Friendly, practical and professional advice covering all aspects of residential and commercial property matters, following bereavement.

Town & Country Property Auctions probate service is designed to sensitively support our clients through the legal and practical matters after bereavement. We can help alleviate the stress associated with settling affairs of the estate and assist with the distribution of the financial provisions to the beneficiaries. Valuation advice through to sale of the property, property clearance and immediate repairs.

Handling the estate of a loved one who has passed away is often a sensitive issue at a difficult time.Ensuring the disposal of any assets is as simple and pain free as possible can make all the difference. We often sell property of those that have passed away on behalf of their family at our auctions. Here are some popular questions answered.

What does probate mean?

Probate is the term used to describe the legal process of proving and registering the last Will of someone who has died. This is often done by a family member, friend or partner. A ‘grant of probate’ must be obtained before any assets, including property, can be distributed in accordance with the Will. It is usually the executor of the estate who will administer the estate and handle the disposal of their assets and debts.

Where do I start and who is the executor of the estate?

Before this probate process can begin and a grant of probate obtained, the executor of the estate will need to be determined and lodged with the Probate Office. An executor of the estate is traditionally named in a Will and is often a family member, on occasion, a solicitor may be named as a co-executor. In instances where there is no Will, an administrator will need to be established.

How long does it take?

Typically it takes between two and twelve weeks to receive a grant of probate. Only when the grant of probate is received can a property be sold or transferred to a beneficiary. However, a property can be marketed for sale during this time with a delayed completion.

What happens if not all beneficiaries agree on what to do with the property?

When there is more than one beneficiary involved, conflicting views can sometimes arise when handling or selling a probate property. While the views of all beneficiaries may be considered, it is the responsibility of the executor to administer the estate in accordance with the law. Disputes will have to be resolved in court.

Selling an estate at auction

Probate properties are particularly well-suited for sale by auction. Generally, people want to sell the property as quickly and efficiently as possible. Selling at auction not only facilitates a quick sale, meaning beneficiaries can receive their share of the estate quickly, but it also supplies the best price upon conclusion of an extensive marketing campaign. Probate properties are also often in need of refurbishment and modernisation. Fixer-uppers always do well at auction, often selling above guide price to buyers looking for opportunities for renovation projects. Furthermore, probate properties are very often fresh to the market, which increases their appeal. Executors regularly use public auction for the increased transparency and fairness they offer. The transparent way in which a property is marketed and sold ensures that the executor cannot be accused of any foul-play, such as under-selling.

Should you have a property to be appraised for auction we would be happy to supply our recommendations and advice on saleability. For further information please contact your local office or email and we will contact you at your convenience. All enquiries are in the strictest of confidence.


Organised on your behalf, this optional service will begin with an initial discussion with our nominated surveyors who will assess your requirements, then guide you on the best way to proceed. If appropriate, they will then carry out an Executry Valuation and supply a detailed report with recommendations for any potential sale. Our service covers the following:

  • INSURANCE We will arrange for weekly property visits and provide a record for the insurance company. This is very important as a property vacant for over a month may void the insurance premium.

  • LOOKING AFTER THE PROPERTY We are able take meter readings when required and act as keyholders.

  • CONTENT DISPOSAL For disposal of unwanted furniture and chattels we have internal links with auctioneers who can provide an independent valuation, followed by a cost-effective removal and sale of all unwanted items. Prior estimates will be supplied and, if needed, a full and complete clearance carried out.

  • CLEANING A cleaning service is readily available to prepare a property for sale.

  • GARDEN MAINTENANCE If needed, we have contractors to ensure the externals of the property are well presented.

  • METHOD OF SALE Professional advice will always be given. We will advise on the best method of sale, depending on the property. Whether this is by auction or by informal tender we will always be here to discuss all options.

  • ONE TO ONE CONTACT During the process you will never be left in the dark. Communication with the client/family is paramount. You will be given your own personal probate contact to aid you at all times, through such a difficult period.

  • EPC All properties will require an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - We will organise this and supply copies and links to the required parties if appropriate.


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