My reader question today comes from someone that is caught in the middle of a family mess. She is a newer probate investor and has hit the inevitable brick wall.
The family involved (AKA the executor and the heirs) don't agree on anything. They are fighting over every little detail.
Her question was, “What can I do when the heirs don't agree on anything and really don't seem to even want to work together to find a solution”?
This is often the case when it comes to the sale of the property in the estate. More often than not the house hasn't been updated in decades and is in need of some major (and costly) repairs. In spite of this, the heirs think they should get the same price for the house as the one down the street in great condition with all of the updates.
It's More Common than You Think
Being in the middle of a situation where heirs don't agree is much more common than you might think, and today I have some suggestions for you on how to handle this particular problem.
It has been my experience that the executor is more likely to be realistic about the condition and the actual value of the house. The reason for this is that by the time they have responded to your marketing, they have already taken care of a number of the steps needed to settle the estate. They are much more realistic simply because they have more experience at this point than the heirs.
In any case, I have found that it is a process when it comes to getting sellers to change their expectations so regular follow up is very important.
It's also important to understand that the executor is the “decision maker” when it comes to settling the estate. Ultimately they have the final say as long as they are following the instructions in the will (if there was one) and the laws of their state. Even though the executor has the final say, most of them would really like for the estate to be settled amicably where all of the parties are in agreement when it's all said and done.
I know it sure makes our job easier when everyone is on the same page. Even with the occasional “hiccup” I still love probate investing.
What About You?
Do you invest in probates? I would love to hear about your experience working in this lucrative niche.
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