Losing a loved one is never an easy situation in life, and inheriting a home can make a difficult situation even more challenging. Depending on the dynamics within the family, selling a family home can be unexpectedly stressful. If you have inherited a home it is advisable that you are knowledgeable on the steps to properly complete the sale of such a home.
Before we outline the steps to selling an inherited house however, we suggest that you confirm the following:
- That you are in fact legally inheriting the house. The paperwork will be completed during probate, but you do not want to get started on the process if you will not be reimbursed for your efforts. If someone else will be inheriting the home, consider having a conversation with them about how they can get started on the following steps. You can assist, but taking on the work can lead to resentment towards the individual who has legal responsibility.
- You are certain that you want to sell the home. There are three options to consider when you inherit a home: sell it, live in it, or rent it out. When you lose a loved one your emotions may be fluctuating, so it is recommended that you speak with someone close to you and consider the option that is best suited for your life. For example, if you are not financially in a position to invest in the home, then selling is most likely the best option even if you feel emotionally connected to the home.
Now, let’s look at the five simple steps you can take to sell your inherited home.
**Note: Steps 1-4 should be completed even if you decide to keep the home.
Step 1: Keep it Livable
This may be something you want to avoid, but completing this step sooner rather than later can save you time and reduce hassle. The home will still need to have proper insurance and utilities running after your loved one has passed. However, you can save money on both of these if you contact the companies. For homeowner’s insurance, if no one will be moving in immediately, consider transitioning to a vacant home policy. Also, update the utilities and cancel those that are not needed – the name filed should be transferred to the individual who has inherited the home.
As for upkeep, this is an important aspect no matter what you decide to do with the home. Having a housekeeper and gardener from the beginning can prevent the home from getting run down.
Step 2: Clean it Out
This tends to be the most challenging step for anyone who has inherited a home. Cleaning out your loved one’s belongings can be an emotional roller coaster; unfortunately, this step is necessary to make a healthy transition to the next phase of your life. If there is an excess of stuff, contact a local donation company and they can pick up items for you.
Step 3: Identify the Financial Value of the Home
Get the home value assessed. This will be required during probate, but having a professional (specifically one that you have chosen and trust) can provide you with certainty that no party involved in the sale is losing money. When the home is marketed, the sale price will match that of the home value when the individual died. So, if during the probate process the value increases, the new owner will not be responsible for the inflated taxes.
Step 4: Going through Probate
What is the probate process? Essentially it is the closure of the home, from legal ownership to creditors, managed by the court. The court will confirm legal ownership of the home and monitor the home while creditors are being notified and payment for creditors is completed. Once all of this is finalized, the home is ready to sell.
Step 5: Determine How to Sell…
There are two primary routes you can consider when selling an inherited house: either list with an agent or sell to an investor.
Selling to an investor can provide you with ease and simplicity when managing such a challenging time in your life. We are investors and have recently helped multiple members in our community transition during this difficult time. We purchase homes all cash and as-is. This means that once you are complete with the probate process, we are prepared to purchase your home all cash in as quickly as five days. You can consider selling via a real estate agent, but remember that this course can extend the process drastically and can cost you more time and energy. To learn more about how we can purchase your inherited house, contact us today.