Selling Inherited Property on Long Island: A Comprehensive Guide to the Probate Process

If you are considering selling an inherited property on Long Island, you may need to go through the probate process.  If so, this guide will get you started in the right direction. 

The probate process involves filling out paperwork, finding the will and the executor, and hiring an attorney to navigate the court system.  While every situation is unique, most straightforward probate cases only take a matter of weeks to complete.  There are often cases where someone inherits a property and probate isn’t even necessary to start with. 

Want to learn how to go through the probate process for selling inherited property on Long Island? If so, then follow these steps.

Selling An Inherited House On Long Island

Before the Probate Process in Long Island

Before you even get to the probate process, there are a few steps to take. Here’s what to do.

1. Confirm Your Ownership

Make sure that the deceased individual had ownership of the property.  Occasionally, there are instances where the deceased individual has joint ownership.  Before beginning the probate process and everything that goes along with it, you want to make sure that you will end up with the result you are looking for: successfully selling the inherited property.

2. Assess The Property

Before deciding on who to sell to and how to sell the property, assess its condition and value. You may want to hire a professional appraiser or a real estate agent to provide you with a fair market value estimate.  On the other hand, you may want to sell the property directly to a local cash house buyer without making any repairs who has experience purchasing inherited houses and can help you throughout the process.

3. Determine Your Goals With the House

Decide on your goals for selling the property. Are you looking to sell quickly, or are you willing to wait for the best offer? Your timeline and financial needs will influence your selling strategy.

Starting The Probate Process on Long Island

The probate process is a legal procedure that takes place after someone passes away to validate their will (if they have one) and distribute their assets to heirs or beneficiaries. The specific details and steps involved in probate can vary by jurisdiction, but here is a general overview of the process.

Starting The Probate Process on Long Island

Filing a Petition

The probate process begins when a petition is filed with the appropriate court. This petition can be filed by the executor named in the deceased person’s will or by an interested party (often a family member or beneficiary) if there is no will.

Notification of Interested Parties

Once the petition is filed, the court will notify all interested parties, including heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors, that the probate process has started.

Appointment of Executor

If there is a will, the court will typically appoint the person named as the executor in the will. If there is no will and you have decided to still utilize the probate process to sell your Long Island house, the court will appoint an administrator to oversee the estate.

Inventory and Appraisal

The executor or administrator is responsible for identifying and taking an inventory of the deceased person’s assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal property, and debts. An appraisal may be conducted to determine the value of certain assets like a house unless there the executor is considered independent.  In this case, they have the ability to sell the house for any price they believe is fair.

Notification of Creditors

Creditors must be notified of the probate proceedings, giving them an opportunity to make claims against the estate for any outstanding debts. The estate is responsible for paying valid debts.

Review and Approval by the Court

The court reviews the inventory, appraisals, and any claims by creditors. Once satisfied that all necessary steps have been taken, the court approves the distribution of assets to heirs or beneficiaries which would include the sale of the house.

Final Accounting

The executor or administrator provides a final accounting of all financial transactions related to the estate, including income received, expenses paid, and asset distribution. This accounting is submitted to the court for approval.

Closing the Estate

Once the court approves the final accounting and is satisfied that all debts and taxes have been paid and assets distributed correctly, it will issue an order to close the estate.

The executor or administrator distributes any remaining assets to heirs or beneficiaries, and the estate is officially closed.

After the Probate Process: Selling The House

After the probate process, there are still a few steps you need to take. Here’s what they are. 

Selling A House After Probate on Long Island

Clean and Prepare the Property

Before listing, it’s a good idea to clean and make any necessary repairs or improvements. A well-maintained property typically sells for a higher price.  However, if the property you inherited needs repairs and the estate isn’t going to make the repairs, there’s no need to clean out the house or make repairs if you are going to sell directly to a cash house buyer like We Buy Long Island Homes Fast.

Hire a Real Estate Agent or Negotiate Offers From Home Buying Companies

While it’s possible to sell a property on your own (For Sale By Owner or FSBO), most people find it beneficial to hire a real estate agent who knows the local market and can handle negotiations, paperwork, and marketing.

Work with your real estate agent to determine an appropriate listing price based on the property’s value, market conditions, and your selling goals. Your agent will create a marketing plan to attract potential buyers. This may include listing the property on multiple websites, hosting open houses, and advertising in local publications.

If this process seems like a lot of work, it can be.  Some people choose to sell their inherited house quickly for cash and avoid paying fees and commissions.  When you elect to use this route, you choose the closing date, avoid making repairs, and collect your cash quickly.

Go Through the Closing Process

Your attorney and real estate agent or real estate investor will guide you through the closing process, which includes signing legal documents, transferring ownership, and distributing the proceeds from the sale.

Be aware of any tax implications associated with the sale of inherited property. Depending on your specific situation and the current tax laws, you may owe capital gains tax or other taxes.

Consider consulting with an estate planning attorney to determine the best way to manage the proceeds from the sale and minimize tax liability.

Once all paperwork is complete, and the transaction is closed, you can distribute the proceeds among the heirs as specified in the will or as determined by the court.  

Selling Inherited Property On Long Island

In conclusion, selling an inherited property on Long Island and the probate process can seem daunting.  However, once you have the proper information and understand the process as we laid it out, you can navigate the process with the proper expectations. 

If you need additional help selling your house on Long Island or would like a second opinion from professionals who have purchased many inherited homes over the years, reach out to We Buy Long Island Homes Fast.  We’ll answer any questions you have with zero obligation.  We’re here to help!

Selling An Inherited House To A Home Buying Company