How to Sell a Deceased Parents’ Home

a property by a road with trees outside

Loss takes a huge emotional toll on people. It’s never easy to lose a parent. The loss of a parent – regardless of your age – is always devastating. On top of all the grief, frustration, stress, and heartache, you may also have to navigate handling your parent’s estate at the same.

In this article, we’ll explain how to sell a deceased parents’ home in the easiest, least stressful way.

How to Sell a Deceased Parents’ Home

1. Figure Out the Executor of the Estate

The first big piece of the puzzle is to identify the executor of the estate. It doesn’t matter if there was a clearly outlined will and testament or not, the executor still needs to be identified and contacted before the probate process can be moved forward.

Many people understand that they have or are inheriting property, but don’t have a concrete grasp of how the actual inheritance process unfolds. Before listing an inherited property on the market, the executor of the estate needs to “green light” this process. This is because they are the only ones authorized to make this decision.

2. Notify People Who Should Be Involved in the Process

a woman speaking on the telephone filling in paperwork

After identifying the executor, it’s important to notify all invested parties as well. This means identifying all heirs and potential heirs, debtors and creditors, and anyone else that may have some sort of claim or attachment to the property as well.

Hiring an estate attorney can be hugely helpful for determining who needs to be contacted. These are the kinds of legal experts that will know exactly how to locate these people, properly identify them, and notify them on a case-by-case basis depending on the part they play in the inheritance process.

3. Hash Out Inheritance Expectations

In an ideal world, no inheritance issues would occur after a parent has passed away. In the real world, though, it’s not at all uncommon for even the most well-planned and perfectly executed inheritance situations to go a little sideways. These kinds of situations can also get very contentious. This is why it is so important to jump ahead of these issues while they are still relatively minor.

If inheritance issues are resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of everyone, they are less likely to grow into full-blown emergency disputes. You want to square this away ASAP and as early in the process as possible. Professional mediators may be necessary to get these kinds of agreements over the finish line. Taking advantage of these services helps to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

4. Consider Working With a Real Estate Professional

a real estate agent discussing a property with a man and woman

Oftentimes, when selling an inherited property, it can be a good idea to work with real estate professionals who are experienced with these kinds of transactions. They can help you navigate everything from A to Z. They can walk you (and all other parties involved) through the entirety of the process from start to finish.

A good realtor can outline all the key milestones that need to be met to complete a probate sale. They can also give you dialed-in expectations for how things could unfold moving forward, so you can be prepared. It’s especially advantageous to hire a real estate professional to help when you’re dealing with an out-of-state or out-of-area transaction. These “boots on the ground” real estate experts can move things along for you when you’re not in town.

5. Determine Your Sale Price

Right out of the gate, it’s important to get a firm idea of the home’s current value – as it is right now, this very minute, and in this very market. The odds are pretty good that a home inherited from a recently deceased parent isn’t going to be able to be put on the market straightaway.

The probate process and reading of the will usually takes months, at a minimum. At the same time, having concrete information about the value of a home that may be put on the market will help things move along much faster

6. Settle Your Parents’ Personal Financial Positions

Many children of deceased parents are surprised when they get a look “under the hood” at their parent’s financial situation for the first time. While children won’t take on personal debts parents may have incurred when they were still alive, they may inherit the debt attached to the property. They will also take on the regular and ongoing bills for property upkeep and maintenance.

Squaring all of this away early in the process is critical, too. If you want to gain access to the financial accounts, you’ll need to resolve any debt issues. You’ll also want to run a title search to make sure that the title is free and clear. Additionally, you’ll also want to notify any creditors with a certified death certificate so that they know that the property is changing hands – and why.

7. Review the Home Insurance Policy

a male plumber inspecting a boiler in a kitchen and speaking to a woman tenant

It’s never a bad idea to have a closer look at the home insurance policy attached to the property, either. This is especially true if the property will be vacant while it’s on the market. Many home insurance policy providers raise rates on these kinds of properties. This is because they are at a significantly higher risk for break-ins and vandalism. Therefore, it’s worth checking the details of the policy. Otherwise, if something happens, you may not be covered.

8. Secure the Property (If Left Vacant)

You also want to take the necessary steps to lock down the home, securing all entrances and exits and making sure that it is (as much as possible) protected from thieves and vandals. Switch out the old locksets for new keys, too. That way you’ll be sure you (and anyone else you provide a copy to) are the only ones with authorized access.

Learn more about how to improve security on a property and the best home safety products to keep an inherited house well-protected.

9. Research Tax Implications

It’s impossible to avoid tax implications when you sell an inherited property. So, there’s nothing wrong with researching what those tax implications can be even before you sell the property itself. You may be looking at capital gains taxes. You may be looking at real estate taxes. And you’re probably going to be looking at other taxes as well.

Thankfully, though, you may also be able to take full advantage of different tax breaks and programs that lower your financial burden, too. Research this early in the process and you’ll have the best chance of mitigating that final tax bill as much as possible.

10. Have a Plan For Selling Personal Property

After you have taken care of the majority of the details above – all of which revolve around selling the actual home itself – you’ll want to start thinking about how to sell any of the personal property inside the home that you don’t want any longer.

This includes possessions like:

Plus anything else that you want to sell with the home or would like to make some money on before you sell the property itself.

Summary: Selling an Inherited Property

Most real estate professionals will recommend that you stage an inherited property to sell it faster. This is because it gives potential homebuyers a better idea of what their new home could look like before making an offer.

When staging a property, you can do minor repairs, renovations, and updates. Don’t do too much so that it eats into your profit potential, though. But do enough to make a home attractive to potential buyers. Finally, you’ll want to make the decision to actually list the home itself. When listing, it’s smart to prepare the property this way.

At the end of the day, if you don’t intend on keeping the property – or using it while it sits on the market – it’s important to sell it as quickly as possible. The longer you hold on to a property that you’ve inherited, the more money you are going to have to spend each month to cover things like the electric bill, the water bill, etc. Time really is money in this situation – and a quick sale is usually the way to go!

If you decide to sell your inherited house to an investor, you won’t have to do repairs. This is a faster way to sell a deceased parent’s home. You can sell the property as is, which means you won’t have to fix anything before closing. Additionally, you won’t have to stage it or sort out any trash left behind. It’s the easiest and quickest way to sell an inherited property.

To learn more about selling an inherited property to Brotherly Love Real Estate, give our expert team of real estate agents a call today at (215) 769-9875 or contact us online to get your cash offer.