You’re trying to cope with the loss of a loved one, and then suddenly you’ve inherited a house. It can be overwhelming — and dealing with the paperwork and selling of an inherited house may be the last thing you want to do.
For many reasons, you may simply want to sell the house quickly, and for a good price. Perhaps you already own a property, or maybe the house isn’t in a location where you want to live.
That’s where we come in to help. If you’re selling an inherited house, use this guide to learn how to sell the property for a decent price and in a good time.
Check the Mortgage
The first thing you need to do when selling inherited property is to look at the mortgage. After all, for all you know, most of the house may still belong to the bank. And the state of the mortgage heavily affects how quickly you can sell the property.
If you’re lucky, the house may be completely paid off, and in that case, you own the property outright. Congratulations!
In less fortunate circumstances, the house may be underwater. This means that the value of the house plummeted, and more is due on the loan than the property is worth.
In such cases, you may be able to negotiate for a short sale. This means that you can sell the house and offer less than the loan amount.
However, this is an unlucky situation and most inherited houses fall somewhere between these two situations.
You’ll also need to check if there are any special clauses. For example, a due-on-sale clause.
This means that as soon as the ownership is transferred, the mortgage is due. In this case, you’ll have to either buy out the mortgage or take out a loan.
Prepare the Property
Before putting the inherited property on the market, you’ll need to prepare the house for sale.
The first way to prepare it is by clearing out personal belongings, de-cluttering as much as you can, and cleaning the house.
Clearing an inherited house can be very emotionally challenging, but it must be done. You’ll often have to go through your loved ones’ most personal items, many of which will bring back old memories.
Though it may be tempting to keep most of these items but try not to hold on to too much. Instead, choose a few cherished belongings for yourself and other members of the family. Otherwise, the whole process can take a lot longer and you’ll have to bring a lot of stuff back into your home.
Organize the rest of the items into sections. These can include what to throw away, what to give away, and what to sell.
Before you can sell the house, the estate must go through probate which is the official proving of the will. Most states offer a summary probate process, but this usually only applies to small estates that profit from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars.
Have the Home Inspected
Just like you’d have a property inspected when purchasing a home, you should also have an inherited property inspected. This will offer you a clear idea of any repairments that must be made so you can avoid any nasty surprises further down the selling process.
From a detailed inspection, you can see if there are any necessary repairs to be made before putting the property up for sale.
Consider Capital Gains Taxes
Capital gains taxes are another factor to consider when selling an inherited property. The calculations are created on a ‘stepped-up’ basis. This means that you’ll be taxed on any gains the property makes in value from the period you received it till the period you sell it.
For example, if your mother purchased her home for $70,000 50 years ago and it was worth $470,000 when she passed, you won’t have to pay capital gains on that $400,000 difference.
Instead, you’ll pay on however much the property appreciates from the moment you inherited it to the day you sell it. Remember that you can lower your tax bill if you made any repairs or remodels, so always keep your receipts.
Selling an Inherited House: Hire a Good Agent
Finally, one of the best ways of selling an inherited house quickly and for a good price to invest in a professional and knowledgeable real estate agent or property representative.
Selling an inherited home is a huge job and is an extremely emotional experience. Having a loved one pass away is painful, and the added stress of selling a property can make the experience all that more overwhelming. Even the calmest and most collected person can find it a difficult job.
That’s why it’s often worth hiring a professional to help you deal with the situation at hand in the best way possible. Property specialists can advise you on the best moves to make based on the factors we’ve outlined here in the article including on mortgages, repairs, and taxes.
Property professionals can also help you sell an inherited house as quick as possible for a great price, avoiding lengthy real estate deals and drawn-out negotiations during an emotional time.
If you’re selling an inherited house, we’re here to help. Feel free to get in touch with our professional and knowledgeable team and we’ll be happy to discuss the condition of your inherited property. We’ll also explain our selling process and how we appraise houses for sale.
If you feel comfortable and confident in our services following our initial conversation, we’ll be happy to schedule a visit to the property at your easiest convenience.