Posted by Vivo_Team on November 26th, 2014

What is a probate house sale?

When someone dies without a will, the sale of their property can then be sold in probate. Probate is a legal process where the court gives someone the legal right to manage the estate of the deceased.

An empty family lounge - Bereavement house sale

When is probate required?

Probate is usually required before a house can be sold if the deceased was the sole owner of the property. A sale cannot be completed without a Grant of Probate being issued by the Probate Registry and being provided to a solicitor. However, you are still able to put the property on the market and accept offers before probate is granted.

Depending on how complicated the estate is, this can impact the time frame of which you should expect to receive a grant of probate, which can be anything between 3-6 months. It’s vital to begin the process of obtaining probate in the early stages of planning to sell the property to minimise the overall timescale.

How long does it take to sell a house through probate?

Once the seller has received their Grant of Probate, the process of selling a house through probate can takes months, or even years for complex probate house sales if you’re selling on the open market. However, by instructing a trusted fast property buying company such as Vivo, we could buy your home in as little as 7 days.

As we use our own funds, we are readily available to buy properties much faster than if you were to sell on the open market, allowing you and your family to focus on grieving while we deal with the sales process, as well as support with covering all legal fees. Selling a house is stressful enough, so adding the death of a loved one makes it an even more difficult process. We are committed to adapting to your situation and can be flexible with timeframes. All our sales are secure and private so you can rest assured knowing that you are in control of your sale.

An empty family lounge - Bereavement house sale

Selling a house while in probate

Losing a loved one is hard, whether it’s a partner, friend or relative – and that’s before the complex bureaucratic and financial issues. Following a bereavement and amidst organising a funeral and sorting the will, a quick bereavement house sale might make this difficult time more bearable.

Selling a house after the death of a parent, or inheriting a property from a loved one requires an experienced and professional team who understand the sensitivities of the probate sale process.

Tips for dealing with a loved one’s possessions following bereavement


The pain of loss can be immense, that, combined with having to also sell the home you grew up in can lead to a feeling of overwhelmingness. The thought of having to go through your loved ones belongings can be enough to not want to deal with it at all. However, there are some ways you can make the process a little faster and easier to deal with:

1. Break down sorting through possessions into rooms and sessions, and set yourself milestones. Putting in place a schedule can help keep things moving along when you feel overwhelmed.

2. Speak to your friends and family to help you decide what you want to do with your loved one’s possessions, there are some amazingly creative options that can provide you with a priceless connection for a lifetime. For example, your grandad’s favourite shirt can be transformed into a cushion, helping you to keep their memory alive.

3. Decluttering a relative’s house can involve learning to deal with your own grieving process. By taking photos of the home before you begin de-cluttering, you can more easily distinguish between items that hold memories that you’d like to keep and items that have little to no value if you were to sell it but find hard letting go of.

General tips for dealing with bereavement and selling a house

Here at Vivo we understand that selling a house after the death of a parent or loved one is tough and we would like to share a few tips that will help ease the process for you…

Secure the property

If the house is now unoccupied it is important that you secure the property accordingly to protect any of the previous owner’s possessions. It may be worth popping in every now and again just to check that all is intact. And, for an extra sense of security, you could set a timer on the lights to give the house a lived-in look to passers-by.


Care for the pets

Pets are often left to others in a will, however, they’ll still need looking after during the time in-between. Ensure that they are fed and seen to appropriately or if you’re unable to take them into your own home, ask another relative or temporarily place them in care.


Cancel subscriptions

In times of grief, sometimes the smallest of things such as recurring orders and subscriptions are overlooked. Make sure you cancel orders and services such as gardeners, cleaners and the milk to avoid any unexpected charges.


Sell the house quickly

The property market is continually changing so it can be near impossible to know how quickly your house will sell. Furthermore, the longer the sales process is drawn out, the longer it’ll take to begin fully moving on with your life. We understand that a bereavement house sale is a tough and emotional process, that’s why we offer private house sales that are quick and flexible. After the sale is completed and the funds are received, we’re happy to let you stay in your property for a couple of weeks rent-free until you’ve found your feet. There is no rush once the exchanged has happened which may be useful in your situation.

Probate house sale process

We recognise that while grieving, the last thing you want to deal with is selling a property. Selling a house in probate can be long and complicated process that can also feel emotionally straining, stressful and time consuming.

At Vivo, we make selling your sold as seen private house sale fast and simple, so simple in fact you can do it in just a few steps.


Our stress-free and fast process to selling your house in probate

1. Apply for a Grant of Probate
Fill in the form to apply for a Grant of Probate and pay an application fee.

2. Pay Inheritance Tax
Before probate can be granted, the inheritance tax due on the late person’s estate must be paid.

3. Get in touch with Vivo to request a valuation
You will receive a full Offer Package within 24 hours. This includes prices, a timeline which suits you, and all that is included in our quick sale service.

4. Survey Time
We will then arrange for an independent RICS Surveyor to carry out a free valuation at your property complying social distancing measures

5. Get your formal offer
Once you have accepted the Formal Offer, the sale, the agreed price and timescales are locked in and secured and the appointed solicitors get to work.

6. Sale is now secured
You will now receive the full funds within the agreed timescales

Vivo is a fast option for probate house sales

We appreciate that the impact of losing a loved one may have changed the way you feel about selling your home. It’s not just about a quick sale, you need a buyer you can trust, who will listen to your circumstances, and can buy your right away with minimal disruption. Below, we’ve highlighted the differences of selling your home to Vivo versus the open market.

Open Market
✓ Sale within your desired timescales (as fast as 1-3 weeks) ✘ Average sale - 3-6 months
✓ No viewings ✘ Average of 10 viewings
✓ Vivo covers all legal fees with no commissions ✘ Estate agent fees, solicitor fees, cosmetic repairs
✓ No-obligation offer in 24 hours ✘ Average of 2 months to accept an offer
✓ Private and discrete sale ✘ No privacy or discretion, FOR SALE board, block viewings.
✓ Accept our formal offer and your sale is secure ✘ One in four house sales in the UK fall through

Why choose Vivo?

Vivo can help

At Vivo, we understand that you might still be coping with bereavement and truly hope that the above advice answers some doubts you may have around what to do next with the house. We appreciate the complexities that come with selling a house in probate and that it is an emotionally straining and stressful time. With this in mind, you should opt for a company who buys houses outright and fast – eliminating the stress of waiting for the house to sell or the sale to go through.

We’re here to offer an alternative to an open market sale by offering a fast and guaranteed cash sold as seen private sale, while avoiding estate agents’ commissions and solicitors legal fees. By buying your property quickly and securely, we can help you move on to the next chapter of your life.

If you’re still unsure and have further questions on how our service works, check out our FAQs page where we answer many of our most frequently asked questions.

If you would like to know more, please call us on 0800 773 4922 or fill in our quick contact form.

Our customers come first

A very efficient property sale despite legal complexities arising out of probate. All achieved within the desired 4 week timescale enabling me to relocate on time. I would recommend Vivo to anyone that requires a quick transaction.

Andrew Russel September 2020

Happy Vivo customer

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Vivo Property Buyers is the trading name for Potrell London Ltd, The Ashridge Business Centre 121 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 2DJ.

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