How to Sell a Probate Home in Florida

It sounds much more complicated than it really is, I promise. I mean really what’s the need for such a word like Probate? What does that even mean, I’m sure a lot of us might have heard the word but what is it? I imagine you’re here because you want the short and sweet version, so what we’re really talking about here is the process for selling a home that was owned by someone who is now deceased (could be family but does not need to be).

Disclaimer: although fun for me, this is a really boring article for most people and you might just want to skip to the How can help you sell an inherited home… but if not we can take the journey together 😊

For starters, let’s define 3 key terms here (1) “inherited home” – that would be a home that whether by will or intestacy and after the Florida probate process will be owned by a new person. (2) “probate” – is the process for transfer of title to a property from a deceased person using a will. But, what if there was no will ? well that’s (3) “intestate inheritance” – process whereby title is transferred from a deceased person to generally speaking their “heirs” but more specifically defined by Florida Statutory Laws. In this article, we’ll cover the simple way to sell an inherited home in Florida and what things you should start getting your hands on to be able to do so – unfortunately ALL paths lead through attorneys and court processes (I wish we had a secret for that one)(well …. we kind of do but we only share that with our sellers or else it wouldn’t be a secret anymore).

Can You Sell a Florida Home While In Probate?

Can you sell a house during the probate process in FL?

Yes, you can “sell” the home meaning you can find a buyer and sign a Purchase and Sales Contract – AND sometimes the executor might be obligated to sell the home (we’ll get into this later) before the probate process is completed. There are a few wrinkles to that as well and each situation would need an independent evaluation from our team to determine whether the contract should be signed, should it be signed by the descendants or executor or the heirs or all parties. 

Lets check in here – so probate remember means the deceased person left behind a will (we’ll assume it has been executed in compliance with Florida Statutory Law as that’s outside the bounds for this article) . The document that starts the whole process are the Letters of Administration.

Pro Tip: In our experience if it does make sense to sign the contract and the probate case has already been opened, it generally will be fast tracked if there is a purchase and sale agreement within the filing documents.

So, although the house cant be fully sold during the probate process, signing a purchase and sale agreement by all the heirs can expedite the process in our experience. 

How is selling a home in probate different from non-probate?

So the major difference here lies in whether a valid Florida Will was left behind or not. Yup, as crazy as that sounds the will must meet the Florida law requirements even if the person lived in another state if the property is in Florida.

  • If the home will transfer title from the decedent’s name based on a will then the property will be transferred to whomever in the will is named as the beneficiary. This is 100% up to the decedent and DOES NOT need to be a family member – BUT there are a few exceptions for surviving spouses and children. During probate the decision on who keeps the property or what happens with the property would be made by an appointed executor who is charged with liquidating (selling and getting cash) for the estate. In this case the appointed executor would have the authority to sell the home and sometimes the Executor must sell the home before.
  • If there was no will left behind then the Florida laws of intestacy would determine to whom the property shall be transferred. As a general rule of thumb, intestacy would follow this chain of inheritance (surviving spouse ; if not surviving children ; if not descendants of the children (their kids) ; if none then it goes back up to parents.

There are many reasons why the people who stand to inherit the property would sell the home rather than keep it and the short answer is owning more than 1 home is more of a responsibility. Homeownership comes with additional financial obligations: such as property taxes , mortgage payments , insurance , tenants , renovations , and other maintenance costs. Often times the home is located far away from where the person who inherited the property lives causing a burden to sell the home or keep up with it.

Can the executor sell a house that is in probate (in Florida)?

Yes, they can and as mentioned before sometimes they might need to do so. However, no sale can take place without a court order from the Probate Court. This order must be signed by the Probate judge to be valid, as the judge acts as an “advisor” to the estate to ensure the estate is properly disbursed. As executor, there are certain fiduciary duties to the estate that must be followed when dispositioning the estates assets. But the one that gets the most scrutiny by far is the fiduciary duty for no self-dealing (all transactions must be arms length transactions). No selling for less than the value to a friend who is going to give you back some money. 

Fun fact: Some people might have heard of inheriting a property by deed. While more common back in the day, this would occur because of very (and I mean very) specific language that is written on the deed while the now deceased person was alive.

Required documentation in Florida for Probate?

Remember again, if we’re talking probate that means a will. But what about some other required documents to complete probate? 

  1. Validly executed will
  2. Letter of administration
  3. Death and birth certificates of for the decedent 
  4. Affidavit of Heirs

In order to sell a home during the probate process there are some additional documents required 

  1. Written consent of all beneficiaries
  2. Petition for Order Authorizing the Sale of Real Property
  3. Order of Sale of Real Property

After an approved Sale, What happens to the cash proceeds?

I’m sure this might be the only section some of you read (yea I’m looking at you 😊). But really, what happens will depend on whether the estate’s debts can be closed out without those proceeds. 

For a quick example – lets say Admirable Amy stands to inherit the property because in the will she was named – the property has a $50,000 mortgage and the decedent had $20,000 in credit card bills unpaid and the home was sold by court order for $100,000. Well Amy would receive the $30,000 proceeds. If there were no mortgage or bills owed, she would have received the full $100,000.

How long after getting probate can you sell a FL house?

Immediately, once title has been transferred by court order you are not the 100% legal owner of the property and have the right to sell it immediately if you so choose. This is why talking to a cash buyer before the probate process can prove so valuable – imagine the day after probate is completed the house is sold and the money is in your bank account. Well, that’s our expertise, just ask Kara who agreed to sell to us before probate was completed and we closed 1 day after the probate process completed.

How™ Can Help You Sell An Inherited Home

As I mentioned in the beginning, this was going to be a boring info packed article filled with stuff you really don’t even need to deal with – why? Because this is exactly what WE specialize in. We’re able to get a home through the probate process faster than anyone else (we even did one in 17 days one time) and if the house is in Hillsborough County, FL (where we did it) we might just be able to beat that record ! But no matter the county we’d be willing to try to beat the record there as well – after all this is fun for us. Assisting sellers through a quick and hands off probate process isn’t for the rookies and time is money so don’t waste your time with someone doing this for the first time. Let alone trying to complete this whole process on your own.

Give us a call and let us know the home is supposed to be inherited and we’ll get started immediately with what documents will be needed and if we get them back we can open the probate case with the court the next day! We don’t mess around with these probate’s.


If you were brave enough to read the whole article, well kudos to you I would have skipped to the end.  Anyway, hopefully this article gave you an outline of how to sell a house in Florida by probate. So if you’re still wondering what to do to get the house in your name or the cash in your account you should fill out a form below or give us a call.

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