features, décor, quality, location, price, and more may all be considered by buyers before they make an offer. The house should be more appealing than most others in these areas to attract a reasonable offer quickly. A seller should keep in mind that there may be many costs associated with cleaning and updating the house before it can be listed for sale. A real estate agent commission may be paid out of the sales proceeds as well.

When you list a probate house on the market, it may be positioned disadvantageously to others. For example, the court may establish a minimum sales price based on its value, and a minimum deposit may be required from the buyer. These factors may make a house unappealing to some buyers and reduce the size of your pool.

On the other hand, selling a house through a real estate agent is a process many people are familiar with. This familiarity may be preferred by some beneficiaries who are otherwise stressed by a complicated probate process for the estate.

Selling the Inherited Property to a Family Member in Texas

Often, a house in probate must be sold to pay off outstanding taxes, insurance payments, credit card debts, and other personal liabilities that the deceased person left behind. If this type of situation, a family member, such as parents or children, may approach you to purchase the house. This may be allowable by the court in some situations, but each case may have specific nuances for the court’s consideration. If a family member does buy the house from the seller, he or she may need to apply for a loan through a mortgage lender. This could delay the estate settlement process. Keep in mind that the court may still have its sales price and deposit requirements. Often, when a family member wants to purchase a house from another family member, they may believe that they can get a lower-than-market price on the house or take advantage of other benefits, but this is not the case as long as the house is in probate. If the house does not need to be sold in probate, the inherited house can be sold to a family member without court restrictions.

Selling a Texas Probate House As-Is to a Cash Home Buyer

Another option that a seller may not initially consider is to sell the probate house to an as-is cash buyer. This is an investor or company that wants to pay market value for the house based on its current condition. There is no need to repair and upgrade the property. You do not even need to remove unwanted items from the house before the sale is finalized. The offer that you may receive from a cash home buyer may be fair and reasonable, so stressful negotiations are not usually part of the experience. In addition, a cash home buyer does not have extra fees or costly charges, and there is no need for a seller to pay a costly Realtor commission.

Selling to a cash buyer is a hassle-free and fast process. Because the house can be sold expeditiously through this process, the rest probate process for the estate may be completed faster.

Probate House Sale Frequently Asked Questions

Selling Probate Questions

Can You Sell a House Without Going Through Probate in Texas?

When a person dies without a will, his or her estate must go through probate. However, there are exceptions to this. For example, if the house is an asset owned under a living trust or through joint ownership, it may not need to pass through probate. The surviving spouse in a community property state may fully own the house’s title. The deceased property owner may have also prepared a transfer-on-death deed or affidavit, which may keep the house out of probate. In addition, estates valued at less than $50,000 are not required to go through probate in Texas.

Can You Live in A House During Probate?

In some situations, someone wishes to reside in a house during probate. Generally, a person may only live in the house if he or she previously did so at the time of the owner’s passing. In some cases, someone may move into the property after the owner’s death provided the court administration or personal administrator approves of it. Any rental income collected during the probate process may be placed in the estate’s escrow account.

Can You Empty a House Before Probate in Texas?

You should not remove anything from a house before probate. These personal items may be covered by probate, and some or all of them could be sold in accordance with court requirements. The personal representative of the estate may need to document all items in the house and provide that documentation to the court.

How Long Does It Take to Sell a House in Probate?

Selling a house in probate could take months to do if you work with a Realtor. The actual timeline may depend on market conditions at the time as well as the home’s condition and other factors. On the other hand, selling the house to a house-buying company for cash can make a big difference. This process may be less costly, hassle-free, and much faster to complete. In fact, you could finalize the sale within a week.

Do All Heirs Need to Agree to Sell Inherited Property in Texas?

If a property is in probate, the estate’s administrator follows the court’s required order related to the sale of the house. If a property is not in probate and has been inherited by two or more heirs, the heirs can decide what to do with the house. However, this may become a court decision if the heirs cannot come to an agreement.

Fast cash for my house Texas

“I sold my mom’s home to Southern Hills Property Group. It was a tough time and I didn’t have the patience to list her home with an agent plus the work of repairs needed to sell it to the public. It was easy and all went smoothly. They bought the house without any repairs and closed in 3 weeks. Very happy with them”

George C.

Easiest Way To Sell a House In Probate

The easiest way to sell a probate house in New Mexico after a loved one has died is through a house-buying company. Whether you do not want to deal with a lengthy probate experience or the house is in foreclosure, has taxation issues, or has other concerns, selling to a cash home-buying investor can get the property closed quickly and with minimal hassle.

These findings apply to all cities in Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, San Antonio and more. If you need any help or have questions about inherited property in the state of Texas, call us. We are always happy to help.


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“Shannon helped to sell my parents’ house quickly and fairly. She was responsive, professional, knowledgeable, and personable. The emotional difficulty in letting go of this house was made much easier with Shannon’s help. All done from out of state, and closed in a week. I would highly recommend Southern Hills Property Group.”

Kristen W.

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Selling Your Texas House For Cash FAQs

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Cash home buyers don’t need approval from banks as a financed home buyer would. When we buy your house for cash there is no risk of the loan getting denied and your home sitting on the market for months. Southern Hills Home Buyers can buy your house fast for cash!

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When you sell your home the traditional way, it takes an average of 71 days from listing your home to closing the real estate transaction.

With a cash home buyer, you may have to accept a lower offer, but if you need to sell your house fast for cash, the timeline is significantly shortened – sometimes is less than a week. Time is money, and selling fast means you are saving cash!

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If you want to sell at market value, consider speaking with a real estate agent about the best improvements for your home. These could include a new roof, a full kitchen remodel, new exterior siding, or even a complete electrical re-wire.

If you don’t have the time or money to make improvements for potential buyers in Texas, a cash home buyer may be your best option. Sure, you may have to accept a lower offer, but you get the piece of mind of knowing there is no cost to you and you can move on in less than a week!

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