Real Estate

How real estate agents can find inherited listings in their local market

Inherited listings are often left untouched by real estate agents because of the sensitivity that needs to surround their approach.

But if handled respectfully, the niche could unlock a floodgate of leads and clients.

On September 1, Charles Curry, head of marketing for the training platform Authorify, hosted a webinar that broke down how to land inherited listings.

In the video, he shared a step-by-step guide on how to find leads.

The  first step is to find probate cases on a local court website. To do this, Curry suggests typing the following into Google: [CountyName] followed by [State Name] followed by probate case search.

Per Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP, a probate is a legal process in which the ownership of a property is transferred after the original owner’s death.

Court websites can be hard to navigate, Curry continued. If an agent is having trouble locating the records, they can call the courthouse and have someone walk them through the process.

“I recommend calling several times until you find a clerk that will help you. When I was new to the business, some clerks told me that I couldn’t access certain courthouse records. I didn’t believe them, called back, talked to another clerk, and they helped me find the information,” Curry’s guide reads.

Once an agent finds a case, they need to confirm that the person who passed away owned the home and that there isn’t a spouse on the title. On the guide, Curry checked the top of the probate case for the answers to those two questions.

Once the lead checks out, the next step is to find the person who now has the authority to sell the property. Per the guide, that person is often called a personal representative, the executor of the estate, or an heir. This person may be hard to track down, so agents should source out family members who could be the heir or can put them in touch with the heir.

If the name of the personal representative is not on the probate case record, there are a few ways an agent can find out who to contact. They can look at the original owner’s obituary for family names, they can find out who is paying the property taxes or they can use social media to find relatives.

Once an agent finds the names, the next step is to gather phone numbers and mailing addresses.

“You can usually get their mailing address from the Probate Court Case. That is the first place I’d look,” Curry’s guide reads.

To find the addresses and numbers of potential heirs, Curry suggests using local property records which can be accessed on sites like PropertyShark, White Pages, or Intelius Premier.

Out of respect for grieving family members and friends, Curry suggests that agents wait a few months before reaching out to offer their services.

Once an appropriate amount of time has passed, they can send marketing material to the addresses they collected, and/or politely introduce themselves over the phone. Curry also suggests mailing material to the inherited property since there is a good chance someone in the family will collect the mail.

If an agent is busy and doesn’t have time to look through probate cases, Curry suggests hiring a virtual assistant from Fiverr to do it.

Fiverr is a platform that allows its customers to hire freelancers for services that range from web design, to copywriting, to clerical work.

Email Libertina Brandt

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