A Brief Guide for Selling Your Inherited House

Selling a house that you’ve inherited can be filled with many emotions and challenges. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and avoid obstacles that might waste time, cost money, and inevitably cause frustration. Use these helpful tips to make the process as smooth and painless as possible.

Review Trust and Will Documents

  • Find out the name of the executor, the person who has control of handling the estate and the right to sell the property
  • Make notes of who the beneficiaries are, what the assets are, etc.
  • Obtain a title report to see who truly owns the property and any other liens and encumbrances that may be attached to it. Most title companies will provide this report for free, especially if they believe that you will use their services on the sale of the property.

No Trust or Will?

  • If there is no trust or will, you have two options to move the property into your name - probate and heirship affidavits.
  • Probate is most commonly used for people who want to keep the property for a while and typically requires hiring a probate attorney.
  • If you wish to sell the property quickly and it is located in Texas or a handful of other states, you can save time by completing an heirship affidavit process. Most real estate investors work with specialized title companies and lawyers who can take care of this entire process for you.

Remove Tenants (if any)

  • Properties are harder to sell with tenants living in them. Showings can be difficult, and you will never know the condition of the property on any given day.
  • Give the proper notice to your tenants to move out. Every state has a different protocol, so ask an attorney for the appropriate way to handle this.
  • If the tenants refuse to leave, you may be facing an eviction, which can be expensive and time consuming. You’ll especially want an attorney on your side for this.

Clean Out Personal Items

  • Cleaning out a property takes time. Start early and keep going. This can be the hardest part of all.
  • Most investors will purchase the property “as-is,” meaning you only have to worry about taking the items you want to keep. You can leave the rest behind.
  • If you need help, don’t hesitate to hire a professional organizer to help you sort through everything. Have a hauling company pick up everything you don’t want or schedule the cleanout around your city’s bulk trash pickup days.
  • Hire an estate sale company to sell the items and put some additional cash in your pocket.

Evaluate the Property’s Condition

  • Does the home have maintenance needs? Do you plan to remodel the property before listing it? Would you rather sell it “as-is”?
  • Obtain multiple bids for repairs or remodeling needed at the property. We always suggest getting three bids for each job. Ask for references, check online reviews, and make sure their license and insurance are up to date. Don’t forget to ask if the city requires permits and inspections for the work being done.
  • If you decide to sell to a retail buyer, make sure to give the property a good cleaning. Nothing is more distracting to conventional buyers than dust, rust, and grime. Also, try to remove any lingering odors (especially cigarette and pet odors). An ozone machine is great for this.

Determine How to Sell the Property

  • List with a real estate agent, sell to a cash buyer, or sell to family? There are pros and cons to each.
  • Fixing up a property and listing it will generally yield a higher return, but it will take much longer (months to a year) and require a lot of time, money, and energy.
  • Investors will usually buy the property in “as-is” condition, with tenants in place, and can close in a matter of days if needed.

Qualify the Buyer

  • Whether it be a conventional buyer or a cash investor, make sure the buyer can complete the transaction.
  • Ask for references from past clients, as well as from other real estate professionals.
  • Review and understand the contracts before you sign anything.
  • Always ask for proof of funds!

If you have an inherited house and are wondering what to do next, we are here to help. Whether you are in probate or serving as executor of an estate, we are happy to answer your questions. We can help minimize the burden of selling an inherited home, make you a fair offer to purchase the house in its current condition, and close on your schedule.  

Let us show you how easy selling your inherited house can be!

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