What You Should Know About Dealing With Probate Real Estate in Nashville


When dealing with probate real estate in Nashville, you may have many questions you would like to have answered. Below, we offer some information about probate properties as well as ways to handle them.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process following a homeowner’s death if the property was not in a trust or owned with another person that did not have full rights of survivorship. In most cases, the real estate that needs to go through probate will need to be sold so the proceeds from the sale can be split up between the beneficiaries if it was not indicated in the will to go to any one or more people. The probate will establish the validity of the will.

The Seventh Circuit Court – Probate Division in Davidson County TN (Nashville) has exclusive jurisdiction for the administration

Probate real estate in Nashville begins at the Davidson County Courthouse. Each county in Tennessee has jurisdiction over its own probate.

of deceased person’s estates and probating of wills. The Probate Court has jurisdiction over the supervision and creation of conservatorships and guardianships. Each month in Nashville Motion Dockets takes place on 3 to 5 Fridays of each month. Other counties in Middle Tennessee may perform differently and each county will have a different judge. Each county maintains all probate records going back to 1861.

The first thing to do is to determine where the probate needs to occur. The best place to start is the municipality where the property is located. There are many states that require the probate to be done in the county in which the property is situated. Then, you will need to hire a lawyer to analyze the will then draw up the paperwork. The paperwork is then taken to the courts. The judge determines who is the rightful owner of a piece or a portfolio of real estate usually based on the previous owner’s will. Very rarely does the judge rule against the will.

Who Pays For Probate?

You can either pay for the probate out of pocket, or you can arrange that the probate costs be taken out at closing. The executor of the estate will determine a listing price for the property, negotiate the sale price and execute the sale contract. The lawyer that is handling the probate for you will then send their invoice to the title company handling the real estate transaction. The probate will be subtracted from the proceeds of the sale of the property. Their fee can range from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars. This varies by state and value of the property.

On a recent probate house purchase I was involved with, the executor had to make several repairs to the house during the purchase process. What had happened was the inside of the house was flooded when the condensation drain line for the interior HVAC system got clogged or broken loose. Gallons and gallons of water flooded part of the condo and an emergency restoration company was brought to evaluate the situation. Luckily, the ceiling fans were enough to cause the water to evaporate. The bill was almost a thousand dollars and the executor was reimbursed at closing. Any expenses for repairs and documents prepared are taken from the proceeds of the estate sale at the closing.

Can I List Probate Real Estate in Nashville?

You cannot sell or even list the property before the probate is completed or without approval from the court. You will have to petition the court to be allowed to list the property. The judge residing will require a review of the purchase and sale agreement, and if it is satisfactory in price and terms he/she will sign to accept the sale. When it is listed available for sale, you may receive offers on the property and have a contract; however, the closing will not occur until the probate is complete. When the probate case is filed, the title company knows who now can legally sell the property.

An interesting article on how to care for and sell an inherited property is “I Inherited a House, What to Do?

How Much Should I Sell For?

In order to know how much you can ask for the real estate, you need to have the property appraised so you know how much it is worth. If there are any problems with the structure or repairs needed,  these issues must be disclosed in a property disclosure document and signed by the buyer and the seller. When you receive offers, you must take into consideration the probate cost. If you own a vacant lot, make sure the offer is enough to cover your bill. Most houses and other types of real estate will sell for way more than the cost to have the probate completed. If you want to sell the probate real estate quickly, you may want to list on the lower end of the market comps or appraisal price, this will ensure your property receives offers very quickly.

I’ve Accepted An Offer, Now What?

When you have received an acceptable offer, or you have negotiated a price you are willing to sell for, execute the contract. If you have any questions about the contract, reach out to a real estate lawyer to help you understand all the terms, conditions, and riders necessary to complete the deal. When the title company is chosen, make sure you provide the probate lawyer’s an invoice to them so they can take care of the bill out of your proceeds. 

Contact Southern Homes Investments today at 615-500-4466 to discuss in greater detail what you should know about dealing with probate real estate in Nashville. If you looking for a buyer of the property, please give us a call. We at Southern Homes Investments Nashville TN would like to talk to you about it. We buy houses Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee.

Disclaimer: David Wright is a licensed real estate agent in Tennessee, and this article is not a solicitation to list your house or property.

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