Inherited Property

Selling an inherited house isn’t easy.

There’s the emotional aspect of getting a loved one’s home ready for sale — which likely includes clearing out his or her belongings and depersonalizing the rooms. There’s the financial cost of making necessary updates to attract buyers. Sometimes heirs have to deal with costly liens or other hidden problems, and there may be disagreements among siblings about the sale price.

And understandably, sometimes family members drag their feet. Images of growing up in the home with Mom and Dad prevent them from springing into action. We can’t let go.

Depending on state law, and other factors, you will need to spend time understanding the laws from the Probate Court. In addition, there will most likely be a ‘creditor claims’ period, which must pass before assets, including real estate, can be distributed to the heirs.

In fact, in certain situations — including when there are environmental concerns or the mortgage is underwater (meaning the home is worth less than what is still owed by the borrower) — heirs may even choose not to accept the home at all, allowing it to go into foreclosure. This has been our advise for every home we have tried to purchase with a Reverse Mortgage and the bans have stripped  all of the equity out of the property.

Those who don’t want the property should speak with an attorney about disclaiming it — and promptly. The process will likely involve filing disclaimer paperwork.

Ready To Sell Your Inherited

It might be clear that Grandma’s kitchen needs some major upgrading. But before doing any work, contact us to help you understand the local housing market.

The process of selling a relative’s home is likely going to be emotional, from the sorting of the personal belongings to the finalization of the sale at the closing table. Expect that. And surround yourself with professionals who will be empathetic and helpful, Piper said.

Also, it will help to set expectations on what price you’d be willing to accept at the beginning of the process, Fairman said. That way, you can more rationally evaluate buyer offers, minimizing the chance of getting emotional over lower-priced bids. Clearly established expectations are especially important when multiple heirs are selling the home.

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