About Lorraine Meier, a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist

Lorraine is a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (C.P.R.E.S.). That means she has both education and experience to navigate even the most complex probate and trust transactions from start to finish while bringing the best possible price for the property. There are countless duties she executes to ensure that the experience of selling the property is as easy as possible on the heirs, administrator or executor, and the attorney.

The judicial process in which an instrument purporting to be the will of a deceased person is proved to be genuine or not; lawful distribution of the deceased estate. The legal process of distributing a will. Also, the judicially supervised process for marshalling a decedent’s assets, paying proper debts and distributing remaining assets to the persons or entities entitled to them. An estate may be probated even if there is no will.

A legal entity established either during a trustor’s lifetime (inter vivos) or at his death (testamentary). The trust is governed by the terms set forth in the trust documents. A trust must have a trustee, a beneficiary, and a “corpus” or property subjected to the trust.

Conservatorship is a legal concept in the United States. A court proceeding to appoint a manager for the financial affairs or the personal care of one who is either physically or mentally unable to handle either or both.

Court Confirmation -vs- No Court Confirmation

If the  Personal Representative (“PR”) is granted Full Authority they can proceed with the property sale without prior court approval. That’s not to say they won’t be subject to later questioning by the Court or a beneficiary but they can take care of business without delay.

All heirs must be notified in writing of the sale, and have 15 days to object to the sale (in some cases it may be longer). If an objection does occur, and it cannot be overturned by the fiduciary or attorney, the sale would most likely need to go to court for confirmation.

In the case of a Court Confirmed Probate Sale, Personal Representative has been granted Limited Authority. An offer must be accompanied by a 10 percent deposit. The estate representative will then accept or counter the offer, just like any other sale. The offer is subject to the court’s confirmation. Even though the seller may have accepted a buyer’s offer, the seller is not committed to that buyer or their offer. The estate representative, through their probate attorney, will then petition the court to confirm the sale. A future date is chosen for the sale to be confirmed in the court.

Once the sale date is determined, the parties now must wait a minimum of 30 to 45 days. During this time, the court requires that the property be properly advertised and marketed with the new accepted price. In California, for example, that is set in accordance to Probate Code. 

The court will take that accepted offer and it will be 10% of the first 10K and 5% of the remaining balance. The total becomes the new probate price to be marketed.

EXAMPLE: A property is listed at $500,000. The accepted offer is $575,000.

The minimum overbid is calculated as follows:

Accepted offer = $575,000

+.10 x $10,000 = $1,000

+ .05 x $565,000 = $28,250

Minimum overbid = $604,250

x .10 = $600,425 amount of cashier’s check

In order for the sale to be confirmed, the court requires that the new buyer, plus any other interested party, come to probate court to confirm the sale. The property is then sold auction style with the opening bid being (in the case of California) at the new probate price.

Sometimes multiple buyers show up to bid on the property. Once the overbid is reached, the judge typically starts bidding in increments of $5K. If nobody shows up to bid on the home, the first buyer gets the property for their original offer price. If the property is sold to one of the bidders, they must immediately hand over a deposit of 10 percent.

There are some things for buyers to be aware of when moving forward on a probate sale. Many times, the 10 percent deposit that’s required with the offer is not refundable unless the original buyer isn’t the final court confirmed buyer.

Any person who bids in court must make an unconditional offer. Obtaining financing or approving inspections should not be a condition of the offer. In the event the buyer defaults after a court confirmed sale, the buyer may lose the deposit. If the court confirms the sale to an over bidder rather than the original buyer, the original buyer’s deposit shall be refunded.

Each Property is unique and the process can appear very complicated. iI you have been appointed a personal representative as either an executor or administrator you might feel overwhelmed. 

Hiring a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist is key to closing this chapter in your life. I am certified by US Probate Services. Here are some of the advantages of hiring me. 

I will prepare a Comparative Marketing Analysis (CMA) and Probate Comparative Market Analysis (PCMA) required by the court that is customized for your property and is specific to the neighborhood with comparable sales to determine an estimated sales price.
Disclosures are a requirement of any Real Estate Sale. A Probate or Trust sale requires special disclosures and detailed attention to probate law.  A disclosure package for any prospective buyer provides them with upfront and comprehensive property information.
Prepare a Customized a Marketing plan that best fits the market,  property, and estate needs.This includes professional photos for internet marketing
I am a Project Manager and I have a vetted team of painters, haulers, landscapers, handymen, and cleaners that will work to get your property in the best shape possible increasing the price and net proceeds of submitted offers.
My experience includes working with attorneys and the courts, and I work closely with the family, heirs and personal representative, to help with the clearing  the property of personal belongings.
The property will be listed on all major internet real estate sites.
Schedule and attend open houses and private showings and network with local and international agents to get the perfect buyer.
Negotiate the best terms and highest price for the property while verifying the lender and qualifications of buyer.
I manage the escrow process and keep track and monitor contractual deadlines and timelines.

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Lorraine Meier

Lorraine Meier


Get to Know Me

Serving the Greater San Francisco Bay Area including Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and Solano Counties. Lorraine specializes in residential home sales and is an expert in probate, estate, trust, and conservatorship sales in all major Bay Area Counties including Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma counties. Lorraine is a hands-on Realtor• that specializes in the sales of residential real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area. A 35-year resident and San Francisco property owner, Lorraine knows and understands the unique dynamics of living in the Bay Area, from transit and landlord/tenant laws to the micro-climates & cultures of various neighborhoods. She offers progressive sales technology, savvy marketing techniques, and unparalleled attention to the subtleties and fluctuations of current market conditions. She believes that honesty and communication, together with a thorough knowledge of the local real estate market and exceptional customer service, are at the heart of every successful real estate transaction. Lorraine realizes that each client and each situation is different, and she tailors her services to meet your needs and expectations. She is a strategic thinker and skillful negotiator who will work relentlessly on your behalf to help you realize your real estate goals. Other areas of specialties include:
  • Condos, Lofts and New Developments • Multi-Unit Buildings
  • Probates/Trust Sales/Conservatorships • Residential Properties
  • Relocation

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