5 Tips for Finding Probate Inventory

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While probate properties make it possible to buy real estate at incredible discounts,  in a competitive market sourcing them can be difficult.

Here are 5 tips for locating these elusive leads

1. Go to Probate Courts

According to the Registrar of Wills all probate records are public unless impounded.  Probate court proceedings are also public.  Speak with the court clerk and develop a procedure to review case material in which a probate property may be involved.  

Go beyond the address and building data.  First, verify if there are the heirs to the property.  Determine who they are and the financial status of the estate using the case material.  Many properties in probate court have large outstanding and urgent debts.  In such cases, it should be easy to induce a sale quickly especially if there is an estate executor whose job it is to close the estate as soon as possible.

2. Visit the Local Library

Go to the library to search local newspapers which may provide listings of probate sales and auctions. As always,  it's important to perform conduct thorough research on the property and the estate before making an offer or attending an auction. This is all done at the county recorder’s office or the probate court.

3. Buy Leads Online

Strapped for time?  Hate research?  Use a lead aggregator!  Lead aggregators for probate properties  will use a mix of public data like newspaper listings and probate court filings as well as opt-in requests for information.  Yes, this is data you can acquire on your own but is it worth the time and energy you will spend locating, verifying and compiling it? That's a question only you can answer.   If you do decide to go this route, get the most bang for your buck with the opt-in leads.  People who opt-in to an aggregator are actively pursuing information on selling probate property and are highly motivated.  That's great news for you! 


4. Read the Obituaries

Ok - so this isn't the most delicate way to find probate leads and yet, once the initial stages of grief subside, some families are even relieved to be approached with a decent offer.   Real estate investing isn't for the faint of heart especially in the probate niche.  Reading the obituaries will give you an idea of who has died and who are the potential heirs to the estate - putting you ahead of the competition.  Visit your local county office for public real estate records and to obtain contact information for heirs.  

5. Build Strategic Partnerships with Estate Planning Attorneys & Realtors

 Your network is equal to you your net worth!  Making connections with estate planning, probate attorneys and Realtors is probably the best way to stay ahead of the competition in this niche investment market.   Not only do these people have firsthand knowledge of properties that need to be sold, they are often the ones making a decision on selling.  Lead with professionalism! Be prepared to demonstrate that you are market-savvy, competent at analyzing conditions and home values and commited to winning outcomes for all involved.   As an attorney/agent reviews an estate with its assets and debts, we might just call you to review the opportunity and close the estate!