Probate House Sale Process

Dealing with probate sale of house

When someone’s house is sold after their death, it is referred to as a probate house sale. A grant is needed from the Probate Registry before completion can take place, although the sale process can be started before the grant is received.

It is advisable to start the probate application process as soon as possible however, as it can take time for the grant to be processed and issued.

At Lockings Solicitors, we deal with both Grants of Probate and conveyancing, meaning we can provide a full service to families dealing with the loss of a loved one. We understand that this will be a difficult time for all concerned and we always provide the utmost support throughout to make the probate sale process as easy as possible.

If you would like to speak to someone about selling a property after a death, 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.

Obtaining a Grant of Probate for property sale

It is always necessary to secure a Grant of Probate to sell a house and it is the job of the estate’s executors to apply for this. Where the deceased left a Will, their executors need to apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate. If no Will was left, the estate’s administrators need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. The grant gives legal authority to the executors or administrators, also referred to as the personal representatives, to wind up the estate, to include selling the deceased’s property.

Before an application for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration can be made, the personal representatives need to value the estate and calculate and pay Inheritance Tax. Once HM Customs & Excise confirm that Inheritance Tax has been approved and paid, the probate application form can be sent to the Probate Registry.

For more information about obtaining probate, see our probate guidance and FAQs.

House sale probate

Applying for a Grant of Probate can take time and the Probate Registry will take several weeks to deal with the application and issue the Grant. In the meantime, you can start the sale process. This includes putting the property on the market and asking a solicitor to act for you.

Your solicitor will then be able to carry out some of the preliminary work such as verifying your identity, obtaining a copy of the title to the property and letting you have the property information and fixtures and fittings forms to be completed in readiness. This means that once you find a buyer, your solicitor will be able to send out the contract package straightaway.

If you would like us to deal with a probate house sale on your behalf, we will give you a full breakdown of the costs at the outset. You can also ring us for an estimate or download our free guide to conveyancing fees. Legal costs will be paid out of the estate funds.

We offer a secure online portal for our clients to use, meaning you will be able to check on progress whenever you want and we can notify easily you of anything that needs your attention. Alternatively, you are always welcome to come in to our local offices in Beverley, Hull and York if you would rather deal with us in person to provide identity documentation or fill in forms.

Considerations when going through probate to sell a house

Property information

When you sell a property that you have not lived in yourself, it is accepted that you will not necessarily have extensive knowledge of the property. You will probably be asked questions in the standard information forms that you do not know the answer to. You can simply state that you do not know and the buyer and their solicitor will have to either accept the situation or carry out their own investigations.

Property clearance

This can be emotionally very difficult for those selling the property. It can also take time to go through your loved one’s belongings and decide what to do with everything. The property will need to be completely cleared prior to completion and your solicitor and estate agent will be able to give you some guidance as to when this might be.

You may be able to agree to leave some items for the buyer, such as curtains and white goods. Once you have cleared everything you want to keep or sell, you could consider asking a charity to take furniture or employing a house clearance company to finish emptying the property if you need help.

Buying a probate property

If you have found a property to buy that is going through probate, you may have to be patient, depending on how far along the application is. The Registry does have delays at certain times when it is exceptionally busy and probate can take a long time to be issued. In an ideal situation, the application will already have been made when you make an offer for the property and by the time you are ready to exchange contracts it will have been received by the seller.

When you buy a property from an estate, you may be able to agree to take on more fixtures and fittings than in a normal purchase as the seller might not need them. If you want to buy items, you can ask the estate agent whether the seller might be open to including them in the sale or if the seller would negotiate a price.

With a vacant property, there may also be scope to have access between exchange and completion to carry out essential works before you move in, although you would be required to sign an undertaking as the property still belongs to the sellers until completion has taken place.

Contact our probate house sale solicitors in East Yorkshire

At Lockings Solicitors, we deal with probate sales and purchases for clients across East Yorkshire and beyond. We have the experience to ensure that your transaction proceeds as smoothly as possible and we always work proactively to avoid delays.

For those dealing with the estate of a loved one, we also offer a full probate service.

If you would like to instruct one of our East Yorkshire conveyancing solicitors, ring us on for a FREE initial chat 01482 300 200, email us at or complete a Free Online Enquiry and one of our team will call you back promptly. We have offices in Hull, Beverley and York.

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