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Posted on 11 August 2020

Our Experience With A Probate Property!

Yet again, Exchange Train has been speaking with it’s customers regarding their property experiences.

David & Michelle have kindly put in writing their experience when purchasing a probate property!

As a buyer

If you are asking yourself “what is probate?”, you are not alone.  We certainly did when we bought our first house.  It is a term used in legal circles for the process used to manage the estate, whether wholly or partially owned, of a person that has passed away. For your benefit, we have agreed to lay out our experience to help guide you through what the process looks like whether you are acting as a buyer or a seller. We have been through both!

Our first experience with a probate property were as buyers – we also happened to be first time buyers! We were lucky to find a great property, and once our offer was accepted and the paperwork had started, we discovered that there had just been an application for ‘grant of probate’ made against it.

A Grant of Probate is a legal document, applied for by an executor or administrator, which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets (property, money and belongings).

Our estate agent, Austin Wyatt, did a fantastic job of chasing the seller’s solicitor to see how the conveyancing was progressing and updating us regularly. If we fast forward four months, however, there had still been no movement in the grant of probate from the probate office, which was a cause for worry!

Bearing in mind this was all new to us, we became curious as to why it was taking so long when an average sale takes about three months.  Our agent recommended that we contact the probate office directly and ask about the progress of the property’s ‘grant of probate’.  We discovered that they had recently updated their computer system which was causing delays in being able to process the ‘grant of probate’.  This only added to the delays we had been told about because of untimely inheritance tax changes.  Thankfully, as we were in the lucky position of not having a chain behind us, and we were sure that the property in question represented great potential, we were willing to twiddle our thumbs a little longer.

Now reading this we would imagine some people would think “you waited four months!?”. We actually waited an additional three months after that before the ‘grant of probate’ was given and we managed to exchange.  It was the confidence in knowing we found our perfect property which kept us going!

David & Michelle



ExchangeTrain are not legal advisers and as such we have to let you know that the information and opinions we provide do not address your individual requirements and are for informational purposes only. It does not constitute any form of legal advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances and is not intended to be relied upon by you in making (or refraining from making) any specific decisions.