Can You Sell A House Before Probate Is Granted?

Can you sell a house before probate UK?

After someone’s death, their executor or administrator has the task of winding up their estate, to include selling their home. A Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration will need to be applied for from the Probate Registry. We take a look at a question we are often asked: ‘Can you sell a house before probate is granted?’

At Lockings Solicitors, we represent clients in selling a property after a death. We know that this is likely to be a very difficult time for everyone involved and you will find our team to be sympathetic and understanding. We are known for our excellent client care and if you ask us to deal with the sale of your loved one’s home you will be able to speak to us when you need to. We will also make sure that you know exactly how the sale is progressing.

In addition, we can deal with obtaining Grants of Probate and Grants of Letters of Administration as well as estate administration if necessary, meaning we are able to provide a full and seamless service to those dealing with the affairs of someone who has died.

If you would like to instruct one of our probate conveyancing solicitors in Hull, Beverley or York or you have any preliminary questions you would like to ask, please feel free to ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly.

Can I sell a house before probate?

After someone has died, it is open to you to market their property and agree on a sale with prospective purchasers. However, the sale cannot be completed without a Grant of Probate or, if the deceased did not make a Will, a Grant of Letters of Administration.

It is quite often the case that a property is put onto the market while the application for a Grant is being dealt with, as the marketing and conveyancing can take a long time. Provided the application is dealt with without delay, it is usually the case that the Grant is received without causing a hold-up.

Obtaining a Grant of Letters of Administration or Grant of Probate to sell property

If you do wish to go ahead and put a property on the market before you have received a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration, you should make sure that the application is well under way.

This involves valuing the whole estate, then calculating whether Inheritance Tax is payable and, if so, how much is due to HM Revenue & Customs. This needs to be paid before an application for the Grant can be made.

Once Inheritance Tax has been paid, the estate executor or, if the deceased did not leave a Will, the estate administrator, will be given a receipt which must be included with the application for the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.

The application is sent to the Probate Registry. It will usually take them several weeks to process the application, so it is important to start work on the estate administration as soon as you are able if you want to sell the property without undue delay.

If you need help with any aspect of the administration, our probate team will be happy to hear from you. We can calculate the Inheritance Tax on your behalf, discuss how this could be funded and complete the probate application.

Selling a house after someone’s death

After someone dies, it is the responsibility of their executor or administrator to ensure their assets are properly looked after. This includes securing their property, making sure there is valid insurance in place and paying any related expenses.

Many families make the decision to sell the property as soon as possible, to avoid it standing empty for a long period and to avoid ongoing costs. This can be particularly important in some retirement apartments, where a monthly service charge is made.

In addition to marketing the property, you may also want to start thinking about clearing it. This can be an emotionally difficult task, so you might want to take your time over it rather than having to deal with it nearer the completion date.

Once a completion date is set, you should notify the utility companies. On the day of completion, you should read the meters wherever possible.

Can a house be sold before probate and the sale completed?

While the property can be put on the market and all of the conveyancing work up to exchange of contracts carried out, completion itself cannot take place until the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration is received from the Probate Registry.

This means that everyone in the chain will need to wait for the Grant to be issued if they are ready to exchange contracts and the Grant still has not been received. At certain times the Probate Registry can be busy and may take a long time to process an application and issue a Grant.

When should I instruct a solicitor to sell a house if probate has not been granted yet?

You can still ask a solicitor to represent you in the sale, even if probate has not yet been granted. If you ask us to act for you, we will carry out the preliminary work such as verifying your identity, opening a file and letting you have property information forms and fixtures and fittings forms to complete.

Starting work early on means that once you have a buyer in place, we will be able to send the contract papers out straightaway so that their solicitor can apply for searches and go through all of the documentation.

We can also deal with the application for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration so that this is received as soon as possible.

We offer a secure conveyancing portal for our clients to use which means you can check the progress of the transaction whenever you want. We can also notify you straightaway via the portal if anything needs your attention. Alternatively, we are happy to communicate with you via phone and email if you prefer and you are welcome to pop into our local offices in Beverley, Hull or York to go through documents and sign agreements if that would be helpful to you.

If you would like to ring us, we can give you an estimate of the likely costs involved or you can download our free guide to conveyancing fees.

Contact our probate conveyancing solicitors in East Yorkshire

At Lockings Solicitors, our solicitors have extensive experience in dealing with the sale of a property after a death, meaning we are able to deal with any difficulties that may arise efficiently and without avoidable delay.

If you would like to speak to one of our team about a probate property sale, please feel free to ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with probate sales in East Yorkshire and beyond.

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