If a person dies without a known will, or fails to bequeath their property, then the state takes over and administers its sale. This is because the probate court wants to make sure it transfers at the best possible price.
How a Probate Property Sale Works in Practice
The road ahead may not be easy for either party to the sale. The seller – usually a person with a majority interest – has to apply for a probate (in the case of an incomplete will) or a grant of letters of administration if there is no will at all.
An appraiser on the directory of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors must determine the value of the property at the moment of death in its current condition. This is not an easy task in a fluctuating local market especially if the property is unique.
The buyer for their part must deal with uncertainties while the executors wade through the paperwork. They have to come to terms with delays as they await the result of an offer they based on advice of local estate agents.
An “Audacious Opportunity’ at a Probate Sale
Homes and Property were clearly intrigued by a probate house for sale in Airwick Avenue, Chiswick. The property offers unique potential being one of the last untouched Edwardian homes in West London.
The semi-detached, double story face brick house, with rendered reveals around the windows was home to the same owner for 60 years. It has original contemporary features such a living rooms down stairs, and five bedrooms with a single bathroom on the upper level.
However, and here’s the catch the living room is a disaster with warping floorboards and peeling green wallpaper. Moving on, there are magnificent wooden ceilings and interleaving doors to a stair case leading to the upper story could be only for the brave.
The garden appears to have been cleared by a bulldozer, although the garage has covers over what might be an old car of uncertain vintage. We didn’t dare peek into the bathroom. This leaves the question, would we recommend putting in a bid for this probate property?
What’s Best to Do with this Relic of Old Glory?
The ayes have it on the basis it is one of the few original, totally un-renovated homes in West London, with fireplaces and other features that might qualify for a Sotheby’s catalogue. Invest a further £500,000 they say, and you could be quid’s in for a million.
However, the nays wonder what the cost would be to complete a basement, loft extension, or complete internal renovations. Would a simple upgrade do the job, they wonder, or is this a case for a full blown rip out? How would the total cost compare with comparable homes in Airwick Avenue, Chiswick?
The late-lamented owner may be regretting not laying down the law for the future of their home for 60 years. Their eyesight was clearly fading; they may have even been bedridden in the end. It is always better to leave a clear will, and not a blank canvas.