Abingdon: 01235 553686  |  Didcot: 01235 511406

We specialise in the sale of probate properties and here’s our brief guide to buying one:

  • Always be respectful of the fact that you are likely to be dealing, albeit indirectly, with someone who has recently been bereaved.

  • Ensure that the sellers regard you as the right person to take over eg “the family home”.

  • Don’t bombard the seller with your renovation plans. They may be keener to sell to someone who will maintain the house as it is, rather than totally changing it.

  • Probate sale properties often require improvement. By default, the last resident may have been elderly and possibly lived in the property without improving it for many years. So be flexible and take the opportunity to put your own stamp on the property.

  • If someone has actually died in the house, this should have little bearing on its value, unless the death was crime-related or high profile.

  • Depending on the needs of the beneficiaries, there may be different responses to your offer. For example, a sole heir may wish to hold on for the very highest price. They do not live in the property and are in no particular hurry. Alternatively, many siblings may be sharing the proceeds, and any negotiated increase, once shared among them, will have little bearing on the size of each stake. They might be keener for a swift and reliable sale.

  • Establish if all the beneficiaries have agreed in advance over issues such as timescales, fixtures etc.

  • Find out if the solicitor representing the estate has power of attorney to act on behalf of all the beneficiaries. There have been instances where one of several beneficiaries could not be traced in order to agree the terms of sale.

  • Ask which fixtures and fittings are staying. One beneficiary might say that the lawnmower is included, when his brother has actually laid claim to it.

  • Probate sales often go to sealed bids (“sale by tender”), in which case, submit your maximum offer as you are unlikely to get another chance. State your case and support your bid with evidence of your ability to proceed. The seller may prefer to sell to a buyer they like, rather than the highest bidder.

If you have any questions about probate sales, please feel free to call our dedicated probate team on Didcot 01235 511406 or Abingdon 01235 553686.

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