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Inheriting a property is a bittersweet experience. Although it might mean acquiring a house that could drastically improve your life, it also means that a loved one has passed. There’s a lot to consider if you don’t want it, like knowing if you should sell an inherited house or not.
Grieving is a difficult process, and dealing with your newly acquired property might be the furthest thought from your mind. However, it’s important to manage your inherited property before it becomes not only an emotional stress factor but a financial one too. Knowing how to sell an inherited house doesn’t have to be an added stress.
The Center of Wealth and Philanthropy, at Boston College, projects that the baby boomer generation will inherit upwards of $27 trillion over the next four decades. A large portion of that figure includes inherited homes.
But the sudden acquisition of an inheritance can leave you with many questions. As a benefactor, you might ask yourself: what do I do when I inherit a property? What kind of taxes do I pay after claiming the house? How do I sell an inherited home?
If you are in a position where you need to sell an inherited house, you’ll need to know your options.
An heir has three options when deciding what to do with their inherited home: they can rent out the property, move into it, or sell. Although it’s a personal choice and all options have their positives, selling an inherited house will provide the seller with the ripest rewards.
Renting out an inherited property may help you keep the home in the family, but it also comes with a hefty cost and high risk.
Rental properties are hard to maintain: a landlord needs to interview prospective tenants, collect rent, pay for upkeep, and be on-call for complaints often 24 hours a day.
That’s why many landlords hire property management companies, especially if they live too far from the rental property. These companies can be unreliable, neglectful, and ask for up to 30% rent while managing.
They’re an unnecessary risk when handling your loved one’s home.
You might want to move in if the inherited home is a vast improvement to your current residence. However, with an upgraded home comes an upgraded price tag. Living in your inherited property may result in an increase in property taxes. Since the house more than likely has appreciated when considering the stepped-up value (the fair market value of the property at the time of the previous owner’s passing) you’ll have to pay more to live there.
Generally the best option is to sell an inherited house when dealing with a new property. Once the home sells, a benefactor will be able to pay off the home’s mortgage, will save money by avoiding capital gains taxes, and may even see a profit of their own.
Before selling an inherited house, J.D. Esajian, a Fortunebuilders.com contributor, wants you to be realistic about your new house. “Inheriting a piece of property isn’t anywhere near as straightforward as you would imagine,” he warns. There’s a lot to consider when accepting an inheritance. Becoming acquainted with the property, assessing the housing market, and hiring help when needed are all viable considerations before you sell an inherited house.
First, know where you stand. Familiarize yourself with the inherited home’s status. The property might have been the home where you spent most of your adolescence, but you might not know everything about your newly acquired home. What state are the major home systems (septic, HVAC, etc.) in? Does the property have any major liens? How does it compare to other homes in the neighborhood? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you estimate your inherited property’s worth.
Assessing the current market might also help you decide how to sell an inherited home in Austin, TX. If the market is favorable and the house has appreciated, you’ll most certainly receive a sizable profit at closing. Also, you won’t need to worry about the selling an inherited house taxes. Any appreciation gained during your loved one’s life is forgiven and you’re only taxed on appreciation gained after inheriting the property. “Unless the property goes up in value very quickly or you hold the home for a long time, you most likely will have very little tax liability,” adds Demand Media’s Solomon Poretsky.
Hiring a professional organizer to help empty out your inherited home while salvaging sentimental pieces is a necessary step before the sale. After a loved one passes, it’s hard to imagine going through their items and sorting out what’s valuable enough to keep and what needs to be donated or trashed. Yet, the property needs to be sifted through and cleaned before making any kind of sale. Don’t carry the emotional burden alone; hire someone to help clean out belongings and depersonalize rooms to get your inherited home in selling condition.
So, you’ve decided to sell, researched your inherited home, and cleaned out your loved one’s property. Now, what? According to Amber Keefer, an eHow blogger, and real estate expert, there are three options in when to sell an inherited house: listing with an agent, sell at an estate sale or auction, or utilize a cash buyer.
Hiring a Realtor is common practice when selling an inherited house. Yet, it may not be your best option. Since Realtors cannot guarantee a sale, a home can stay on the market for months. This requires money and time to keep the house in showroom condition. Unless you can afford several months’ worth of insurance, utilities, and tax, not to mention Realtor fees at closing, using an agent to sell an inherited home is out of the plan.
It’s also risky believing a real estate agent’s honest opinion about what your inherited home is worth. “There is always the concern that real estate agents might just be telling you what you want to hear in order to get another listing inked,” Esajian says. Your loved one’s property will not be handled with care if considered just another sale by an unsympathetic agent.
Estate sales offer similar problems when using them to sell an inherited house. There’s no guarantee of sale, and every day not sold means bleeding your wallet dry. Also, auctioneers are likely to mishandle your inherited house if not managed properly. However, unlike hiring a realtor, estate sales mean you earn less money upon purchase. Although the house might sell quicker than if sold by an agent, you’ll lose out on a significant sum.
Sell an inherited house to a house buyer is the quickest, simplest option if available.
House buyers usually offer cash for homes, allowing you to avoid prolonged time on the housing market. Sometimes they cover selling costs to expedite the sale.
Forego spending money on sprucing up your loved one’s home and fixing any major repairs; house buyers buy as-is. They also allow you to skip using a realtor and communicate with you directly. If you have questions about the selling process or want to make sure your parents’ home is getting the attention it deserves, house buyers are more open to assuaging whatever fears are pestering you. Unlike many realtors, house buyers have experience with inherited property and know how to be sympathetic to grieving homeowners.
Selling an inherited house can be emotionally and fiscally daunting, even in Austin, TX. Don’t make it harder than it already is. Considering your options, familiarizing yourself with the market, and sorting the estate before a sale will reduce time on the market. Deciding to sell gives you options, but accepting a cash offer is the surest way to have your loved one’s home taken care of and sold with ease.
Your Austin Home Buyer is a cash house buyer in Austin, TX. We’ve been buying houses for many years and have helped hundreds of homeowners sell an inherited house fast.
We buy Austin houses and want to make an offer to buy your house. Give us a call today at 512-337-3360 to get started. You can have a no-obligation cash offer for the house within 24 hours.