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 construct that creates an entity. It has three important positions within it:

The first is the grantor – the person that is giving assets to be placed inside the trust.

These assets are to be managed by the trustee – who is the second most important position within the trust.

Ultimately, the enjoyment and benefit of those assets go to the beneficiary – which can be one person or multiple.

A trust can have many different types of assets that go in it, from life insurance to savings accounts, vehicles, to even cryptocurrency. Real property is usually the most valuable of assets within.

A trust real estate sale is the process of selling real estate that is within a trust. It is much like a typical real estate transaction in that there is a listing process, a real estate broker involved, negotiations, and closing. Yet it also has the added level of specialized knowledge of conducting the whole process within the constructs of the trust, the specific players involved, the extended time frame of the transaction, and the increased legal jargon and documentation required.

In the absence of a trust, the property goes through probate upon the death of the owner. Putting real property inside a trust will eliminate it from going through probate. This is a huge advantage for the heirs since property that goes through probate usually sells for a reduced amount. On the contrary, for a property that is placed in trust and the sale is handled with the expert guidance of trust and probate brokers, the sales value is typically higher, resulting in a higher benefit to the beneficiaries.

There are some general guidelines relating to the assets in the trust, but there are some procedural differences that you can find between the states, and California is no exception. If the trust is a “revocable trust,” the grantor can sell the real property at any time, in whichever way desired, as they are the property owners. The real property can even be sold from within the trust or outside of the trust. In an “irrevocable trust,” the sale is a bit more complicated since the trust cannot be changed without consent from the benefactors of the trust. In the event of the grantor’s passing, any trust type becomes irrevocable, and the trustee is to follow the directives of the trust document for the benefit of the beneficiaries.