Oftentimes, learning you’ve inherited a house stirs up complicated emotions. This news usually comes at a time when grief and plans for laying a loved one to rest are at the forefront of your mind. Dealing with a home sale just doesn’t seem that important. But eventually, you’ll have to figure out what to do with the house you inherited. And if you don’t want to keep it, you’ll need to set about selling the property that’s part of your inheritance.
From a purely practical standpoint, the process of selling an inherited property often looks a bit different than listing a home you’ve lived in for years. Here are some things you can do to help sell the house you inherited quickly.
Get a Lay of the Land
When it comes to selling the property you received as part of an inheritance, you should always start by evaluating your current financial situation and the condition of the house. We recommend:
Determining the Mortgage
If you’re lucky, you’ll find you inherited a house that was completely paid off by the previous owner. Far more often, however, properties obtained as part of an inheritance are still partially owned by a bank or other lender. So before you even consider putting your new house on the market, determine how much money is still owed on the house. This will give you an idea of how much you need to list your property for.
Arranging an Inspection
When you live in a house for years, you get a pretty good idea of what needs fixed before the property goes on the market. Selling an inheritance property is usually a bit trickier because you don’t have this knowledge, and discovering a house is a bit of a fixer-upper while you’re negotiating with a buyer will put a wrench in even the best-laid plans. This is why we recommend hiring a home inspector before you even consider listing your property.
After you inherit a home, you become liable for capital gain taxes, property taxes, and inheritance taxes. Sitting down to calculate what you owe the government isn’t just a good way to keep yourself in the clear—it should also factor into the price you list your home for and the timeline that you hold yourself to when it comes to selling it.
After you get a good understanding of your financial situation, you can decide the best way to go about selling your inherited house.
Option #1: Partner With an Experienced Realtor
If you want to get the best price for your inheritance property, selling with a realtor may be your best option. Many realtor firms specialize in selling inherited houses, and you’ll find no shortage of realtors willing to work with you in order to get you the cash you need. Once you conduct any necessary repairs and get your inherited house market-ready, you can list it at a price point you’re comfortable with. Bear in mind that you’ll need to keep up with your house while it’s on the market—empty homes are notoriously difficult to sell, as are houses without good landscaping.
Selling your inheritance property with a realtor usually works best if you have enough liquid assets to maintain a second home for the months it’s on the market. It’s also easy if you live nearby, as you can regularly visit the property in order to keep it clean and in good condition. If you’ve inherited an out-of-state property, however, it may be best to go about selling it in a different way.
Option #2: Partner With a Cash Home Buyer
Depending on your financial situation and the condition of your inherited house, selling it fast may be the best option. If this is the case for you, we’d recommend partnering with an experienced cash home buying company. These property groups specialize in purchasing houses as-is and moving sales along quickly—often within a period of weeks—which means that you won’t have to worry about a drawn-out listing process.
When choosing a cash home buyer, make sure to find a firm with plenty of experience and a good reputation with consumer protection agencies like the Better Business Bureau. You can also ask your cash home buyer to provide you with proof of funds from a bank in order to ensure you’ll receive your cash in a timely manner.
If you’re ready to sell an inherited house in the Pittsburg, PA, area, Fifth Avenue Property Group can help. Contact us today to get started.