Orit Gadish - Probate Real Estate Blog

For Professionals of the Probate and Trust Industry

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Virtual Reality? In Real Estate Sales!

We recently created our first virtually staged 3D Tour… on a Trust sale requiring court confirmation. The property is the former residence of the Laemmle family…Carl Laemmle Jr., the producer of Dracula and Frankenstein. Carl had this home custom-built for him back in the day, perched up on Tower Grove Drive in Beverly Hills, 90210.

The house was not staged at the seller’s request, but we did virtually stage every image of the 3D tour and put them together into a video… check out the video via the link below! It’s amazing what technology can do.

The Truth Is…

There are many real estate agents out there. So why work with me?

I will never tell you I am the top agent in this or that national brokerage. At best, I can tell you the truth.  Nearly two decades ago, I founded and continue to run a boutique brokerage.  We are focused on probate and trust real estate.

I will never tell you I have 10 different designations from this or another association of realtors. Anyone can get these designations. $150 dollars or so, and a few hours sitting in a classroom or on zoom and listening to someone that will tell you many stories from which you will not learn much.

I will not tell you, “let me take care of you” and then pass you to one of my assistants to do all the work and communicate with you.

I will never tell you “I am the best”. It is up to you to find that out for yourself.

I will tell you this:

I probably handled more real estate than any other agent you know. Why should you care?  Experience matters.

I have sold real estate all over California.  Please don’t tell me that you will send me the next asset that comes your way in Beverly Hills since I am an expert in this area.  We both know the likelihood of that happening is very small, and I do have a family to feed just like you.

I probably have not seen it all, but that should not matter. Why? I have seen enough to know how to handle any situation no matter what comes my way.

I wrote the only book explaining the probate real estate process. I could tell you it is a great book, but I will not. Instead, I ask that you read the reviews on Amazon, ask me for a copy, and find out for yourself, or both.

I am a contributor to the CEB / Continuing Education of the Bar.  As such, I educate attorneys.  How many other agents do you know that do that?

I am sorry if you feel that I am talking too much about myself, but I have to share all of this with you, since selling probate and trust real estate is such a highly competitive environment.

And there is more.  As an observant Jew that follows our ancient traditions, I can tell you that a core value is not to lie in business (and of course, in general). No matter who you are, if you share this value with me, then I look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

I know that I could make much more money if I swayed from the truth; if I did something illegal in business here and there.  I do not, for example, give or accept kickbacks.  If you are into that, please find another agent to work with.  I would rather do less business during the day and sleep better at night.

And that is the truth.

Shabbat in the Probate Industry

I keep Shabbat. It is a Jewish Holiday! Once a week!

It is a critical part of being a Jew. Well, some of us Jews think so. Most do not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course. Everyone is entitled to their own path.

I love Shabbat, for many reasons, as well as this one: It is an opportunity to escape the high-paced business I run. We are always available to our clients. There is no such thing as 9 to 5 in real estate, and certainly not in our business. We communicate with buyers, sellers, our contractors, and other vendors at 6am, and we communicate with them at 11pm and anytime in between.

It is therefore wonderful to escape it all for 26 hours or so. No work. No meetings. No driving to properties. No laptop. No cell phone. No zoom. From about an hour before Sunset each Friday to about one hour after Sunset each Saturday, I am away from it all. And it is a wonderful thing to be able to focus on rest… and family… and the meaning of it all.

And what about you? Jew or not a Jew… if you feel like you need a break… you know what to do…!

I’ll Get You The Next Listing!

From time to time, I speak to a potential client that tells me this: “I’ll get you the next listing when I have one in Beverly Hills”.

Very exciting but not likely for most of my potential clients in the probate industry to have homes to sell in Beverly Hills, so, long overdue, below is the list of cities and neighborhoods throughout California in which I have sold residential and/or commercial properties to date…. If you have a property to sell anywhere in California, I am happy to help.


Agoura Hills





Anaheim Hills


Apple Valley






Baldwin Park


Bel Air

Bell Gardens


Beverly Hills

Big Bear City

Big Bear Lake





Buena Park



California City


Canoga Park




Cedarpines Park




Chino Hills








Costa Mesa




Crescent City

Culver City

Desert Hot Springs

Douglas City


El Centro

El Dorado Hills

El Monte

El Segundo





Frazier Park







Granada Hills

Grass Valley

Grizzly Flat

Hacienda Heights

Harbor City




Hermosa Beach






Huntington Beach

Huntington Park






Joshua Tree

June Lake

La Habra

La Mesa

La Mirada

La Palma

La Puenta

La Verne

Laguna Beach

Laguna Hills

Lake Almanor

Lake Arrowhead

Lake Balboa

Lake Elizabeth








Long Barn

Long Beach

Los Altos

Los Angeles

Lucerne Valley




Manhattan Beach

Marina Del Rey







Mission Hills


Monterey Park

Moreno Valley

Morro Bay

Mount Shasta

Mountain Center



New Cuyama


Newport Beach

North Hills

North Hollywood



Oak Hills








Palm Springs


Panorama City




Paso Robles



Pico Rivera

Pinon Hills

Playa Del Rey

Playa Vista




Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho Mirage

Rancho Palos Verdes

Rancho Santa Fe

Red Bluff



Redondo Beach


Redwood City




Rio Dell

Rio Vista




Rohnert Park



Rowland Heights


San Bernardino

San Clemente

San Diego

San Dimas

San Fernando

San Francisco

San Gabriel

San Jose

San Leandro

San Luis Obispo

San Mateo

San Pedro

Santa Barbara

Santa Clarita

Santa Maria

Santa Monica


Scotts Valley

Seal Beach






Shasta Lake

Sherman Oaks

Simi Valley


South Gate

South Pasadena

Squaw Valley


Studio City

Sun Valley





Temple City

Thousand Oaks








Twain Harte

Twentynine Palms



Valley Springs

Valley Village

Van Nuys





West Covina

West Hills

West Hollywood





Woodland Hills

Yucca Valley

The Practitioner’s Handbook for Probate Real Estate

I wrote this book for you! It is available on Amazon.com

Hope you enjoy!

This book includes step-by-step procedures showcasing the various facets of probate real estate sales, as well as diagrams that visualize these processes. It includes many suggestions and strategies to share with your real estate agent to maximize the return of each sale and mitigate your liability. The book reflects the author’s experiences in probate, residential and commercial real estate sales, brokerage management, and business process management.

Chapter 1: Defining Probate

Chapter 2: Selecting Your Real Estate Agent Amidst a Probate Petition

Chapter 3: Setting Expectations with Your Probate Agent

Chapter 4: Pre-Marketing Strategies for Probate Properties

Chapter 5: Cash for Keys Process and Agreement

Chapter 6: The Eviction Process

Chapter 7: Getting the Probate Property Ready for Market

Chapter 8: Valuing the Probate Property

Chapter 9: Real Estate Disclosures in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 10: Marketing the Probate Property

Chapter 11: Probate Specific Terms in Purchase Agreements

Chapter 12: Offer Management in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 13: Closing and Settlement in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 14: Simplified Probate Procedures

Chapter 15: Title Vesting: Impact on Probate and Step-Up in Basis

Chapter 16: Insurance and Tax Implications of a Probate Sale

Chapter 17: An In-Depth Look at the Probate Process

Happy Thanksgiving 2022

Thanksgiving Thoughts and Wishes for You and Yours!

You do not have to believe in G-d. You do not need to be a Jew. Here are the thoughts I want to share on this Thanksgiving with you.

The following is the first prayer observant Jews say each morning when they wake up, before getting out of bed: “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me. Your faithfulness is great.”

I am grateful to have my soul restored each morning. I am grateful and thankful for yet another day that I awake and that is granted to me.

On this Thanksgiving week, and beyond, I wish for you not to forget gratitude… to appreciate each day and to use that time to do good deeds.

And if you happen to face obstacles in your life (and we all have experienced obstacles), there is this prayer that is repeated MULTIPLE times daily: “And for those who plot evil against me, hasten to annul their counsel and frustrate their design. Let them be as chaff before the wind.”

I am grateful for each and every person that was brought and will one day come into my life. I am also grateful for each person that was removed and will be removed from my life. I wish the same for you!

Wishing you strength during these not so simple yet beautiful times.

Orit Gadish

Quick Fix or Renovate?

You may be thinking NEITHER!!! Just sell it AS IS!!!

I’d like to share with you a story…. an attorney referred a client to me… she needed to sell grandma’s home.  He referred her to me because a CASH BUYER approached her and offered to pay her $425,000 CASH and he will take care of cleaning out the house.  He will buy it AS IS!

When I spoke with her, she stated that she had no funds, not even to rekey and secure the property, and it’s a mess inside, and she doesn’t want to deal with the headache of cleaning it up, which is why she was inclined on selling it to the CASH BUYER and not placing the property on the market.

I offered to have the property rekeyed for her and cleaned up with NO upfront cost.  She liked my proposal and agreed to proceed.

I visited the property with my locksmith and clear out vendor, the yard was severely overgrown, and the padlocks on the gates and garage were previously placed by her brother……. my vendor was able to secure them with new padlocks, and, we got the property rekeyed.   The kitchen and laundry area had paint hanging from the ceilings… it looked like this:

My client just walked in and came right out… she was frightened by what she saw.

Two weeks later, it looked like this:  

For $3,000 the yard and the interior of the home were cleared out, the peeling paint was scraped off and touch-up paint applied, and the house was cleaned so that it smells and looks good.

AND my vendor also spent a couple of hours with my client in the garage to sort through the personal property that her grandma left behind, so my client can keep those items that have sentimental value…

The reward:  We just sold it for $570,000!!!

That’s $145,000 over what she was offered by the CASH BUYER!

We sold the property to owner occupants, a nice couple who work in the construction industry and are now working to renovate the property for themselves.

We also had many CASH offers on the table, but none were close to the highest financed offer of $570,000.

Is my client happy with her attorney for referring me?  Absolutely!

You see… it’s not necessary to have a complete renovation in order to sell a property to an owner-occupant at top dollar…. Sometimes it’s enough to just do a “QUICK FIX”, so that buyers are not distracted or disgusted by paint hanging from the ceiling and bad smells…. You want to allow the buyers to be able to IMAGINE themselves living there. Some owner-occupant buyers don’t mind remodeling themselves…and some are in the construction industry as were these buyers!

Why I Launched the Probate and Trust Academy

Since the launch of my book “The Practitioner’s Handbook for Probate Real Estate”, I have been approached by numerous fiduciaries and attorneys to provide clarifications on real estate matters related to probate and trust situations. 

Through these conversations, I learned that some “established” real estate agents in the business are unaware of all the applicable laws, while others do not serve the best interests of their clients and the interests of their client’s clients.  I also learned that some fiduciaries and attorneys are unaware that their agents are not performing as they should.

I have had attorneys that aspire to get into the probate and trust field approach me for direction, as well as new fiduciaries seeking advice on getting started.

Given all of these encounters, I decided to launch the Probate and Trust Academy to help new fiduciaries, new attorneys, attorneys looking to change their specialization to probate and trust, and experienced attorneys and fiduciaries looking for another perspective on specific matters.

I recruited my husband and business partner, David Gadish, to help as well, and we are here to help you if you need help or seek an additional perspective.

We launched ProbateAndTrustAcademy.com.  The portal provides a lengthy list of courses covering three topics:  Real Estate, Business Development, and Technology Development.  These are not formal courses.  Rather, they are topics for conversation (30-60 minutes each).  Each course we offer is based on one of the books that David or I authored, based on our extensive multi-decade academic, professional, and business experiences. 

Each of us is happy to either zoom with you or with you and your team.  We can also visit with you at your office to cover any of the courses that interest you.

Best of all – there is NO cost to you if you are a fiduciary or an attorney in our field.

I hope you find at least one course of interest to you and reach out to schedule a time to meet via zoom or in person.

Does a Quick Sale Require Auction?

Some in our industry are under the impression that they must have the property auctioned when they need to sell a property quickly.

This is never the case. 

Before I explain why let me provide you with a quick background.  At Geffen Real Estate, we have experience conducting real estate auctions.  And so, if you wish to auction your property and have not done so with us before, you are welcome to give us a try.

However, if your goal is a quick sale, all you need to do is work with your real estate broker to price the property well below the comparables, and list it on the MLS with a relatively short deadline for offer submission, require that offers are cash only and are non-contingent.  You can also request a larger EMD, such as 10%, to weed out the weaker buyers.

The results are superior to those of an auction!  How so?

Either way, the property is listed on the MLS well below the comparables.

Either way, you can choose to accept cash offers only.  Just state so in the MLS!

Either way, you can define when a property will go under contract.  How?  Specify in the MLS a deadline for offers.

Either way, you can require a quick closing.  How?  Specify a 10-day closing in the seller’s counter.

So, what’s the advantage of not selling at auction if everything is the same?

Some people may not be able to attend the auction on auction day, but they all can submit their offers at their convenience by a specified date in the MLS!  And so, the pool of potential buyers is increased, as is the competition.

And if you think there is more pressure placed on buyers at an auction, remember that buyers are typically investors, and they have their limits calculated before arriving at the auction.  They can be pushed to the same limits via a set of counters if your agent is experienced and knows what they are doing.

Orit Gadish is a member of the National Auctioneers Association.

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