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Phyllis Harb goes to Los Angeles Probate Court

phyllis harb los angeles real estate listings

Prior to selling Los Angeles real estate, I was in mortgage banking. I held a variety of positions. At one point I was a loan officer at Los Angeles Federal Savings Bank. In this position, I was required to have a real estate license. During the 1980’s each bank I worked for was being acquired by larger institutions.  At that time, the consensus in the banking industry was that Great Western and Home Savings would survive. How wrong we were.

In 1989, I decided to switch careers. I began selling real estate.  Subsequently, the real estate market crashed. I had extensive lending experience and a banker’s mindset. Therefore, I decided to focus on foreclosures.  I worked for Freddie Mac, Fidelity Federal, The RTC (Resolution Trust Company) California Federal and Coast Savings Bank.

The California real estate market is cyclical, and after working with foreclosures, and standard sales (regular buyers and home sellers like you and me) I decided to branch out and also focus on probate and trust sales.  I currently work with a handful of probate and trust attorneys who prefer to work with Realtors who are experienced in probate and trust sales.


Sometimes executors and trustees hire real estate agents who are inexperienced with probate and trust sales. This is an expensive mistake.  The more involved the attorney is in overseeing the Realtor’s paperwork, the higher the attorney fees.

If you don’t have a living trust – contact me today for an attorney recommendation. This is certainly a costly mistake for your heirs. If you don’t have a living trust, when you pass your home is subject to California probate and the legal system closely regulates the process. As a result, everything takes longer and there are substantial attorney fees.

My Westchester listing is a Los Angeles probate sale. Not all probate sales require confirmation by the court. But this sale was subject to court confirmation. On Monday, I had to go to Los Angeles Probate Court. At that time any overbidder could have outbid the existing buyer’s $927,000 offer by paying $968,600.  There is a formula to determine the overbid. It’s roughly 5% over the existing buyer’s agreed upon selling price.  In this instance there were no overbidders. And the original buyer remained in escrow at their $927,000 price. The judge confirmed this sale and we can now move to closing escrow.

In conclusion, court confirmation is a precarious position for a buyer. By the time they go to Los Angeles probate court, they have removed all their contingencies. They have no assurance that another buyer will not appear in court. If buyers do show up, the original buyer is now competing with any overbidders. They can lose the property if they aren’t the highest bidder. It can be very similar to an auction.

Related Post: Probate Disclosure Requirements 

One thought on “Phyllis Harb goes to Los Angeles Probate Court

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