Have you recently inherited real estate from a parent or family member? Do you want to sell the property, but feel totally lost on how to proceed?
If so, keep reading. These ten tips will help make the process of selling inherited property as fast and efficient as possible.
1. Determine Responsibility
First things first, you’ll need to determine who is legally responsible for the inherited home.
If the deceased left a will, the executor will distribute assets, including the home. If the property is in a trust, the responsibility goes to the trustee.
Sometimes, several siblings will inherit a property from their parents. In these situations, there is usually one person who has ultimate responsibility and authority over the home.
2. Clean Out the House
This can often be one of the most challenging parts of selling inherited property. Many people find it difficult to go through a parent or relative’s belongings after they’ve passed away.
However, cleaning is a necessary step, as a clean, empty home is much more likely to sell.
Start by locating and setting aside all important financial documents. Then, sort the deceased’s belongings into three piles — things to keep, things to throw away, and things sell/donate.
If there are items that people are fighting over, you can create a fourth pile and set these things aside to deal with after you’ve finished sorting.
3. Prepare for Repairs
Repairs are almost always needed when you’re selling inherited property. Common ones include roof repairs or replacements and termite or rodent damage.
Hire a home inspector to come in and perform a thorough inspection. You’ll get a good idea of what specific repairs need to be made, and the inspector can also estimate how much these repairs will cost.
4. Wait for Probate
Before you can sell an inherited home, the estate needs to go through probate.
Probate is a legal process that involves proving the validity of the deceased’s will, identifying and inventorying their property, having it appraised, and distributing that property.
In many states, summary probate is allowed. This is a sped-up process that is less time consuming and doesn’t require legal counsel.
However, if you’ve inherited a large estate that includes a home, you have to go through the regular probate process before you can put the house up for sale.
When the probate process is finished, the executor of the will can distribute assets and settle debts. If you are the executor but have siblings who share the inheritance, you’ll need their permission to sell the home.
5. Find a Good Real Estate Agent
A qualified, trustworthy real estate agent can make selling inherited property much easier.
Don’t just hire the first person you find online. It’s best if you can find someone who has experience selling inherited homes.
A good real estate agent can also often recommend contractors and repair companies to help you get the house ready to sell as quickly as possible.
6. Price it Properly
Setting the right price for your home is essential. This is especially true when you’re selling inherited property and are hoping for a quick sale.
Avoid setting too high of a price for the property.
Ask for an amount that is more than you’re willing to settle for, but still realistic. The price ought to be low enough the attract potential buyers.
Remember, too, that a lower price can be used strategically to bring in multiple buyers and get them to start trying to outbid each other.
That being said, the price should still be high enough that you have room to negotiate with said buyers.
This is where a real estate agent can come in especially handy. He or she can help you with the pricing and negotiations to make sure you settle on a number that is fair.
7. Plan for Obstacles
It’s not easy trying to sell an inherited home. A number of obstacles can arise between the time you inherit the home and the actual sale. Some of the most common ones include:
- Executors prolonging the amount of time the estate is in probate
- Challenges that come with determining the value of various assets
- Guilt that comes with selling or throwing out items inside the home
- Extreme and costly repairs
- Disagreement over sale price
Even if you’re on good terms with your siblings, don’t expect the process of selling the home to be an entirely smooth one.
We’re not trying to scare you with these obstacles, but it’s important to know what kinds of challenges could come up ahead of time.
8. Don’t Skip the Maintenace
It’s important to take steps to protect the home while it’s on the market.
Either a presumed heir or another family member will need handle maintenance, which includes:
- Paying utilities and property taxes
- Obtaining a vacant home insurance policy
- Maintaining the yard
- Keeping the house clean and in good repair
These definitely aren’t glamorous tasks. But, they help keep the house in good shape, which increases its chances of being sold. In the long-run, the work will be worth it if it helps you sell the house for a fair price.
9. Prepare to Pay Taxes
Taxes are almost always unavoidable when it comes to selling inherited property.
Unless you choose to live in the inherited house for two years before selling it, you won’t benefit from home sale tax exclusions.
However, there are still ways that you can benefit.
When you inherit a house, it is taxed according to its fair market value at the time of the previous owner’s death. This means that, if the house appreciated dramatically, you won’t owe substantial taxes after you sell it.
Whether you end up having to pay taxes or not, remember that you’ll still need to report the home’s sale to the IRS.
10. Consider Selling the House for Cash
If all the work described above is making you nauseous, you do have another option.
Selling inherited property to an investor comes with a variety of benefits, including the following:
- Faster sale and closing
- Simple cash offers
- No repairs necessary
- No commissions or hidden fees
- No showings or open houses
The process of selling inherited property to an investor is also quite simple. Once you’ve found a reputable investor, you’ll reach out to them and give them some information about the property. Then, they’ll set up an appointment to look at it in person.
You’ll get a no-obligation offer shortly after the evaluation. If you agree to the offer, the buyer will sign a purchase contract, and the rest of the paperwork will be handled by an attorney. The sale is usually final within a couple of weeks.
If you do sell to an investor, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re selling to a reputable individual or company. As long as you do your homework, the process is virtually risk-free and makes your life much easier.
Start Selling Inherited Property Today
If you want to sell your inherited home for cash and get rid of it as quickly as possible, contact us at Sacramento Real Estate today.
When you work with us, you’ll get an offer before you know it!