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Selling a House in Probate in Missouri | Updated Aug 2022

If you are looking for a way to sell your house in probate, then this article is for you! We have updated this with informative links to help you further in understanding probate laws since they vary from state to state. In Missouri, if a homeowner dies (referred to as the decedent) without making any plans for its future ownership or use, it automatically enters into probate. You may be wondering what that means and how to navigate the process – below, we have included some basic points about selling a house in probate in Missouri. We’ve also added references to laws surrounding this process and answered one important question: “Can I sell my home while it’s in probate?”

Probate is an important process not only in Missouri but it can be explained as the legal procedure that validates the legitimacy of a decedent’s will or trust (if any) presented in probate court. It then determines the proper distribution of the deceased person’s assets to their rightful beneficiaries and/or heirs and all the liabilities (or payables) that need to be settled. When a house is put up for probate, it is often that there is an interested party who wants to claim ownership over the property and include in the acquisition the payment of debts and unpaid mortgages on the property.

Selective focus on the word "u201cprobate"u201d. Many more word photos in my portfolio.

What is a House in Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process that deals with the transfer of property of the decedent to their inheritors, and this process helps determine whether the Decedent had a will drawn up or not.

In the event of one’s passing, whether they have a will or not, their assets must go through probate court before any property like their house, jewelry, vehicles or anything tangible can be distributed or sold by anyone else – heirs or not. 

3 Common Types of Probate

Testate Probate
When someone dies and has a will in place, the executor* of the will needs to file a petition in probate court and define a court date so they can be granted the legal authority to process and administer anything for the estate. This first step can take a few weeks to a few months, so it’s critical to file the petition and get a court date set as soon as possible.

Intestate Probate
The legal term for dying without a will is intestate probate, or more commonly known as ‘probate without a will’, where the decedent’s assets go to their closest kin under intestate succession laws.

Your executor* then files for probate and they will either hire an attorney or file paperwork themselves to begin the process in court in setting up hearings, etc… Once this happens the house cannot be sold until all payables are paid off; which includes any mortgages on the home, taxes owed (if not already paid), funeral expenses, credit card debt, medical bills, etc. Probate without a will is often a more costly process than when there is a will in place.

Probate Sale
Another form of intestate probate is when the decedent has no specific beneficiaries of the house or property in the will – the executor* of the estate will need to sell the property in probate.

In some cases, properties won’t even need to undergo full probate when there isn’t much at stake or where the assets are under $40,000.00. In this case, a Small Estate can be filed where any heir can take on the responsibility of paying off all the outstanding debts all before the final determination of who inherits shares of the property.

The Small Estate process is much quicker and somewhat inexpensive compared to a full probate estate since a Small Estate can be filed after the one-year time limit from the date of death.

The earliest that an estate may be closed and distribution made to the heirs or beneficiaries is approximately six months and 10 days after the date of first publication. However, it often takes a year or more to finish the administration.

– The Missouri Bar

Please check out this informative resource pack to understand terminologies and Probate Laws.

*Executor or Administrator – a court-appointed person in charge of a decedent’s probate estate.

How Long Does Probate Take in Kansas and Missouri?

Filing must happen within 6 months after the date of death. Persons having knowledge and access to a will may offer it for probate at any time within the 6 months following the death.
It will take at least six months to probate an estate. Although it often takes much longer, probating an estate will require at least six months because that is how long creditors have to file a claim against the estate.

What are the Probate Laws in Missouri?

The Probate Code of Missouri is the law that governs property transfers on death, which includes the rightful inheritance of the identified assets. The Probate Code appoints a personal representative* who can administer an estate, how the property is going to be distributed among heirs, and the limitations of the use of the property during probate proceedings.

Probate laws can definitely be confusing, so seeking the advice of a real estate and/or legal professional can be very helpful to walk you through the entire process.

*Personal Representative – Often called as an Executor or Administrator.

Can You Sell a House in Probate in Missouri?

Yes, you can sell a house in probate in Missouri. But to sell a house in probate, it must go through probate court to have the court approve the sale since the court is in charge of the estate until it’s closed. With all considerations taken into account when selling a house in probate, the general rule is that the executor of the estate will need to pay all of the back taxes and other debts on the property before they can sign an agreement to sell it. If this is not possible, then the executor may need to move for a release from these debts and back taxes in order to complete the sale.

It’s important for heirs and beneficiaries in a probate situation to understand how their interests in property, such as houses in probate, can be sold when they’re part of an estate.

It’s also a good idea to work with real estate professionals familiar with the probate process in Missouri. Selling a house in probate may concern some traditional buyers because of the additional paperwork required or the condition of the home. If you are an heir or beneficiary of a Missouri estate that includes real property, it is important to understand how your interests in this type of property can be sold when they’re part of the probate process.

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

Marketing and selling houses in probate takes more time than with “normal” properties because there’s always some amount of uncertainty about whether or not something will be approved by the court during the administration period. For this reason, working around problems associated with getting approval for sales contracts is often simpler if you have assistance from professionals who are familiar with these types of transactions.

There are many considerations involved when trying to sell a house during probate – but keeping them in mind doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to successfully sell a house in probate.

It’s important for heirs and beneficiaries in a probate situation to understand how their interests in property, such as houses in probate, can be sold when they’re part of an estate. It’s also helpful to work with real estate professionals familiar with the probate process who will know what needs to happen before you will be allowed to sign a sale contract on your Missouri property. Marketing and selling these types of homes during this time takes more time than usual because there is always some amount of uncertainty about whether or not something will be approved by the court during the administration period. For this reason, working around problems associated with getting approval for sales contracts is often simpler if you have assistance from professionals.

How to Avoid Probate in Missouri?

In Missouri, there are a number of ways to avoid probate, so it’s important to figure out when you have to go through probate. If a person leaves clear instructions in a Will stating what to do with their estate, then the property will not need to go through a round of probate. If a person leaves a trust that provides for the care of their loved one without going into detail about their assets, then it might be possible for them to reduce the cost and time involved with probate. Another way to avoid probate is by using joint tenancy titles. Someone who owns the property as joint tenants with someone else can simply transfer their share of the property over to the other person without going through probate.

Should You Sell a House in Probate?

Selling a house in probate is not an easy decision, and it’s one that many people have to make during their lives. There are some pros and cons to such a decision, and the fact that it doesn’t happen very often can be confusing what to do next. 

A lot of people who own houses in Missouri worry about what will happen to their property if they die without any living relatives, but again, the good news is that probate isn’t necessary for homes unless there’s a lot of money and assets at stake or someone else has already filed an estate petition on your behalf. 

Sometimes people don’t realize how simple it is to transfer ownership of a home to another person or people after the original owner passes away.

Sell A House in Probate in Missouri | KC Property Connection We Buy Houses | Sell My House Fast Kansas and Missouri

What are the Options When Selling a House in Probate?

A few of the options that you have when selling a house in probate are to contact a real estate professional, try selling a house without a realtor, or put it up for auction. You can find someone who will help you sell your home by checking out different websites and reading reviews. 

Another option is to put your home up for auction. But with an auction, the downside is you have to take care of everything leading up to the event, including cleaning and preparing the house for visitors. 

Besides the ideas mentioned above, you could also sell to a house flipper, cash buyer, or property investor, which may be a better option given the probate situation. 

Sell to A House Flipper

There are many reasons that you may want to sell your house to a house flipper, and in Missouri, it’s easy and convenient. Selling this way won’t cost you any money upfront and will allow you to take care of the details when the time is right. 

House flipping has been around for a while now, and there’s plenty of information out there about how it works, so you know what to expect when you hire someone to do it. 

When you’re selling a house to a flipper, they aren’t as interested in the property as much as they are interested in the land. They’ll typically only buy the house so they can use parts of it and make renovations that provide a good financial return.

Choose to ‘Sell My House Fast to A Cash Home Buyer’

Another option would be to sell your home to one of the companies that buy houses in Missouri. You could accept a cash offer for your house within 24 hours and sell within 7-days. By working with a “We Buy Houses Missouri” buyer, you’ll be able to sell the home as-is without making expensive repairs and avoid realtor commissions. This may prove to be helpful if you’d like to avoid costly renovations and months of sitting on the market. Cash buyers may also be house flippers, real estate investors, or buy and hold houses as rental properties. 

Sell to Property Investors

A property investor is a person who buys properties with the intention of selling them for a profit. They’re interested in buying a house because they hope that it will be profitable for them in the future. An investor may be interested in purchasing a probate property because there is often less competition for this type of home. A property investor may be a single person or a company with a group of investors. 

Final Takeaways

Selling a house in probate in Missouri can be challenging. Doing it right requires understanding the legal process, which is different from selling a regular property. So finding a real estate professional to work with and seeking legal advice would be helpful.

If you’re ready to sell a property in probate, contacting someone who can buy your house in probate in Kansas City would be helpful. KC Property Connection is a local cash home buyer that is familiar with the probate process and buys houses in as-is condition.

Contact KC Property Connection to find out more about their home buying process and to get a cash offer for your home today

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