A house inherited from a loved one is a wonderful gift, but let’s face it. This can be an even bigger responsibility to the heirs. Depending on the circumstances, the heirs may have up to three options, as it pertains to the inherited property. They can choose whether to move into the property, rent it out or sell it. In other cases, the inherited home will be used to produce rental income. In other cases, it’s more beneficial to just sell the property.


 If you’re planning on selling an inherited home, this guide is sure to help you avoid the usual pitfalls and avoidable obstacles that can cost money, waste time and add to your frustration.


1. Identifying and confirming who has a claim to sell the inherited property


It is very important to check and verify if there are any additional heirs to the property before planning to sell an inherited house. If a loved one died without a valid will and the deed to the property does not include joint tenancy then an issue could arise. There could be a conflict establishing who has the right to an inherited home. Property cannot be sold until this is resolved. This process can be complicated when there are many heirs, multiple marriages or several generations of people who died without wills. It becomes increasingly more difficult if the heirs don’t work together towards completing the process. Essentially, the more complicated the family story, the more involved the process can be. Remember, plan accordingly.

2. Care of the Vacant Home

An heir will have to remember to take over the maintenance of the property while it is sitting vacant. This may include obtaining a vacant home insurance policy to protect the estate from liabilities. This also may include keeping up with utilities, paying property taxes, maintaining lawn care and disposing of the contents of the property as well as cleaning. Selling an inherited home or property can be a very overwhelming process, but it’s critical to ensure a proper property care plan is in place to protect the vacant home. 

3. Get a fair price – Appraise your newly inherited property.

An open market can be the best answer, but depending on the condition of the property, it may be best to sell to an investor.

4. Taxes 

Please consult with your attorney and/or call the city/county of the inherited property to verify what, if any taxes need to be paid on the property. If taxes are due, it is extremely important to keep those paid.  

5. What to expect during selling an inherited house? 

Your inherited house or property, the process of selling it can be simple and straightforward; however, oftentimes it isn’t. For example, title problems are a common issue that requires the assistance of a professional in order to successfully sell an inherited property. This can include but isn’t limited too unknown liens, missing heirs, undiscovered wills, errors in the public record and illegal deeds.

Not only are family members coping with the loss of a loved one, but even in best-case scenarios, dealing with the estate left behind can add to the stress level. While family members have well intentions, they may not be as organized as hoped. If you inherit a house, ask yourself this three questions1) is there a will? 2) Do you have a family tree? 3) Are there tax issues?

Selling a property that is inherited from a loved one who has passed carries much responsibility. Being knowledgeable with the information provided in this guide will make you more aware of what to expect, what can happen and what will make the sales process smoother and more bearable. The best thing you can do is be prepared!