For Professionals of the Probate and Trust Industry

Month: May 2022

Selling an Occupied Property that is Expected Vacant Upon Closing

You have a property to sell and you represent the administrator of the estate. Some of the beneficiaries occupy the property. The occupants have informed you that they will vacate the property just before the close of escrow, but there is no guarantee they will. There is no court order stating that they will.

What to do?

As the listing agent it is your duty to act in the best interest of the seller, and generate the highest possible offer for the estate.

The standard purchase contract indicates the property will be delivered vacant to the buyer. In this case, there is no guarantee that the occupant will vacate the property prior to the close of escrow and leaving the contract as it is, places the seller at risk of being in breach.

Another option some agents may propose is to specify that the property may be delivered occupied, which will make owner-occupant buyers lose interest in the property, as it poses additional risk and cost. The property would most likely be sold to an investor at a substantially lower price.

The strategy that should be used in this scenario is to add a provision to the purchase contract stating that if the occupant does not vacate the property within a specific date, the buyer has the right to cancel the transaction and have their deposit returned.

This provision accomplishes three important goals, it:

  1. Protects the seller from being in breach of contract.
  2. Provides the buyer with a level of comfort that should the occupants become non-cooperative and refuse to vacate, the buyer can cancel the transaction and retain the deposit.
  3. Motivates the occupants, who are beneficiaries of the estate, to vacate the property by the date specified. If they don’t vacate, there’s no sale, and they won’t receive their distributions.

Attracting owner-occupant buyers results in generating the highest possible offer for the estate, and that should be the ultimate goal. Owner-occupant buyers obtain financing most of the time and are willing to pay substantially more than what an investor would pay, thus providing a far greater return for the estate.

For more information about this or other probate real estate related topics, please contact me at 323-606-1919 (call or text).

Dr. Richard Corn

This is the story about my dentist. My “current dentist”. And it has to do with probate real estate so please read on (and if you need to read the post more than once to understand the connection, please do).

Let me be clear. I think Dr. Corn is amazing. So, he is my “current dentist” and until he retires hopefully not anytime soon.

Maybe your dentist is amazing, but read on just in case.

I walk into a tiny, yet fancy reception area, say hello, and each and every time I am immediately invited to come to the back to see Dr. Corn. There is never a wait. Dr. Corn replies back with a hello and also asks a question or two about the situation related to my teeth. He does have an assistant, and she is very nice, but he does most of the work, including teeth cleaning. He is more thorough than any person that has ever cleaned my teeth. I think he is passionate about them!

He is as honest as they come. Never tried to offer me services I did not need and if something can wait, or is not critical, he tells me so. You don’t have to believe me that he is great. Check out the tens of five star reviews he has on Yelp.

One more thing.  When I am there, which is usually for an hour, I rarely hear the phone ring. I am just not sure how he stays in business and supports his family. I cannot imagine ever telling him that he is the best but that I need to also see other dentists, to spread the business around. Would you?

So if you live on the westside of Los Angeles, and are not satisfied with your current dentist, do give him a try.

He is located at 8920 Wilshire Blvd #406, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 and his office number is 310-854-1845. When you call him, tell him you heard he is the best and you would like to experience this for yourself…

Should You Select A Local Real Estate Broker?

Some prefer to hire a local agent, even if they do not have probate experience or even significant real estate transactional experience. Others insist on hiring a probate expert regardless of the distance of the agent to the property.

I asked a number of those that insist on a local agent: “why only a local agent?”

Their typical response is “The local agent knows the market better. The local agent has their finger on the pulse of the neighborhood”.

On a personal note, I can tell you that having sold properties all over California, it is very simple to become a “local expert”.

I do visit my listings anywhere in California as standard practice, and meet with my clients there.

So how does one become a local expert without being local?

The internet has a wealth of information about neighborhoods, towns, and cities, and the latest happenings and news!

There are websites that provide information and rating about the quality of schools in each neighborhood.

Google maps satellite data provides me with a look from above. I zoom in to the subject property, zoom out to the neighborhood and then quickly zoom in to various locations in the neighborhood to see what the streets, shopping, parks and other points of interest look like within a certain distance of the subject.

I then look at the street view of the subject property and “drive” the streets around the property to get an additional impression.

It is quick to subscribe to a local MLS for a few months to sell the property to the local market. Once subscribed to any MLS in California, I’m able to study the comparables that are local to the subject property, derive an appropriate CMA from the same data that a “local agent” would, and list the property in the same MLS as a “local agent” would.

Over the years I have subscribed to over 30 different MLS systems and then unsubscribed once the property or properties there sold, and would re-subscribe when needed.

So, an experienced probate broker, can quickly become a “local agent” and provide you with advantages that a “local agent” may not be able to provide.

And who will do that open house you ask? I have local agents all over California who love to conduct open houses.

When working with me, you end up with a probate experienced agent that is also a “local agent” no matter where in California your property is located.

For more information about this or other probate real estate related topics, please contact me at 323-606-1919 (call or text).

General | Holidays

From My Heart To Yours On Valentine’s Day – An Orthodox Jewish Perspective

It’s late and Valentine’s Day is almost over. No, I did not forget you.  I wanted to wait and see if you would be the one to email a Happy Valentine’s greeting to me! But… you did not, and I thank you for that because as an Orthodox Jew it’s a holiday that I don’t […]


How Old Are You?

I know… you were expecting “JUST SOLD! JUST SOLD! LISTED! LISTED! LISTED!”…. me telling you how much money I’m generating!  I get these emails all the time from other agents, and I suspect you’re getting them too.  But… no…. I’m interested in your age! 😊 What a rude question, you may be thinking!  How dare […]

Real Estate Staging | Remodel Pre-Sale | Strategy

Should you hire a real estate broker, even if the neighbor wants to buy your house?

Should you hire a real estate broker, even if the neighbor wants to buy your house? Is it really worth it to pay a real estate commission? Many times homes are sold off-market, to the neighbor, or a friend of a friend… sellers feel it makes good sense – save money on the commission! Last […]

Real Estate and the Law

Are you unknowingly committing perjury when selling real estate?

All too often I see real estate agents making reference to “probate code”, while not providing specific citations, claiming that it waives legal requirements that they prefer not to adhere to.  One example is the non-compliance of LA’s Municipal Code 96.300, requiring a seller to deliver the City of LA’s “9A Report” to a buyer […]

Why I Decided to Start This Blog

I feel grateful to have authored four well-received books, but felt that the medium was not sufficient as I constantly have more thoughts and ideas that I wish to share with others in our industry. And so, I decided to start this blog. I hope that you will enjoy my posts. I hope that they will trigger thoughts and conversations that will allow us all to take our amazing industry to the next level.

Please call or text me at 323-606-1919 if you have any questions or topics you would like for me to discuss in future posts, or if you would like to share any stories (with or without mentioning your name in the blog).

Please visit this blog regularly as I will be posting at least once a month.