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Probate Sales

Understanding Probate Sales and Disclosure Requirements in California


When it comes to selling a property that is part of a probate estate, it's important to understand the intricacies of the process and the specific disclosure requirements. Probate sales can present unique challenges and legal obligations for both the estate executor and potential buyers. In this article, we will explore what a probate sale is and delve into the disclosure requirements in California.

What is a Probate Sale?

A probate sale refers to the sale of a property that is part of an estate in the probate process. Probate is the legal process that occurs after a person passes away, during which their assets, including real estate, are distributed to beneficiaries or sold to settle outstanding debts. In a probate sale, the court oversees the transaction to ensure it is conducted properly and fairly.

Disclosure Requirements in California Probate Sales:

In California, the disclosure requirements for probate sales are similar to those in traditional real estate transactions, with a few additional considerations specific to probate sales. The primary goal is to ensure transparency and provide potential buyers with relevant information about the property's condition and any known issues. Here are some key disclosure requirements to be aware of:

1. Preliminary Title Report: The estate executor must provide a preliminary title report, which discloses any liens, encumbrances, or other title-related issues that may affect the property.

2. Seller's Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS): The SPDS is a crucial document that outlines the property's condition and any known defects. It must be completed by the estate executor and includes details such as the property's age, past repairs or renovations, known structural issues, and any environmental hazards.

3. Court Confirmation: In some cases, the probate court may require a court confirmation hearing for the sale to proceed. During this hearing, interested parties can raise objections or submit competing bids. The court then reviews the offers and approves the sale, ensuring that it is in the best interest of the estate and its beneficiaries.

4. Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA): Under the IAEA, which is often used in California probate proceedings, the estate executor has the authority to sell the property without seeking court approval. However, the executor must still comply with disclosure requirements and act in the best interest of the estate.

5. As-Is Sale: Probate sales in California are typically sold on an "as-is" basis. This means that the estate executor is not obligated to make any repairs or provide warranties. However, they are still required to disclose any known issues or defects.


Navigating a probate sale in California requires a clear understanding of the process and the disclosure requirements. Whether you are an estate executor or a potential buyer, it's crucial to consult with professionals experienced in probate real estate transactions to ensure compliance and a smooth transaction. By adhering to the disclosure requirements and working with knowledgeable experts, you can navigate the complexities of probate sales with confidence and peace of mind.

If you are involved in a probate sale or seeking further guidance, Christopher Marrs, Broker, is here to assist you. Contact Christopher Marrs at 415-369-7337 or visit to discuss your specific needs and explore the available options.


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