Probate records

hey all,

Can you search online for probate leads? I have noticed all the videos on youtube are people actually going into the courthouse, but I see sites where you can purchase these leads all over the country. Are these companies actually paying somebody to go to the courthouses in thousands of counties? When I went to my county’s website I could search only if I had a specific name, maybe some courthouses are different?

as usual any input is greatly appreciated!


Probate is filed with a court of law to administer and transfer assets of a deceased party who did not have a family living trust and may not have a will. A court administrator (Trustee) to represent the estate is assigned to pay off debts, maintain assets and possible sell things like real estate if required to pay debt or convert assets to cash to disperse assets according to a will or court order.

A court trustee can not sell real estate directly to a buyer as the law says it must be an arms length transaction and the sale must be represented by a licensed real estate brokerage and transferred by a licensed escrow / title / attorney transfer.

If someone owned four like value homes and had 4 kids and all other debts were paid the court could give each kid according to a will or determination of the court one house each. Once the probate is closed the kid is simple a property owner like any other, probate is done and over.

The kid is simple a property owner! If the administrator (Trustee) had to sell a property it has to be for fair market value at arms length, and probate properties have to be approved for sale by a court judge, normally done in chamber.

The wait to even buy a probate property from a trustee can be kind of like a short sale, it could take months and months for an approval before escrow / title / attorney transfer can open and start the process.

Your not going to find bargains in probate, you might find FMV property in poor condition with a lot of deferred maintenance priced appropriately for market conditions and physical shape.

Probate cases are public record however probate administrators will not talk directly with home buyers as the law requires a listing with a licensed agent and brokerage. Details of probate (Assets) are not public information until after probate closes.

I hope this helps,


Thanks for that thorough reply GR,

Perhaps you could humor me for a sec!

  1. How do you know I won’t find any deals? It seems like a perfect scenario for a REI could arise in probate, kids inheriting a house in another state in need of repair…have you tried it and had no success?

  2. I am just starting to research probate, so perhaps I was misinformed somewhere, but in the documents that I read it specifically stated that " the personal representative may legally market and sell real property as if he/she were the owner without the services of a broker"

Is this incorrect?

Thanks again

One of my very first deals was a probate. The seller and her 2 brothers had to go thru a 6 month probate. Each sibling signed my contract and my bird dog (Finder) and I picked up $7,750 each.
I’m working on another probate that’s taking forever.
If you have time and patience, you will make some serious profits. Many times the properties are in bad shape, heirs are out of town and out of state. In my case the property was in very bad shape, code enforcement was threatening fines and forced demolition. My sellers were very motivated. I got the property for $22,500 and sold it for 38,000, the buyers held on to it for awhile, I tried to buy it back cuz my bird dog said he kept driving by and no activity, he was running comps and it was in a great area, on a huge lot and the town had grown up all around it with high price homes and businesses.
The buyers flipped it for 48K I actually never seen the property, or met the sellers or buyers. I emailed my contracts, and including a few phone calls and texts.
I wont pass on a probate deal.
It’s interesting cuz the seller called my bird dog after the sale and told him because of the probate attorney fees and code enforcement fees etc she asked if we cud reimburse her cuz she told the Bird dog she seen the closing statement and we made out pretty well. He told her that he wud talk to me and she never called back.

Awesome, thanks for sharing your story! Can you comment on my original question? Do you actually go to the county courthouses and dig for info? Also have you encountered any situations where you weren’t able to purchase the property without a realtor involved?

thanks a lot man!

I use to be able to find records online. It depends on the county and the system they use. Some do it the old fashion way where you have to physically go to the record clerk and library.
Some require online fees, some don’t.
Some have full disclosure of contact information, some don’t.

I suggest going to the county clerk webpage off of the county website. Search for public records or probate.
You should be able to search by date. Choose the latest date and work backword.
Sometimes, you need the PIN or name of deceased or case #.

My Bird dogs come across them sometimes while looking for vacant junkers.
If a Realtor is involved that probably means the sellers are not distressed enuf. The Realtor will tell them because the property is worth 120K after repairs, they shud list it for 90K Even though it needs 30-40K in upgrades and repairs.
Of course the property will sit there for months and finally after a few price drops and the listing expires they may be a lot more motivated, but it’s screwed up cuz of this realtor and now they will try to get 70 or 80K when I wud only pay 40-50K.
No I don’t go to courthouse for probate leads. And no I don’t deal with Realtors to much.
If you want to do wholesaling the hard way with lots of frustration and little profit, then seek out some Realtors.
However, I luv Realtors and that’s who I sell my deals to. But not to buy from.
But I did make $12,000 off of a deal on the MLS thru a Realtor 4 months ago, so, I gotta keep that option open if another opportunity arises.
Rando :beer

Thanks for all the help guys, really appreciate it. It appears that my particular county you actually have to go to the courthouse…that sucks. Maybe I will go and do some research the old fashioned way, and then also order the ones for sale on line, see how good of a job they do, and determine if it’s worth the money to buy.

Try Rick Harmon…ths might be his

If not google Rick the probate guy