Best Way To Sell A House In Probate (Easily & Quickly)?

Selling A Property In Probate

If you are the Executor of a Will, you may find yourself needing to sell a “Probate Property”. This is usually the situation when a deceased person owned a property in their sole name, and the beneficiaries of the Will now need to distribute the value of the estate after inheriting it.

Alas, selling an inherited property can be a confusing process, and that’s why I’ve been grappling with what the best way is to approach this topic, not only because it’s an extremely sensitive and often traumatic one, but also because I want to structure the content in the most useful way possible (without the fluff). There’s certainly no shortage of ground to cover, but it doesn’t make sense to cover it all.

So after much deliberation, I’ve decided to target this blog post for anyone that ticks the following boxes:

  • First and foremost (and most obviously), trying to sell a probate property.
  • Not fully aware of the legal or practical process of selling a probate property, and therefore needs a guiding hand.
  • In search of a quick and easy solution (I don’t mean “easy” emotionally, of course). Selling a probate property can take a very long time to sell on the open market, but this can be avoided.

Table of contents

Selling inherited property is NOT the same as selling your own property

What most people in this situation don’t initially realise – and understandable so – is that selling an inherited property does not follow the same blueprint as someone selling their own home – there are additional legal hoops to jump through.

“Probate” is the process of obtaining permission from the Court to deal with the estate of someone who has died. Typically, an Executor named in the Will is responsible for managing the Probate process.

In order to sell an inherited house (or a “house in probate”), a Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration) is required to legally complete the sale. A grant can be obtained by completing an application on the GOV website, but the process does involve multiple steps and can take several months, which includes:

  • Registering the death
  • Valuing the estate
  • Paying any inheritance tax due
  • Paying Probate fees

On a side note, you can still have the property valued and put it on the market before probate has been granted. If someone makes an offer on the property, you can accept it, but you will need to wait for the Grant of Probate before exchanging contracts.

How long does it take to sell a property in probate?

How long is a piece of string?

Yup, sadly that’s the reality.

It really depends on each specific case, just like the sale of any property. The process can either be a relatively quick or slow process, or somewhere in between.

However, due to the extra legal complications involved with selling a property in probate, there are additional factors in play that can cause delays.

Besides from all the generic issues, such as emptying the property, making it presentable, and market conditions, here are a few other factors that can impact the sale time:

  • Seeking a grant of probate – 6 – 12 weeks
  • Marketing a property in probate – 1 – 12 weeks (this is based on the average time and depends on the method used to sell the property)
  • Conveyancing/legal paperwork – 1 – 12 weeks (again, this is based on the average time and depends on the method used to sell the property)

In short, after seeking a grant of probate, the time to sell is just as unpredictable as a regular house sale.

It is possible to expedite and reduce those time frames significantly if you’re after a quick sale (which I’ll cover next).

So what’s the easiest and quickest way to sell a probate property?

As mentioned, there’s potentially a lot of ground to cover on this topic, so I’m only going to focus on the on what I believe to be the easiest solution, and that’s because:

  • Due to the traumatic nature of this situation, which is already complicated and taxing enough, most people are seeking a relatively painless solution.
  • There’s already plenty of information available on how to sell a probate property through the traditional means, moreover, most reputable high-street estate agents should be able to assist if you talk to them. However, while using an estate agent can be effective, using one won’t necessarily be the most quickest or easiest option to sell an inherited property.

Selling directly to a cash buying company

If you toss the term “selling a property in probate” into Google you’ll be inundated with Property Cash Buyer Companies (also referred to as “We buy any house” companies) in your research results. Perhaps that’s how you ended up here.

These companies do what they say on the tin: they’ll buy any property in any condition, including probate properties, for cash.

The catch? You’ll have to sell the property anywhere between 75% – 85% of the market value. However, that hasn’t stopped their services from becoming popular – and often a saving grace – among those looking to sell a property in probate, and that’s because they can make the process incredibly easy (or, at least, easy as it can be in these difficult times).

The key features of using a cash buyer company:

  • They are a very convenient solution (in these circumstances, “convenience” is often highly sought after and valued)
  • They will make a full cash offer (often with in days)
  • They understand the legal and practical process involved with buying and selling a property in probate.
  • Probate properties can take a very long time to sell on the open market, especially in a slow market, but they can cut the time in half, least of all because they’re ready to buy today

Expert Insight

The process of selling a property in probate to a cash buyer explained

To get real insight on how these companies operate and how they can benefit those looking to sell a property in probate, I reached out to my contact at (a highly reputable cash buyer company that has vast experience in purchasing properties in probate), founder Kelvin Elliot, and this is what he had to say:

Key points

  • Selling inherited property is a very stressful time for many different reasons, and that can add to the already difficult task of navigating around the probate process, particularly all the admin work. We can alleviate a lot of that work.
  • On top of the admin work, you also need to make arrangements to clear the property before it can go on the open market. This in itself can be extremely traumatic, and it’s not uncommon for us to get enquiries from clients that have been sitting on a fully furnished property and just haven’t got round to clearing it out.

    By selling to a company like us, we can take that burden away from the family members and deal with the clearance after the sale has completed. This in itself can add a huge amount of value and remove the burden from the executor and beneficiaries, often the children.

  • Most enquiries that we receive are from people looking for a quick and painless sale. However, when we speak with them, many of them are not familiar with what they need to do to get a Grant of Probate [so that they can legally sell the property]. We work closely with solicitors that specialise in Probate, so we assist with all the legal preparation.
  • Once we make an offer on the property and it’s accepted, we work with the solicitors and time everything so that literally the day that probate is granted we can complete the sale. This can take months off the selling process.
  • Another benefit services like ours offer is that often the estate is split by a number of family members, so for a little less each, they get to sell a property without the pain of clearing it in the quickest time possible and for a fair price, saving them a huge amount of time and enabling them to draw a close to that chapter and move on with their lives.
  • Probate properties can take a very long time to sell on the open market, arguably we cut that time in half. Even if someone is at the early stages of considering their options, we are always happy to speak with them, share some guidance and point them in the right direction.
  • FAQ

    Q. Are cash house buyers a good choice for people selling a probate property?

    Yes, they certainly can be. Selling your former family home, or the house of a loved one, is a horrible, painful process. No one wants that to drag on for months and months while you’re waiting for a property sale on the open market. By selling a probate property to a cash house buyer, you can sell in weeks instead of months. That means you can sort out the will, settle any outstanding debts and distribute any inheritances sooner rather than later. A quick sale is also a huge help to the executors of the will.

    Q. Is it safe to use a cash buyer company when selling a probate house? I’ve heard horror stories, aren’t they scammers?

    Sadly, my industry is full of sharks, so it’s extremely important to choose wisely when using a cash buying company, but that’s especially true when selling a probate house.

    Probate happens at a very emotional time for many people. This can leave you feeling upset and unfocussed, and not in a good position to make a carefully considered decision. Unfortunately, there are some cash house buyers who will take advantage of this to get themselves a better deal at your expense. When your normal, sensible defences are down, and your mind is a mess of emotions, it’s easy to get duped into signing a contract that commits you to all kinds of hidden fees and charges.

    In this situation, it’s more important than ever to choose a cash house buyer with integrity. You need someone who genuinely wants to help you to get your probate house sale sorted as quickly as possible. That way you and the other beneficiaries, such as brothers and sisters, can put it all behind you move on with your lives.

    Q. So what should you look for in a cash buyer when you’re selling a probate house?

    Like I said, there are far too many predators out there, waiting to pounce at the first sign of weakness. When you’re selling a probate property to a cash buyer, you need to look for someone who wants to help you, not just help themselves to a slice of your inheritance.

    I don’t mean to plug my own services, but I will say that at, we pride ourselves on our customer-centric approach. We don’t employ salespeople working to a soulless script. you’ll always speak directly to me, as buying director, and I’ll always be working for you, to get you the best deal to suit your circumstances.

    Any fast cash sale needs to be handled sensitively, whether the seller is trying to avoid repossession or going through a divorce. When you’ve just lost a loved one, you need that sympathy and soft touch all the more, not a clinical, money grabbing approach. You want to feel supported, not exploited.

    I believe that’s the approach any decent and reputable cash buyer will take (yup, there are plenty of good options to choose from, but equally, many that should be avoided).

    Q. How does selling a probate property to a cash buyer help the executors?

    Under probate law, as an executor, you are technically the temporary owner of the property. That means that it’s your responsibility to arrange things like insurance, security and maintenance until a sale is finalised. This can take up a lot of your time visiting the home and arranging services. If you don’t stay on top of the property, problems can quickly escalate and cost even more. Worse still, if you are perceived to have neglected the property, you could be sued by the eventual beneficiaries to recover any loss of value.

    Of course, you will get back any of these out-of-pocket expenses when the estate is finally distributed. However, as an executor, you will still have to fund these costs out of your own pocket until you are reimbursed, and that means carrying significant costs for a substantial amount of time. Not everyone can afford this. For example, the insurance on an empty property often costs a great deal more than for an occupied home. And that’s just one of many costs.

    Q. Can selling to a cash house buyer speed up a probate sale?

    We can’t do anything to speed up the grant of probate, and we can’t complete a sale until probate has been granted. I wish we could, but that is the process. That said, one of the biggest advantages of selling a probate property to a cash buyer is being able to organise the date for the completion of the sale to suit you. A cash buyer can arrange to complete the sale on the day that probate is granted, which is as fast as a probate house sale can be. Trying to organise a traditional sale in this way is almost impossible.

    Q. Are there any other benefits to a cash sale on a probate house?

    As we’ve discussed, speed and control are the two biggest advantages, but a cash buyer can also help in unexpected ways too. For example, a cash buyer will be happy to buy a furnished home and sort out clearance once contracts have been signed. This can be a huge relief for anyone who doesn’t have the time, or the emotional capacity, to clear the house themselves. Throwing away a deceased relatives’ old furniture and belongings is a very upsetting thing to have to do, and we can take that job off your hands as part of the sale. it’s very unlikely that this would be the case with an open market sale.

    Q. It sounds like a cash sale could save people a lot of heartache. There must be a downside though?

    Of course. As with any quick cash house sale, you will get less for the property than you would get selling through an estate agent. At we offer around 80% of the current market value in exchange for our services and the advantages of a swift sale. This may sound like a big drop, but when you think that an inheritance is usually unexpected, most people selling a probate house to a cash buyer are happy to take the lower price to get their hands on that inheritance so much sooner.

    Q. What if some beneficiaries are not happy with the lower price?

    This is an area where executors need to be very careful. Under the law, you are obliged to get the best price for any property, possessions or business interests of the deceased. However, if all the beneficiaries agree, you can accept a lower price for a faster, stress free sale. But it is vital that you cover yourself if you take this option. You need to have every beneficiary’s agreement, preferably in writing, giving you permission to take a lower offer. If you don’t have this, then you could be sued for the difference in price between our offer and the open market value.

Hope you found that has helpful as I did.

(Thanks, Kelvin!)

Which Cash House Buyer Company?

While I can confidently recommend as a reputable company with in the cash buyer industry (because I’ve worked with them for a reasonable amount of time, which is precisely why I reached out to them for expert insight on the subject matter. You can read my full MyHomebuyers review, if you like), there are plenty of other good companies to choose from, which is why I always encourage everyone to explore their options. So please don’t feel like I’m ushering you into one direction – because I’m sincerely not.

Here’s an overview of service…

My Homebuyers – Recommended Property Cash Buyer Service
ServiceRatingFeaturesOffers (up to)


TrustPilot Reviews

  • Guarantee to beat any genuine cash offer
  • Members of The National Association of Property Buyers, members of The Property Ombudsman and Trading Standards
  • Any property, any condition considered (England or Wales)
  • Cash offer within 24 hours, Sales completed in as little as 7 days
  • Free Legal fees included, No agent costs or hidden fees
  • Guaranteed sale
  • Direct buyer, with no middlemen
Offers (up to)
80-85%of Market Value
Get cash offer

I have listed other highly rated and reputable cash buying companies in this blog post.

Warning: the property cashing buying industry is unregulated, so that means you will have little to no recourse if things go wrong. That is why it’s critical to do your due diligence and choose a reputable company to work with. You can find out more in my complete guide on Cash House Buyer Companies.

At the very least… get a no obligation cash offer!

Just to clarify, I’m not saying using a cash buyer company is a suitable option for everyone. In fact, I know they’re not, particularly for anyone that is looking to achieve the highest sale price possible. You’re certainly not going to get that with a cash buyer company. However, I firmly believe they are the best option for anyone that is willing to sell 75% – 85% of the market value and is looking for the quickest sale possible.

In any case, my recommendation is to – at the very least – talk to a few reputable companies, and see how much they’re willing to offer you, and how easy they can make the process for you. As my contact from said, they are always happy to speak to anyone interested in their service, share some guidance and point people in the right direction. Every other reputable company will offer the same non-obligatory service.

Common problems when selling a house in probate

Perhaps not entirely surprising, that when selling a house in probate several problems can arise, so being aware of them can help you anticipate and navigate them effectively. Here are some common ones you may want to consider:

  • Delays in probate process – the probate process itself can sometimes be uncomfortable and lengthy, causing delays in the sale of the property. The time it takes to obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, resolve any disputes, and gather necessary documents can vary. Sadly, it’s usually a waiting game (side note: using a cash buying company can definitely help speed up the sales part of the process, which is why they appeal to so many people in this situation).
  • Multiple beneficiaries – if there are multiple beneficiaries involved (which is often the case), then it’s not unusual for conflicts of interest or disagreements to occur regarding the sale of the property. Disagreements can cause additional delays and potentially complicate the process. It’s best to maintain clear communication and ensure everyone involved is on the same page before pursuing the sale of the property.
  • Property valuation disputes – dispute over the property’s valuation between beneficiaries is also not uncommon, which can lead to challenges in setting an appropriate asking price. A common scenario is when one beneficiary is willing to wait for the highest sale price possible, while the other just wants to sell it as quickly as possible and is willing to lower the asking price in the process.
  • Outstanding debts and liabilities – if the deceased person has any outstanding debts or liabilities, they must be addressed during the probate process. These may include mortgages, unpaid taxes, utility bills, or other debts. Resolving these financial obligations can be complex and may impact the final sale of the property, and ultimately determine how much money is left over after any sale.
  • Market conditions & volatility – granted, external factors such as changes in the property market or economic conditions are not specific to the sale of a property in probate, but rather the overall market.

    However, due to the nature of selling a property in probate, the current climate can be the cause of disputes between multiple beneficiaries for reasons already mentioned (i.e. if someone is looking for a quick sale Vs someone looking for the most lucrative sale). Obviously you will have no control over market conditions, so timing can ultimately determine the outcome.

IMPORTANT: Choosing the right probate property Conveyancing Solicitor!

I know, I know, I’m being dramatic with the caps lock and obnoxious “IMPORTANT” disclaimer, but it’s not without good reason. I honestly can’t overstate how important it is to use a reputable conveyancing solicitor, not just to manage the sale of a probate property, but the sale of any property.

If you spend a mere moment to research conveyancing services, you’ll promptly realise that there are many, many, many complaints about shambolic service (and consequently delayed transactions). Some of the complaints are truly frightening.

From my experience (and tens of thousands of buyers and sellers), the efficiency (or inefficiency) of a property transaction can depend on the competence of the conveyancing solicitor you use to manage the admin and legal paperwork required to transfer the property deeds. Actually, since there is more red tape and legal considerations when dealing with a property in probate, I’d say it’s especially important to choose wisely in this case.

If you decide to use a [reputable] cash buyer company to sell your property, then this isn’t going to be an issue, because their services include conveyancing services, and they are incentivised and specialists at pushing sales over the line as quickly as possible – it’s what they do.

However, if you’re planning to go down the traditional route and sell on the open market via an estate agent, then my plea is definitely aimed at you: choose your conveyancing solicitor wisely.

Here are a few of my top tips:

  • Cheaper is not better – conveyancing costs can drastically vary, but the one thing I can attest to through experience is that dirt-cheap is certainly not better, and it’s often the root cause of painful delays. The last time I put price above all else, it cost me dearly. Never again!
  • Use a specialist – try to find a reputable conveyancer that has experience with dealing with properties in probate.
  • Avoid services recommended by estate agents – most estate agents will recommend their own internal conveyancing service, or an external preferred partner. Usually, neither are particularly good, both in terms of service and value. Reason being is that it’s usually just a huge money-maker for estate agents, either directly through fees or commission!
  • How to source your own reputable conveyancing solicitor:
    • Instant Quotes: fill in this form to receive 4 instant quotes from expert SRA or CLC regulated conveyancing solicitors or Licensed Conveyancers. Average savings: £365.
    • Recommendations: Using a conveyancing service seems to be a real hit or miss experience, so it’s always worthwhile asking friends and family for recommendations.

Right, I’m done for today.

Needless to say, my deepest condolences if you’re suffering a loss. At the very least, I hope my ramblings have answered some questions, and maybe even offered you an easy solution in the way of a cash buyer company, which you weren’t aware of before.

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