Probate real estate investing, or investing in inherited property, is one of the most profitable real estate investing ventures. Getting access to probate leads can drive your real estate investing profits up.
This article walks you through how to find these probate leads and market to them.
How do you find inherited property?
1) Local courthouse
The best place to find probate leads is your local court house. Probate filings are displayed in all the local court houses. The information included in the filings contains the name of the deceased, the executor, also called administrator or trustee and beneficiaries.
The executor is usually an attorney. In my experience, this role is frequently delegated to one of the beneficiaries to reduce attorney fees.
Beneficiaries are the people who have inherited the property, usually relatives of the deceased.
In my local market, we have publications that summarize all court filings in the county court house.
These publications also include probates and are good sources of leads.
Such a publication is likely to be found in a big metro area. These will cut your workload drastically because you do not have to go to the courthouse to get your leads.
3) Probate attorneys
These may provide you with good leads. In my market, I do not consider them an important source of leads. Attorneys have never been a source of any deals for me, even though I have contacted them.
But this may be because I concentrate more on courthouse leads and publications.
Most home sellers first try to sell through a Realtor. Do not be surprised if you find probate deals listed in the MLS as estate sale.
You can easily identify these deals easily if you work with a Realtor.
Marketing to probate leads
The next thing after you find the name of the deceased is to find out if they owned real estate. A search on your local county website will reveal this.
The property may still be in the name of the deceased, or their estate such as John Doe Estate.
Next you must reach the beneficiaries. You must remember to handle beneficiaries with sympathy not aggression.
I send them a nice sympathetic letter every 30 days for 6 months. The probate process can take long, but 6 months should do it.
When it comes time to sell, it is you they will think about first if you have been consistent.
I stopped contacting the probate attorneys because they rarely respond. Also, in order to save money on attorney fees, the role of administrator is usually taken over by one of the beneficiaries.
If your leads come from a Realtor, then you will need to make your offer through the Realtor. If you send mail solicitations using the name of the deceased, they bounce back with a stamp “Deceased".
If you do not have the addresses of the beneficiaries, you are best off working with the Realtor.
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