Selling an inherited property seems straightforward, but it’s usually not.
All kinds of problems can arise during the process. Did the original property owner leave a will? Has anyone kept up with the expenses? What about taxes?
Trying to prepare a house for sale after the death of a loved one can be difficult, so keep reading to learn about what you need to know to sell an inherited property.
Who Does the House Really Belong To?
If your parents wrote a will of inheritance, this step is really easy. Unfortunately, many times parents aren’t prepared when they pass away, so figuring out who actually owns the house can be tricky.
You can’t sell the property until it has a clear owner.
If the original property owners left a will, the executor has the ability to distribute the assets, which includes the home. If your parents left the property in a trust, the trustee is the one who distributes the real estate.
It gets a little more difficult when multiple siblings inherit the property from their parents. In this case, often times one sibling has the overall authority to handle the property.
In some cases, none of these options are set up. This can make the matter of inheritance unclear, emotional, and argumentative. Before you can sell the property, you must resolve all title issues.
Prepare the Inherited Property for Sale
To prepare an inherited home for sale, you must make sure any payments are up to date. For example, you might need to pay the property taxes, the cost of utilities, etc. You should also get an insurance plan for a vacant home to protect the property from liabilities.
Part of this process is also getting the home itself ready for the market. That means you should make any needed repairs, maintain the lawn and other yard work, and empty all the possessions out of the house.
Getting an inherited home ready to sell can be overwhelming, but it’s important to ensure the property is protected and taken care of.
Set a Fair Price
Get the home appraised and set it at a realistic price. But don’t expect to get what you’re asking for.
It’s a good idea to set the price a little higher than what you want. That way you have some wiggle room to negotiate. This doesn’t mean you should set the price high. Anything too high will turn buyers away.
Don’t accept the first offer, especially if it’s way below your asking price. Remember, you want to get a fair price for the property. It’s okay to wait for a higher offer.
Be Prepared for Taxes
Inherited homes aren’t viable for home sales tax exclusion.
But if you own a house for two of the previous five years, you can still benefit from this exclusion. You may want to live in the house for two years before you sell, but many people just sell their inherited house as soon as possible.
Know What to Expect During the Process
The process of selling an inherited property might seem simple, but it doesn’t often go smoothly. You should expect some bumps along the way, both with the house, the stress, and the rest of your family.
Some of the problems you might run into include undiscovered wills, unknown liens, missing heirs, etc. But be patient. Dealing with a property after losing a loved one is hard. No matter how stressful it seems, remember the people around you probably have good intentions.
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