The primary goal of any trust is to protect the assets within and to provide directives as to what happens and when. There are many different types of trusts, and each has its intricacies, particularly when real estate is involved. When we are talking about trust sales, it simply means the sale of property (real estate) that happens within the legal constructs of a trust.

A Trust is a legal document that creates an entity. It has 3 important positions within it.
1 The first is the grantor -the person that is giving assets to be placed inside the trust.
2 The assets are managed by the trustee – this is the person that responsibility of ensuring a grantor's assets are used the way they intended them to be.
3 The Beneficiary of trust is the individual or group of individuals for whom a trust was created. The Trust can have many different types of assets that go into it, from real property, insurance, asset and savings accounts or most any object of value.
A trust real estate sale is the process of selling real property that is within a trust. It is similar to a typical real estate transaction where there is a real estate broker involved, marketing of the property, negotiations with the buyer and a closing with escrow and title companies. However, there are several additional documents and disclosures needed for these specific sales. Having the added level of specialized knowledge of conducting the process of a trust sale and the increased documentation required is essential for a smooth transaction.
In the absence of a trust the property will go through probate upon death of the owner. Putting real property inside a trust will eliminate it from going through the probate process which can take from 6 to 14 months, is expensive and public.

The most significant difference between a trust real estate sale and a probate sale is whether there is involvement from the court. The trust allows for the sale of real property without any involvement from the court, provided the instructions from the trust document are followed.
On the other hand, a probate real estate sale does require the court’s involvement. In California, how far reaching that court’s involvement will be will depend on whether the estate’s representative is granted full authority under the Independent Administration of Estates Act
The importance of having a well-crafted trust document is that it will delineate all the details and directions of what to do with the assets at all times, leaving no loose strings that can create conflict between the beneficiaries or between the trustee and the beneficiaries. Because trust real estate sales are much more precise, the process is shorter than a probate property sale.
Generally, a probate sale will yield less on the sale than a trust real estate sale unless you decide to go with a highly skilled brokerage firm that specializes in these particular types of sales. 
Finally, California has different tax implications for the sale of real estate, depending on whether it is a probate or a trust sale. All parties should always consult with a attorney or CPA when drafting a trust as there are tax and estate planning implications involved. 

The good news is that a trust real estate sale in California does not require court confirmation. This means that the court does not have to supervise the sale of the property so long as the trust is drafted correctly, the trustee can move ahead with the sale with the help of a trust and probate specialized broker for the best results and highest proceeds. The time frame to complete a trust sale is substantially shortened versus the timeline on a probate sale.

The decision to sell with a specialized trust real estate agent regardless of whether the sale of the real property happens during the grantors life or after the grantor has passed and is in the hands of a trustee. A probate or trust real estate sale is more intricate than a regular market sale. It would be most beneficial to the trust to use a real estate broker with local real estate knowledge and the experience to handle such transactions.

The Matt Horn Group, with over 33 years of real estate sales experience and hundreds of satisfied clients, have a high level of expertise in probate and trust transactions. They have the confidence and resources to guide and advise their clients through these more complex real estate trust transactions.