Categories Inherited

Can A House Be Sold While in Probate?


We are often asked by our clients if their home can be sold while in probate? The overall answer is generally YES, but depending on the status of the will and the names on the title, the process can be quite challenging.

Before we get started, let’s review “What is Probate?” – Probate is the process of proving and registering in the Supreme Court the last will of a deceased person; granting of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. The probate process must go through a probate court to establish the executor of the estate.

Selling a Home in Probate:

Step 1: Appoint an Executor: The first question to ask following the death of a loved one is who is the executor? Hopefully, your loved one has completed their will and has appointed someone as the executor of their estate. If they have done this, then the process will be much simpler. If they have not done this, you will need to petition to appoint an executor. Depending on the agreement of the heirs, this can be a short or long process.

Step 2: File with the Court: You must file this with the court and allow two weeks while the notice is on public display – following this, the process of the sale can get started.

Step 3: Get an Appraisal. Never put the home on the market without having the appraisal completed first. This step is imperative for the closing process, and is a necessity for the court proceedings. An appraiser can easily be found through a google search or by requesting a referral from your attorney or agent.

Step 4: Market the Home and Accept an Offer. The next step is selling the house. In the case of a probate sale, the offers on the home must meet requirements approved by the court. For example, the home must sell at a minimum of 90% of the appraisal value. Additionally, any offer must be accompanied with a 10% deposit of the total selling price.

Step 5: Notice of Proposed Action. Once a buyer is identified and the home sale is approved by the court, a Notice of Proposed Action must be mailed to the heirs/claimants of the will informing them of the terms of the sale. If anyone objects to the sale, they have 15 days to contest. If no individual contests, the sale may proceed.

Step 6: Finalize the Sale: The last step in the process is the finalization of the sale. When the offer is accepted, the attorney for the estate applies for a court date, which typically occurs 30-45 days later. During this waiting period, the real estate agent continues to market and show the home and is open to new offers. If a higher offer is obtained, the new buyer must submit a cashier’s check equaling 10% of the new price – at this time, they are the new highest bidder.

The court will accept the highest bidder – and once they are identified, escrow will be opened. Escrow during a probate sale generally takes 30-45 days. Finally, the home will close.

Step 6: Allocation of Funds: Once the home is sold, the funds enter into the probate fund. The beneficiaries will receive the profits from the sale; however, funds are not allocated until the end of the probate process. All debts must be paid including taxes, funeral expenses, court fees, etc.

What About Debt?

An in-depth financial analysis of the deceased is necessary to understand if the sale will be as simple as stated above. If the deceased has any debt or taxes due, this must be taken into consideration when selling the home. Upon their death, the executor must notify all creditors – this allows each creditor to make their claim on the assets within the identified time frame.

Overcoming Challenges

If you are experiencing difficulty going through the probate process, remember that the process is intact to ensure the assets of the deceased.

For continued assistance, whether you are interested in learning more about the process, understanding if you are in a position to sell, or are ready to let go of the property, we are available to help.

We here at Gulf State Homebuyers specialize in working with clients who have inherited a home; not only do we provide all cash offers with a quick close, but we also have an attorney on staff that can assist. This will both save you money and time.

Categories Baytown

Prices Are Rising in the Baytown Market…. It Is Time to Sell Your Home!


We are coming to the end of the third quarter, and over the last year, the residential real estate market has seen a shift in home values. In Baytown, TX, the housing market has actually seen quite a drastic shift, with housing prices increasing 6.1% in the last 12 months. The current median home value as of September 2018 was $145,200; the prediction is in – housing prices are anticipated to rise another 3.8% within the next year.

The question remains: what is causing this increase in home values? What does it indicate for homeowners’ futures?

What Is Causing the Increase in Home Values in Baytown?

Before we delve deeper into this question, it is important to note that the US economy has supported low interest rates over the last 12 years, spurring buyers to enter the market now rather than later. Years of low rates and enthusiasm in the market have impacted every facet of the industry – take a look at some of the far-reaching effects below:

  •  Since the 1950s, Baytown has witnessed continuous annual population growth. Despite Hurricane Harvey, which economists anticipated would have had a negative effect on a community like Baytown, the town is experiencing population growth. More residents means higher demand for housing – and with low interest rates, people are motivated to buy rather than rent.
  •  The Baytown unemployment rate is 35% higher than that of the United States. However, over the last year, Baytown has seen an increase in the job market by 0.8%, which has translated into higher incomes for residents. Higher income ultimately results in more buyers as well.
  •  Demand is still outweighing supply. Following Hurricane Harvey, many homes were destroyed – and unfortunately, many still have not recovered. The economic challenges that the residents of Baytown inherited following the hurricane made recovery difficult. Many individuals did not have the insurance policy to completely cover the damages, while others were financially strapped and stuck without a solution. Many of those who had the proper insurance did not want to take on the responsibility of fixing a new home – so they have opted for buying one instead.

The continuous increase in housing prices may in turn trigger a seller to hold off – they may believe that although it is a seller’s market now, that they should wait to sell at a higher price. However, a higher price does not always indicate a seller’s market.

Risks of Waiting to Sell:

1. Interest Rates Are Rising: With rising interest rates, buyers tend to lose motivation to purchase – essentially, the community tends to be pushed towards renting. Higher interest rates not only make it challenging for affordable monthly mortgages, but they also make it more challenging for individuals to qualify for the lenders.

2. The Drop is Coming. The future of the real estate market is impossible to predict; although analysts expect a continued increase in home values, there is always uncertainty. With lower interest rates and a hot market, sellers are guaranteed to get top dollar for their property right now. Nonetheless, waiting in hopes of a higher return can be risky. If the economy has a sudden shift, sellers could lose all potential.

3. Housing Prices Rise above Inflation Rates. Inflation rates in the US are generally between 2-3%, averaging at 2.7% as of August 2018. The increase in housing prices was a drastic 6.1% in Baytown – this means that housing prices are increasing double the expected amount. Overall, this decreases the number of viable buyers – unless an individual’s salary matches this 6.7% increase, they may find it challenging to obtain a loan for the home values, creating a shift toward renting.

The Baytown Market

Generally speaking, this market is a challenging one to read. Home prices are increasing, job growth is rising, and unemployment is declining – to some, this may indicate a continued seller’s market. Still, rates are shifting so significantly that the economy may not keep up with the housing market. If the trend continues, sellers may stop losing the advantage and ultimately lose profit on their homes.

If you are a seller, this may be the most profitable time to sell – especially since interest rates are anticipated to see two more bumps before the end of 2018. With uncertainty on the rise, it is time to get your home evaluated.

We here at Gulf State Homebuyers would like to provide you with a free home evaluation. We offer competitive prices, quick closes, and a friendly staff. To get started, just contact us, and we will set you up with a qualified representative.

Categories Baytown

How Our Programs Help The Community


A successful business is not one that purely focuses on financial gain, but one that is also dedicated to the growth and development of its community. We here at Gulf State Homebuyers do just that – through our referral and mentorship programs, we provide our community alternative opportunities to gain financial wealth and become educated in the real estate industry.

Who We Are

We are an all cash home buying company located in Baytown, Texas. We specialize in purchasing homes from all over Houston and in the surrounding areas. With our all cash offers, we provide our clients the opportunity to close on their homes quickly – no need to hassle with hiring a real estate agent, marketing your home, or worrying about closing fees. With no obligation and no unexpected fees, we provide residents in the area with a free home evaluation so that they can determine if selling their home is the best option for them. Not only do we purchase homes in good condition, but we also purchase damaged and inherited homes as well. Over the last 12 years, we have continued to build our services in hopes that we may best serve our community. Through the years, we have identified two additional ways we could bring potential to our community, so we implemented new programs within our company:

Our Referral Program

The real estate industry is all about making connections and building trust. With these skills, agents are able to make a profit off of assisting both home buyers and sellers. But why does this opportunity for income need to be restricted to real estate professionals? We don’t believe it does.

This is why we offer our community a simple referral program – a way to gain income just by referring a friend to us. We understand that an individual’s network is a web of opportunity – and we don’t want you to miss one! As real estate agents, we are firm believers in assisting clients as they build for their futures, whether or not they personally have a home to sell.

If you know someone who may be interested in selling their home, you may have a chance to make some extra money. Remember, we buy all types of homes – inherited, wind or rain damaged, foreclosed, and many more. Don’t just take our word for it, but listen how our other clients earned from our referral program:

  • Jane Porterfield: Jane sold us her home. Following the process, she was very happy with our services, so she referred a friend. After her first check for selling her house, she received a second check just for telling her friend about us!
  • Katie Hargraves: Katie heard how great out customer service was, so she referred a friend – not long after, she received a check!
  • Larry Barnes: Larry profits from referring properties to us that he sees while he is driving. He identifies a vacant home, and if they sell to us, he gets a check!

These are only three of our recent customers. If you want to get in on the benefits of our referral program, it’s simple. Just follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Log onto our website referral page here
  2. Fill out the referral sheet: Include your full name, email, and phone number, as well as the property address you are referring
  3. Wait for us to evaluate the property
  4. If the homeowner sells, you’ll receive a check in the mail!

Our Mentorship Program

Not only do we provide our community with the chance to build wealth through referrals, but we also provide individuals with education and expertise.

President of Gulf State Homebuyers, Dwayne White, has a passion for and dedication to helping other succeed. Through mentorship, he has assisted individuals in becoming the top real estate investors in the Houston area. Dwayne himself is from the local area, so who better to mentor individuals seeking business in the Baytown/Houston area than a successful native? Dwayne has changed lives through his mentoring and continues to build his own business along the way too.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get into the real estate industry, or more specifically, are looking for a mentor, we are here to help.

Gulf State Homebuyers

We are dedicated to providing clients with top notch services. If you live in the Baytown area and are interested in selling your home, referring a friend and/acquaintance, and/or entering into our mentorship program, call or email us today. We will get you set up with a professional who can help change your future.

Categories testimonial, YouTube

Ryan Winters Seller Testimonial

[vc_row][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1457791968195{margin-top: -18px !important;}”][gem_youtube video_id=”tiCj9haUSOE”][gem_divider margin_top=”25″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]After our walk through we had a chance to speak with Ryan about his experience with the process of selling his home to us here at Gulf State Homebuyers.  We love our sellers![/vc_column_text][gem_divider margin_top=”35″][gem_quote style=”2″ no_paddings=”1″]…I couldn’t have picked a better company to sell my house to.[/gem_quote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][gem_divider margin_top=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories Project Update, YouTube

Ryan Gets To See His House Again!

[vc_row][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1457791968195{margin-top: -18px !important;}”][gem_youtube video_id=”HaQpwrQpAbI”][gem_divider margin_top=”25″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We got a chance to bring Ryan Winters back to look at his house that we purchased from him.  He absolutely loved it, and he is very glad it’s going to make a great home for someone.  This is why we love what we do, so don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more updates just like this.  If you have a home that you would like to sell please fill out the form below and we will contact your shortly![/vc_column_text][gem_divider margin_top=”35″][gem_quote style=”2″ no_paddings=”1″]…I was amazed at the work that was done and happy that someone will make it their own soon.[/gem_quote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][gem_divider margin_top=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row]