How To Find Probate Properties 🕵🏻‍♂️

Probate properties can be a great way to secure potential below market value properties as a property investor.

But HOW do you find these gems?

Well, today you finally find out the secrets.

We’ll cover: How to spot probate properties, where to find them, the benefits of probate properties and the risks involved.

Buckle up.

Related Reading: If you feel queasy about going after probate properties then you can also just look for regular properties that are reduced or slow moving. Although some of these properties can still end up being probate properties.

How To Spot Probate Properties On Rightmove🕵🏻‍♂️

There are a few ways you can try to spot a probate property even if it is not marketed as a probate property. 

If you’re looking on a property portal like Rightmove or Zoopla look for the following signs of a probate property:

Old Decor


Neighbourhood / postcodes

Not maintained well

You can use these signs to find probate properties at auction too.

Old Decor And Furnishings

If it looks like the house hasn’t been changed since the 70s or 80s there’s a good chance it could be a probate property.

Look for things like dated kitchens, bathrooms, carpets or wallpaper.

And by this we don’t necessarily mean bad condition, just dated in terms of design. 


Bungalows are more likely to be lived in by older people so looking for these specific properties will give you a higher chance of finding probate properties. 

Neighbourhood / Postcodes

Certain postcodes and neighbourhoods attract higher numbers of older people. 

If you can find these neighbourhoods you’re more likely to find probate properties in these kinds of areas. 

Not Maintained Well

If it looks like the house is not maintained well it could be a sign of a probate property as it can be harder for an older person to maintain a house. 

I get tired of maintaining a house at 26 let alone 86. 

You try living for 86 years.

Ok now you know what to look for when probate properties are not marketed as such, let’s look at where you could find probate properties.

Where To Find Probate Properties 📍

Apart from property portals and auction houses, there are some other places to find probate properties.

Other professionals

Word of mouth

Public records of wills and probates

Social Media

With these methods above you’re trying to secure the probate property by going direct to vendor to avoid competition on the open market.

Let’s quickly go through each one.

Other Professionals

If you’ve built a good network in the local area or online then you are more likely to have a deal referred to you. 

If you have good relationships with estate agents you can let them know the type of properties you’re after and if you’re lucky you’ll be the first person they call when a probate property goes up for sale. 

If you can build up a relationship with local legal firms that deal with probates then this would also help.

Word Of Mouth

You’d be surprised by the leads that family and friends can come up with.

But for this to happen you need to make sure you let everybody know what you are doing. 

If people know you are a property investor and are looking to buy specific types of properties, then they are more likely to let you know if they know a property is about to go on the market.

Public Records Of Wills And Probates

In the UK you can view will and probate notices in The Gazette which acts as an official public record. 

You can search and filter by different areas and time periods online using the link below.

Here’s a screenshot from the Gazette so you know what it looks like.

The gazette wills and probate screenshot

Remember, not every property will have a probate notice as it’s not mandatory.

You won’t be seeing every potential probate property by using The Gazette, but it’s a good way to find definite probate properties.

The notices tend to have the last known addresses of the deceased as well as the contact details of the Executor/Administrator.

Here’s a video below showing you how you can go about using the Gazette to find probate properties and then make contact.

Video about Finding Probate Properties by The Anxious Investor

Social Media

Social media doesn’t have to just be for doom scrolling.

If you follow the right people and are in the right groups then you can find potential property investments.

Join property investment Facebook groups as well as Facebook groups for local areas where you are looking to invest.

In the property investment groups, people often post their deals if they are a deal sourcer and sometimes you will find probate properties among them.

In local area groups people may look to sell properties to avoid going through estate agents.

Why Probate Properties? ✅

You probably already have in your head a few reasons why probate properties are good for property investors, but there might be some reasons you’ve not thought of.

Motivated sellers

Can often add value

Less competition if it needs work

Less competition because of delays

Let’s go through each of these. 

Motivated Sellers

The most obvious benefit is that probate sellers tend to want to sell quickly and they may not be as personally invested in the price the property sells for. 

As an example, if there are 4 beneficiaries of the proceeds of the property, then a £10,000 price reduction could mean that each person only gets £2500 less and not £10,000 less.

Also, probate sellers may be family members who don’t live in the same area and don’t really want the hassle of the sale, so they just want to move on with their lives.  

If they do live in the area it can also be a stressful experience of having to sell a loved one’s home and having strangers continuously coming for viewings and walking through the property. 

You can see why probate sellers would want a particularly quick and smooth sale.

Can Often Add Value

As we mentioned earlier these types of homes can sometimes be a bit more dated and in need of modernisation. 

This means that there is a lot of scope to add value to the house by doing a refurbishment project. 

Just make sure you know the costs of the refurbishment project won’t outweigh the potential uplift in value. 

Less Competition If It Needs Work

If the property is in need of work it’s a bit of a double whammy (in a good way). 

Not only do you have the chance to add value, but it will put a lot of potential buyers off. 

Not everyone will want a project and will just want to buy a property that is ready to move into. 

Lucky for you this means fewer potential buyers and less competition, meaning you’re more likely to negotiate a better price as a buyer. 

Less Competition Because of Potential Delays

Some people are scared to go for probate properties because they are scared of potential delays. 

This is because people may feel that the grant of probate might take a long time or that family issues can block the sale or make it drag on. 

Because of this, you’re likely to get less competition from other buyers, meaning you’re more likely to be able to negotiate a better price for yourself. 

While this can be one of the risks of buying probate properties there are some ways to mitigate it. 

The main way is to check that the ‘Grant of probate’ has already been received by the person selling it, or that you at least know when the application was filed.

That way you know there won’t be any delays on that part or can manage your expectations in terms of timelines. 

In terms of family members disagreeing on the sale price of the property, there’s not much you can do.

Risks Of Probate Properties ❌

Some of the benefits of probate properties actually double up as the risks…

Limited guarantee vs full guarantee

Grant of probate is necessary

Potential issues with the property

Family feud between beneficiaries

Limited Guarantee VS Full Guarantee

As the person selling the property may not have lived in the property they might not know all of the ins and outs. 

Because of this, they may sell the property on a ‘limited guarantee’ basis rather than a ‘full guarantee’.

The post linked below explains a little bit about limited and full guarantees in property sales. 

There might be charges or covenants that you are unaware of if sold with a limited guarantee, so you want to do as much due diligence as possible in these situations.

Grant Of Probate Is Necessary

To exchange contracts on the property the ‘Grant of probate’ is necessary. Without it, the property cannot be sold. 

So to avoid any delays make sure you are fully aware of the situation with the grant of probate.

I.e. Has it been received already?

Or at the very least you should know when the application was made.

According to the government website grant of probate should normally be received within 16 weeks of applying.

Potential Issues With Property

The seller hasn’t lived in the property and might not be aware of any maintenance issues that need looking at. 

For example, they’re less likely to know things like when the boiler or consumer unit was last replaced or checked.

This makes it harder to ask questions about the property because you just won’t be getting the answers sometimes. 

Family Feud Between Beneficiaries

When a deceased person’s property is sold there could be multiple beneficiaries. 

For example, there might be a few siblings that are going to get a share of the proceeds and there could also be other family members. 

With this many people and large sums of money, there is the chance that people can disagree about the sale. 

Some people may disagree about how the sale should go about or whether they should sell the property at all. 

If this kind of family feud situation arises then it can really delay the sale of probate property.

Further Reading

Probate properties are just one way of finding BMV properties but we have a guide with lots of other ways to find below market value property deals.

If you’re struggling to find deals yourself then try to find a deal sourcer to work with instead, or use these deal packaging tools to speed things up.