How to Sell an Inherited House for Cash – FAST
Inheriting a home can be a large and often stressful undertaking for anyone, especially if it’s accompanied by grief resulting from the loss of a loved one. Dealing with an inherited property is a low priority for someone coping after loss — it’s a time to be with family, not real estate agents and legal professionals. Many beneficiaries simply want to sell the property with no hassle or questions asked. Thankfully, there are ways to sell a home quickly that circumvent the traditional process of listing the inherited home with a real estate broker.
Listing a home on the market can be stressful for anyone, but often is even more of a headache for someone who has inherited a home, as the home might need repairs and carry other unexpected costs. If a beneficiary wants to list the property on the market with a broker, the time and money associated with that process are factors to consider.
Upon inheriting a property, a beneficiary listing their home on the market would need to consider taking care of any repairs, dealing with heating and electricity issues, and handling insurance matters and property taxes (which must be paid even if no one is living in the house). To help ensure the home will sell at the highest value, general upkeep, including yard work, would need to be performed, which unfortunately takes time and can come with a hefty price tag.
Additionally, if a beneficiary is looking to sell the home using a realtor, there are additional expenses that should be considered. It is typical for a realtor to charge around six-percent of the total sale as a commission fee. Such costs can quickly add up, and it’s important to keep in mind that a realtor cannot guarantee if and when the house will sell.
Some questions a beneficiary should ask themselves before selling an inherited house include:
- If the home has a mortgage, will I be able to cover the mortgage payments in the meantime before the house is sold?
- Do I have any legal responsibilities?
- Was it a rental property under the previous owner?
- Does it need major repairs to the roof, HVAC, etc?
The most vital of the above questions concerns the mortgage. If the home has a mortgage or second mortgage on it, the beneficiary will be responsible for those payments. The home is collateral for those loans, meaning the bank will take the home and it will go into foreclosure if the beneficiary fails to make the mortgage payments. If a beneficiary believes they will not be able to manage the mortgage, it can be in their best interest to sell as quickly as possible.
If a beneficiary determines that selling an inherited house is the best option overall, the following list outlines recommendations for navigating the process.
- Establish the Status of the Home Transfer – There are three ways someone usually transfers an inherited home: probate, transfer on death deed, or living trust. A living trust is the ideal scenario, as it allows a seamless transition and often avoids taxes.
- Evaluate Tax Implications – Most property inheritors need to consider estate taxes, capital gains taxes and property taxes.
- Establish Whether or Not You’re the Personal Representative – The personal representative, whether chosen by the prior owner or appointed by the courts, has many responsibilities. These include notifying creditors of the passing to allow them to make claims on the house to cover debts, paying the creditors first before the inheritance is resolved, and managing all active accounts (banking/savings, income/retirement, etc.).
- Civilly Address Any Disagreements – There are times in which involved family members disagree over what to do with the property. In situations where the property cannot be equally split and a buy-out is not an option, the courts could force a sale. The best thing to do is sit down with everyone before it gets to that point, discuss responsibilities, and eventually split the proceeds.
Some other considerations before selling an inherited house are:
- Hiring a mediator, if necessary
- Updating the homeowner’s policy
- Distributing personal property
- Preparing the inherited home for sale
- Deciding what method to use to sell the house
When the time has come to sell an inherited house, Swift Homes can help sell it fast for cash in just a few easy steps. With Swift Homes, there is no need to make any repairs before selling the home — Swift buys homes as-is. Avoid the hassles of a traditional sale with no showings, uncertainties, listings or broker fees. Sellers can also close on the timeline they choose, so individuals going through a difficult time don’t need to worry about the added pressure of a tight closing timeline.
Contact Swift Homes today to learn more.