Treasure chestProbates are the low hanging fruit because heirs want to cash out. > Get an overview of probate investing in this blog post. While every case is different and the executor has their own unique time frame in selling the probated property, the biggest obstacle that blocks the executor from selling is the personal belongings that their loved one has left behind.

It is a gut wrenching process to dispose of these personal belongings. To everyone else, it is “stuff”. To the family, it is a treasure chest of memories. What if the family just is frozen and cannot finish the job? Providing assistance in removing these items in a dignified manner may just seal the deal in a probated property.

Yesterday, I spoke with an investor that relayed a story. Without much background on the house, the investor showed up at a potential property to meet with a real estate agent. They walked in to discover a treasure trove of furniture and other items. “This is a great REO property”, the investor said to the agent, to which the agent said, “This isn’t bank owned. It’s in probate. The relatives already came to get the things they wanted”.

The investor, who also has a property preservation business, not only offered to remove the items, but to donate the items to charity for the estate to realize a sizable tax write off. The family paid the investor $7,000 to clean house and donate the belongings to charity, and the family claimed over $11,000 in deductions. That adds new meaning to “win win”.

That’s an atypical example, but the quintessential point is that if you – the investor – can oftentimes seal the deal by offering your help in disposing of these non-real property assets. We know of several subscribers to our probate data that make “house cleaning” a prominent benefit of their service by offering to rescue vintage paintings, the 59 Corvette in the garage, and other prized items that the family simply does not know what to do with. In many potential probate deals, these gems may be the only thing standing in the way between you and a discounted property.

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