While probate properties can be good deals, you should have a checklist of things to check before you make an offer on the home and complete the sale.
The average New York probate takes about nine months from the time the will is admitted to probate until the estate is wound up and closed. If the estate that owns the house has just been opened, you may need to be patient, because the sale must be approved by the New York Surrogate’s Court before you can receive title to the property. Some estates have restrictions on the sale of the property, and the buyer will have to be patient and wait for the court to approve the sale.
It is recommended that you consult with a New York probate and estate attorney first to find out the New York probate laws concerning the sale and transfer of estate property. An attorney will be able to help you prepare and review the purchase and sale agreement. Before you submit your offer, the attorney will be able to assist you with confirming who the executor of the estate is and the status of the probate by checking the Court file. This way you know that you are submitting the offer to the right person who has the authority to sell you the property.
You will need a title insurance company to conduct a title search on the property to make sure that the property legal description and address are correct and to determine if there are any use restrictions, liens or claims by creditors against the house. Your New York probate and estate attorney can also work with the attorney for the estate or the executor to help resolve any title issues so that you can receive clear title to the house. A New York probate and estate attorney will also help you obtain title insurance on the home.
The executor/fiduciary of the estate must disclose any material facts about the condition of the home. However, it is up to the buyer to ultimately conduct their own home inspection to determine the property condition. It is also a good idea to obtain a property survey on the home to determine the property boundary lines and make sure there are no property encroachments from neighboring properties. If you are purchasing a co-op, condo or townhouse, then it is not necessary to obtain a property survey. The attorney can also recommend a home inspector to you and other professionals such as a mortgage broker if you need to obtain financing or a property appraiser.
Since buying a home from a New York estate involves many steps, it is highly recommended that you hire a New York Probate and Estate Attorney to help you with your home buying process. The attorney understands the complex New York probate and real estate laws and can guide you through the process.
If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.