Selling an inherited house can be daunting. But there are steps you can take when it comes to selling your inherited house quickly and easily. In this article, we’ll discuss the 8 essential tips for making the process go smoothly and what factors you should consider when deciding whether or not to sell.
We’ve divided this article into the following sections:
Table of Contents
First, Find Out If Probate Is Needed
You don’t want to list your inherited house and find a buyer, only to have the title company tell you that you need to go to court for a probate. Depending on your situation, getting a court to appoint a personal representative who is authorized to sell a house can take between a couple of weeks up to several months. You might as well figure this out first.
Call a probate attorney to figure this out. (You can call us at 602-443-4888. Even if we don’t work in your state, we can refer you to a reputable probate attorney in your state.)
You Have Three Main Options For Selling Your Inherited House. (Decide Which One Works Best For You.)
Option #1: List It With a Real Estate Agent
Using a real estate broker or agent gradually became the standard way of selling a house during the 1900s. Now most people just assume that you need to use a broker or agent.
What’s the difference between a broker, an agent, and a Realtor?
- A real estate agent is someone who has a professional real estate license to help people buy, sell, or rent houses and other real estate.
- A real estate broker is someone who has taken education beyond the agent level as required by state laws. Then they passed a broker’s license exam for the state.
- In order to become a Realtor—a licensed agent with the ability to use that title—an agent needs to be a member of the National Association of Realtors®.
Pros and Cons of Using a Real Estate Agent.
The benefit to using them is that they are familiar with the process. Plus may be good at selling, so they can maximize the price. (Of course, you also have to factor in their sales commission, which usually totals between five and six percent.)
The main downside is that they only have access to the less than 20% of potential buyers who can qualify for a bank loan. If have a difficult home to sell, or you want cash quickly, then using a real estate agent may not be your best option.
Option #2: Investor Who Will Pay Quick Cash, But Will Want a Discount
Your second option for selling your inherited house is to sell to an investor who will offer quick cash. The main downside here is that they will want a discount of between 25% to 35% off fair market value. If you want a referral to a trustworthy cash buyer, give us a call at 602-443-4888. We have a network of people and companies who buy houses around the U.S.
Option #3: Sell on Terms
Selling “on terms” is the traditional way of selling real estate. This is the way most real estate was bought and sold prior to the early 1900s. Today, there are two main ways of selling this way.
Owner financing is typically where you sell the house and transfer title. You carry back a promissory note secured by a mortgage or deed of trust. If the buyer defaults on the promissory note, you foreclose and get your house back.
Contract for Deed
A contract for deed is where you sell the house but keep title in your name. The buyer makes payments over time. If they miss a payment, you simply cancel the contract and keep all the payments they’ve made up to that time.
This is a lease agreement, and at the end of the lease the tenant buys the house. Typically, the buyer takes over all responsibilities for the house, and then on or before a date that you agree on, the buyer cashes you out. You can also call it a delayed cash sale.
This is a way to get access to the 80% or more of the possible buyers who can’t qualify for a bank loan today. Some of those buyers have god credit and good income. But they just can’t qualify for a bank loan today. They need time to show their earning ability so they can get a bank loan.
Tips For Selling an Inherited House If You Have Money For Repairs
Make Repairs and Upgrade to Increase Value.
Making upgrades and repairs to the inherited house before you list it for sale is one of the most effective ways to increase its value. This helps potential buyers not only see more potential in the property. Plus, they may also be willing to pay a higher price. Consider including upgrades like new windows and doors, painting, replacing old appliances with energy efficient models. You might also think about other improvements that could make the home attractive to prospective buyers.
Price it Right for the Market.
One of the most important factors when it comes to selling an inherited house quickly is pricing it correctly for the current housing market. Research comparables in your area and analyze the current trends. Then use these as a guide when determining the price you want to list your inherited home at. Try not to overprice the house. This could make it more difficult to find buyers who are willing to meet your asking price.
Create an Appealing Curb Appeal.
The first impression a potential buyer gets of your home is from the street. Make sure it looks inviting by giving the house and landscape a little TLC. Clean up any debris in the yard, touch up paint around window frames and door frames. If needed, set up planters with flowers or shrubs to make an inviting atmosphere around the entrance to the home. Get rid of anything that might be seen as an eyesore, such as old furniture on the porch or lawn decorations.
Add Safety Features to the Home If Needed.
When selling an inherited house, safety is especially important. Replace any carpets or flooring that are old and frayed, as well as any worn-out steps or staircases. Inspect the wiring in the house to make sure it meets current standards. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in every room of the home, as well as stairwells, attics and garages. Be sure to check for lead paint or asbestos if the home is older than 1978. Make any necessary repairs before listing the home on the market!
Invest in Professional Staging Services.
Professional staging services can go a long way in making your inherited house look attractive and appealing to buyers. Hiring a home stager can help you put the finishing touches on your house, including decluttering, rearranging furniture and adding small decorations or items that are sure to increase its visual appeal. Investing in these services will give the impression that your house is move-in-ready, which can greatly benefit your sale.
How To Sell The House If You DO NOT Have Money For Repairs
If you aren’t going to be doing repairs to the house, then you are selling the house “as is.” How you go about selling it really depends on your priority. Is getting a maximum price your main goal? Is getting cash now your main goal? Are you looking for money to live on over the coming years?
You have more options than simply listing with a Realtor. Give us a call at 602-443-4888 and we’ll help you think through your options.
Tips If Your Real Estate Agent Isn’t Having Luck Selling the House
If your agent isn’t able to sell the house for the price you want, or in the time you want, then you have three choices:
- You can try a different agent,
- You can sell at a discount to an investor, or
- If you don’t need the all of the money right away, you can sell on terms and get a downpayment.
Want Help Selling Your Inherited House?
Hi. I’m attorney Paul Deloughery. We handle probate cases in Arizona, and have a network of other respected probate lawyers throughout the U.S.
Also, I’m a member of the Creative Financing Real Estate Association. That’s a network of ethical, hard-working people throughout the U.S. who focus on selling real property in ways other than through an agent. Give us a call at 602-443-4888 and we’ll get your inherited house sold fast.