Selling A Texas House In Probate

Sell A House In Probate In Texas

Selling a house in probate in Texas is possible. We’ve helped many homeowners in this scenario. If you want to sell while in probate, you can get a cash offer from us today!

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Selling a House In Probate Texas Guide

If a family member or other loved one has recently passed away without leaving a will or trust, you may have questions about what’ll happen to the decedent’s estate. In these cases, something called “probate proceedings” takes place to determine the best way to distribute the property belonging to the intestate estate.

The probate process can be difficult and confusing, especially following the death of a loved one. However, with a few simple tips and explanations, you’ll be able to better understand how probate works without needing any expertise in estate planning. Let’s take a look at how the system works and how to sell an inherited home in probate.

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Probate Sale Meaning Texas

“Probate” refers to a special type of court proceeding that deals with the estates who die intestate. “Intestate” means that a person has died and didn’t leave behind a valid will that lists their property and who should receive which items after they pass away.

When a person dies intestate, the probate procedure begins with the court appointing a designated executor, a term used for a personal representative for the person who has passed away who is responsible for handling all sales, paying off any outstanding debts to a lender or other creditors, and ensuring that all property and estate assets are distributed appropriately to everyone entitled to a claim.

Probate Process For Selling Real Estate in Texas

1. First, you’ll want to file a probate order with the local court, which informs them that a person has died without making their intentions for their estate known. This starts the formal probate procedure process, which allows everyone related to the deceased the opportunity to provide documentation proving their connection to the person who was passed, allowing them to potentially be named as an heir.

2. The court then appoints a personal representative for the estate to execute the wishes of the individual who has passed, distribute property among beneficiaries, and settle any liabilities. This is usually done as part of a person’s will, but if there isn’t one or if the one submitted is invalid for any reason, anyone willing to serve can petition the court to be appointed as the personal representative for the person who has passed and execute the terms in accordance with the law. No certification or specific qualification is required to be selected in this capacity other than a connection with the deceased.

3. Sell the house or other real estate associated with the probate case, which is then used to pay court fees and any outstanding debts to creditors incurred by the departed, with the remainder divided equally among anyone who successfully petitions the court to be recognized as a beneficiary.

When Can The Executor Sell The Probate Property in Texas?

As soon as the court has appointed an executor, they can ask the court for permission to sell any property associated with the probate. Under Texas law, this must be a written request describing the property to be sold. As soon as the request is granted, a sale can begin.

Can You Sell A House Before Probate is Complete in Texas?

Yes, a house in probate can be sold at any point after an executor has received the court’s permission and before the probate has been finalized. The money gained through the sale is put into an escrow account and first used to cover any outstanding debts held by the estate. The rest is distributed evenly to all eligible beneficiaries.

For example, if a probate house is sold for $100,000 but the deceased still owes $40,000 on their mortgage, the $100,000 from the sale would be placed into an escrow account while the probate is ongoing. During finalization), $40,000 from that account would be used to pay the bank for the outstanding mortgage balance, and (assuming that the mortgage is the only debt held by the estate) $60,000 would be split evenly amongst the beneficiaries.

Do you need to go through probate to sell an inherited house in Texas?

Not always. Probate court hearings in Texas are only required if a person dies without any of their property or assets being formally willed to any particular person or organization and the value of the estate is over $75,000. If the total value is less, the deceased’s personal representative must only file a small estate affidavit with the clerk’s office before the property is released.

If you’ve been specifically willed the house or other property and the total value of the estate is less than $75,000, you should be able to sell it as soon as the deed is transferred to you and avoid probate.

However, there are some situations where it could go to probate anyway, such as another potential heir contesting the deceased’s final wishes or the possibility of multiple wills being produced. In this case, it may be necessary to hire a good attorney who specializes in probate cases for legal advice specific to your unique situation.

Texas Probate House Sale Issues

There are a few issues you might run into when attempting to sell a house in probate in Texas, most commonly a dispute between parents, siblings, a surviving spouse, and other relatives or potential beneficiaries who might contest the sale.

Taxation can also be an issue, especially with an estate that enters probate at the end of a tax year. Although Texas does not levy an inheritance tax at the state level, federal taxes are charged on the inheritance and, after the property is sold, could include capital gains tax. If the house is inherited in December, taxes are due on April 15th of the following year. If the house hasn’t sold by then, the tax must be paid by the inheritor without using the proceeds of the sale.

Options You Can Consider When Selling a Probate House Texas

Listing The Probate Property With A Texas Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can likely get you a good price on the house, especially if multiple buyers become engaged in a bidding war and the house ends up selling for higher than the asking price. With their years of experience, they’ll know all the tips and tricks to get the maximum value out of your home.

Unfortunately, it can be very costly due to the number of fees an estate agent might charge. Between their fees, closing costs, inspections, and potential required repairs, it could cost 10% or more of the final selling price. With closing times of 30, 60, or 90 days, it could take six months or longer from the date of listing for the sale to be completed and the funds to be made available.

Selling The Inherited Property To A Family Member in Texas

Selling the inherited assets to a family member could be a good idea, as this allows the house to remain in the family and can simplify the process significantly by allowing you to avoid paying a realtor. It can also be much less costly than keeping the house vacant for months while it sits on the open market awaiting an offer.

However, it can also cause a lot of bickering and potential probate issues if multiple family members decide they should be the ones who get to buy the house. If it escalates, each person connected with the estate might have to hire a lawyer or a probate attorney to represent them in court, which can be very expensive, especially if there are many descendants or potential beneficiaries and the probate proceedings last a long time.

Selling A Texas Probate House As-is to a Cash Home Buyer

Perhaps the easiest and least costly way to sell a probate house in Texas is to use a cash home buyer. They buy houses, condos, mobile homes, or other living spaces as-is in any condition, even with belongings still inside, with no repairs or renovations needed. The entire process is hassle-free and saves the seller from dealing with real estate agents, who are paid on commission and would, therefore, be incentivized to focus on selling more expensive homes first.

Even better, they allow you to sell your house fast, as the deal can be closed in as little as one week. This can make a massive difference, as traditional methods require waiting 30 to 90 days after an offer has been accepted, which itself could take weeks or months.

Probate House Sale Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Sell A House without Going Through Probate in Texas?

Yes, there are a few circumstances where you can sell a house and avoid probate in Texas. If the total value of the estate is less than $75,000, including the house, a small estate affidavit filed with the clerk’s office is all that’s needed.

Additionally, as of 2015, Texas offers a Transfer on Death Deed, also known as a TODD, which immediately transfers the ownership of a home to the intended recipient immediately upon the death of the previous owner and allows them to sell the property while avoiding probate. Additionally, an affidavit of heirship or judicial determination of heirship can expedite the process and help avoid probate.

Can You Live In A House During Probate?

Yes, under certain circumstances listed in Texas law, it is legal to live in a house during the probate period. However, the personal representative appointed by the probate court has the discretion to allow or disallow the continued use of the house.

It should also be noted that a home specifically designated as part of a homestead is specifically exempt from the probate process.

Can you empty a house before probate in Texas?

No, if a house located within Texas is to be placed in probate, removing anything from the house is a violation of state law. This is to ensure that everything of value is presented to the court and that all assets are distributed appropriately to all invested parties.

How Long Does It Take To Sell A House In Probate?

It depends. Once the probate stage has been reached, the court authorizes the sale of the house, and it’s listed on the open market, it could take weeks or months to find a prospective buyer to put in an offer. However, a company that specializes in home buying, like Hilltop Home Buyer, can handle the transaction much faster and can result in a closing date in as little as one week from the offer being made.

Do All Heirs Need To Agree To Sell Inherited Property?

Generally speaking, no, not all heirs or potential need to agree on the decision to sell inherited property. Only the executor or direct inheritor is needed to authorize a sale. However, if the probate stage has been reached, Texas Estate Code 356.252 requires the court’s approval before the sale and section 356.254 allows for other potential heirs, beneficiaries, or trustees to contest such a sale.

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Easiest Way To Sell A House In Probate in Texas

The easiest way to sell a house in probate is to find a cash house buyer. The easiest way to find a cash house buyer is to contact a homes-for-cash company, like Hilltop Home Buyer, who buys houses in any condition and handles all necessary repairs after the sale has closed. They significantly advance the timeline and allow sellers to get their money for a home in a matter of weeks, not months. They also charge no fees and don’t require costly home inspections like a realtor would.


If you have any questions about selling a home in probate in the Texas area, contact a real professional like Hilltop Home Buyer. Our experts have purchased many homes in circumstances similar to yours and we’ll be able to walk you through the process and help you sell your home fast for cash.

We operate all over the state of Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston, and Arlington. As the same state laws apply, the process is the same no matter where in Texas you and your probate home are located.

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