San Diego, CA asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California

Q: Hello, As special administrator can I sell estate privately or is a broker needed and property need listing

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bruce Adrian Last
Bruce Adrian Last
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: San Diego:

I am taking this question to ask if you are required to market and list the property thought the MLS (or other listing service) with a broker, or can you do a sale that is privately negotiated with the buyer without an agent or broker.

There is no requirement that you use a broker or market the property on the open market. But, you must make sure that the deal (price) reflects market. (Read- PROCEED WITH EXTREME CAUTION.)

An open market sale with an broker provides exposure and competition among buyers, so the likelihood of an "insider" deal is minimized, and the sales price is more likely reflective of market price. This leads to less superstition among the heirs or beneficiaries.

If you were to do a "private sale," that is without marketing the property, I would get the assent of the heirs to the deal, and make sure you follow the Notice of Proposed Action or Court Approval requirements, depending on you situation.

And, before a private sale, I recommend that you discuss the matter with your attorney, and have them review all the sales documents. California has some pretty real estate transaction rules (like disclosures), and failure to abide by them opens you, and the estate, to litigation.

If you do not know where to find an attorney, I suggest you try your local county bar lawyer referral service. Most California county bar associations provide a referral service that will match you to an attorney who provides a consultation for a small or no fee. The attorney may also pick up on other mistakes you might have made, again protecting you from litigation.

Good luck.

Bill Sweeney agrees with this answer

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