How to Find Probate Real Estate

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Probate is a legal process pursuant to which a decedent's last will and testament is formally submitted to the court in order to be reviewed for authenticity and thereafter for the assets to be distributed. One type of asset frequently contained in probate property is real estate. Probate real estate also serves as a type of investment for certain types of investors, such as individuals seeking to quickly flip houses to sell for a sizable profit.

Check the obituaries of the jurisdiction in which you are interested in purchasing properties. Identify the local court in the area where the deceased individual resided by checking either a local telephone book or performing an Internet search. Visit the court's office of records and search property records in order to determine if the decedent owned any property.

Check with the office which records the filing of a last will and testament. This is a public filing and will indicate if a person had owned real estate. If so, you will be able to make a copy of the document which should include an address and/or description of the real estate.

Contact real estate agents located in the area where you are interested in buying probate real estate. Real estate brokers are generally very familiar with the properties available in the region and will be able to tell you whether the property is part of a probate sale.

Consider using private companies which provide data on available probate properties for sale. These companies require an often costly fee, but using a private company may save you time. For example, Bob Bruss Real Estate offers lists of real estate for sale which is comprise of probate properties. Another company offering probate property lists is Fast Cash in Real Estate Foreclosures, which offers both foreclosure property lists but also has probate real estate lists as well. Private companies can charge anywhere from $100 up to several hundred dollars for probate real estate lists.


  • Be careful when utilizing an online or other private probate sale research company; make sure they are a reputable company.
  • This article constitutes general information and does not constitute legal advice.
  • Consult a lawyer when entering any legal transaction.


  • Ask your local real estate office for tips and/or guidance when locating probate real estate.
  • If you plan to purchase probate real estate, use a structural engineer prior to entering a contract of sale to ensure that the real estate is in quality condition.


About the Author

J.S. Nogara began writing in 2000, publishing in legal texts, newspapers, newsletters and on various websites. Her credits include updating "New York Practice Guides: Negligence." She is a licensed attorney admitted to the New York State courts and the Federal Court, Southern District in New York. She has a B.S. from the University of Connecticut, a J.D. and an LL.M. degree.