Help For Those With Houses Going Through Probate


A North Somerset estate agency is stepping in to help the increasing number of people in the area who are faced with the task of selling a property after an elderly relative has died.

Parker’s Estate Agents is offering to guide people through the process of selling a home while awaiting probate, which if not carried out efficiently can take over a year.

Andrew Simmonds RICS, director of Parker's Estate Agents in Backwell said:

“North Somerset is blessed with larger properties, many of them owned by older people who want to stay in their own homes as long as possible and leave the home in their will to a family member.

“Most people who inherit a home in this way want to sell it quickly for emotional reasons or to ensure that it is not left empty, which can lead to maintenance or repair costs. We urge people in those positions to talk to us as soon as possible as we can help.”

Mr Simmonds says that people do not have to wait for probate to come through to market property. It is possible to have a buyer lined up so that the deal can go through as soon as probate is achieved.

What is vital is for those inheriting a property to have it properly valued on the date that the owner died so that the value for probate purposes is established. If probate takes a time then a property can still be sold at a higher value to reflect how property values have changed in that time.

Mr Simmonds said:

“It is vital that all the paperwork is found, including deeds and details of any charges on the property or equity release that has been entered into. Often people want to clear a house as quickly as possible and throw out junk. Make sure that vital paperwork is not lost in that process as it can hold up a future sale.

“Around 10% of all properties being sold now are subject to probate so it is a situation that property professionals are used to and we can give advice and even take over some of the onerous tasks that people find themselves with.

“In some circumstances it is more complicated with sitting tenants or a number of beneficiaries that need to be consulted about the sale. In those cases we are able to work closely with lawyers dealing with the estate to find the quickest and best solution for those going through the sale.

“It can be a terribly emotional time for many people as they are often coping with the death of a parent and it is a real wrench to sell the family home. We understand that and can take away the burden and support people through the process.”

The executors of a will – or if no will close family members – must be granted probate before a home can be sold after an owner has died. Contracts can’t be exchanged until probate is granted but properties can be marketed and potential buyers found.

Anyone in North Somerset faced with having to sell a home belonging to a deceased relative can contact Parker’s for advice on 01275 463096.