The average American will leave an inheritance of $177K to their heirs — the larger portion of that being family real estate. With this kind of money and property moving around, it makes sense that people want to learn more about selling an inherited house and what that process really entails.
If you inherit a house, can you sell it right away? Are there complications in claiming ownership? These are questions people have that can be easily answered. Whether you’re an heir or just looking to learn more about the process here’s your five-step guide to selling inheritance property.
1. Confirm the Actual Heir(s)
The first step to selling an inherited house is to confirm identity (or identities) of the heir(s) actually inheriting the property. Although this sounds simple, it can actually be quite complicated, especially if there are joint heirs.
If there is a will of inheritance, this will specify who has title to the inherited property. If there are multiple heirs, marriages, or generations of people who have passed, then this is difficult because all parties need to work together.
It’s best to not try to resolve heirship issues without an attorney. Working with an attorney and title experts can help to make sure the title is complete before completing any sales. This will also ensure there are no future liabilities in the selling process.
2. Prepare for the Sale
To prepare the home for sale, it’s important to make sure that the home is cleaned, furniture and sentimental objects are removed, the lawn is kept, and property (interior and exterior) is well taken care of. If the home is dated, upgrades and renovations should potentially be considered.
If the home will be unoccupied for a period of time while the title/sale process is happening, it may be smart to invest in a vacant home insurance policy, as well.
3. Go Through the Probate Process
Before you can sell the house, the entire estate needs to go through a probate process. Depending on the size of the home, this may or may not be required (although it is required for homes over $50K). This process ensures that the property is ready for sale.
4. Evaluate the Selling Market and Get a Fair Price
The market is a huge factor in the success of your inherited property sale. Be sure that you’re looking at comparable homes and getting a fair price.
It’s also worth looking into selling to an investor for speed of the sale, sureness of the sale close, and convenience.
5. Check the Taxes You May Owe on the Home
As the inherited owner, you will be required to pay taxes on the money you receive after inheriting the property, as well as the value of the home since the previous owner passed away.
However, if you decide to live in the home for two years and then sell it, you can potentially benefit from this tax exclusion (which requires you to live in a house for two out of the five previous years).
Ready to Start Selling an Inherited House?
Once you know the official property heir(s), the potential taxes you owe, the market, and what to expect in the selling process, you can start selling an inherited house!
To learn more about the process and read testimonials from our highly-satisfied customers, click here.