For Families


You have lost a family member or friend, and now the reality of the settlement of the estate has set in. The feeling can be overwhelming. At the Barrentine Group, we have years of experience in simplifying complex real estate transactions. In the area of Probates, Trusts, and Conservatorships, there is an added layer of complexity that only the most experienced navigate to the client's advantage. We perform a support role as you take on the responsibility of settling an estate. Having personally been Executors, we understand the responsibilities and pressures of the position. From the initial re-key and preparation of the property through the close of escrow, we think of the things you haven't thought about yet and can handle them all for you.
Two things make a major difference in any real estate transaction: education and communication. We pride ourselves on both. Crucial to a successful outcome is a client who understands the probate sales process and who has the information needed to make necessary decisions. We begin with a consultation to determine how to tailor the transaction to you and your family's needs while following local legal procedures. We communicate the way you want and expect. Each conversation ends with "and this is what you can expect to happen next," which brings clarity and comfort to the process.


Here is an overview of the probate timeline. 

For Executors the trust process is more simplified in that a party or parties, once in agreement, have the ability to sign off on the settlement and the timeline moves forward.

For Administrators the probate process does require that the court approve the sale of real property and with full authority once the sale is within 10% of the appraised value, the court will be satisfied. Without full authority to sell, the sale will be required to have a final overbid process which is essentially an auction held at the court. 

The flowchart below helps visualize the system. 



An evaluation of the property's value conducted by a licensed appraiser.


A person who inherits property or assets from the estate of the deceased person.

Closing Costs

Fees and expenses associated with closing the sale of a property, including title searches, inspections, and legal fees.


The person whose care and financial well-being is provided for under a conservatorship with a court appointed conservator.


In this process the court is petitioned by a person to become the conservator to care for a conservatee. This appointment may require the sale of real property and other assets to settle financial requirements for care.

Court Approval

The process of obtaining approval from the court for the sale of probate property.

Court-Confirmed Sale

A type of probate sale where the property is sold at a public auction and the sale is confirmed by the court.


The person who died.


A legal document transferring ownership of the property from the estate to the buyer.


A third-party account used in all sales in California to hold funds during a real estate transaction, ensuring that all parties receive their agreed-upon payment. 


A person named in a will who is responsible for managing the estate of the deceased person during the probate process.


A person who is entitled to inherit property or assets from the estate of the deceased person according to state law, even if they were not named in a will.

Intestate succession

The order of who inherits the property when the decedent does not have a will.

Legatees, or Devisees

People who are named in a will.


Multiple Listing Service, a database of real estate listings used by real estate agents. Probate sales are placed here just as any traditional listing would be.

Notice of Overbid

A legal notice announcing that a higher bid has been submitted and providing information about the new bid process.

Notice of Sale

A legal notice announcing the sale of a probate property and providing information about the auction.

Overbid Sale

A type of probate sale where the highest bidder at the courtroom auction has the opportunity to purchase the property for a higher price than the accepted contract price.

Personal Representative also known as Administrator

The person appointed by the court to manage the probate process, including the sale of property and assets.


A formal request submitted to the court to open probate.

Probate real estate sale

The transfer of legal title (ownership) of real property from the estate of the person who has died to his or her beneficiaries or to a buyer under the supervision of the Court.

Probate referee

Property must be valued before it may be sold through probate. The probate referee establishes a value through an appraisal.


The legal process of settling an estate after someone dies, including the distribution of assets and property to beneficiaries or heirs.

Real Property

The term used to refer to real estate (land and buildings) in probate and trust sales.


When someone dies leaving a will.

Title Search

A search of public records to determine the ownership and any liens or encumbrances on the property.


When a person (trustee) holds property at another person’s (Settlor’s) requests for the benefit of someone else (Beneficiary).


A legal document that lists a person’s wishes about what will happen to his/her personal and real property after death.

Frequently Asked Questions

A probate sale is the sale of a property that is owned by a deceased person's estate, which is overseen by a court-appointed executor or personal representative.

The process of selling a probate home in Los Angeles involves obtaining a probate property appraisal, preparing the property for sale, marketing the property, obtaining court approval for the sale, and closing the sale.

The length of the probate sale process in Los Angeles can vary depending on the complexity of the estate, but it typically takes between six months to a year.

The different types of probate sales in Los Angeles include court-confirmed sales, overbid sales, and private sales.

What Are the Differences in a Trust Sale Vs a Probate Sale?

The term probate is often used as a catch all phrase when there are two potential routes of sale. In a Trust Sale an executor will act as a traditional seller of real property would and will simply sell the property with no court approval or auction.

If a trust was not set up then the court will name an Administrator. They may be granted “full independent powers” under the Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA), and then the sale may not require court confirmation. If limited authority is applied to the administrator then court confirmation and an overbid process will be put in place. The  attorney representing the estate will mail a Notice of Proposed Action stating the terms of the proposed sale to all the heirs and will also publish the sale in a paper of record. The heirs then have 15 days to object to the sale. If there is no objection within 15 days, the sale goes through without any court hearing required.

The court-appointed executor or personal representative is responsible for managing the sale of a probate home in Los Angeles. This is best done with the assistance of a qualified Realtor®.

While not typically required it may be advisable to make certain improvements to the property if the estate’s desire is to maximize the value of the real property asset. 

In Los Angeles, the sale of a probate home often happens months before the probate process is complete.

Any outstanding debts or taxes owed on a probate property in Los Angeles must be paid out of the proceeds of the sale before the remaining funds are distributed to beneficiaries or heirs.

What Paperwork is Necessary in a Probate Sale?

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) forms are used for the sale and purchase of real estate.  There is a special probate listing agreement used to place property on the market. Traditional CAR purchase agreements are used for the sale.  It is augmented by a Probate Addendum. Disclosures for probate sales will also vary since many times the executor or administrator may have no actual knowledge as to the condition of the property. 

Probate sales should be aggressively marketed just as any other property. Working with an agent that understands the process can be helpful as many agents representing potential buyers may not be well versed in the probate process. All probate sales should continue to be marketed until all contingencies are removed and if court confirmation and an overbid process is required, then the property should be aggressively marketed until that event takes place to protect the estate’s interest. 

All fees for the preparation of the property for the market as well as all costs associated with the sale are paid by the estate. Savvy agents may advance the cost of preparing the property for sale and will be reimbursed for that expense at the close of the sale.

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