Understanding the Inheritance Process: Selling an Inherited House
More people in the U.S. than ever before are hoping to leave an inheritance to their descendents when they pass. In 2022, a little more than 60 percent of households had plan to give inheritances. This was a change of nearly 15 percent over the figure seven years prior.
One common type of inheritance is property. Homes and land can hold great value not just financially, but emotioanlly as well.
Selling an inherited property can be an emotional, stressful process. If you’ve recently inherited a property and are considering selling, keep reading. We’re breaking down what you need to know and expect throughout the process.
The Basics of Inheriting Property on Long Island
Before we dive into the process of selling a home that you’ve inherited, it’s important to understand what it really means to inherit a property.
An inheritance refers to a property that is acquired by an individual through the laws of descent and distribution. This is sometimes used to refer to a property that was acquired because of a will.
However, the word “inheritance” more often refers to a property that is acquired through the laws of intestacy. This means that a person has died without a will, and their property and other belongings are being distributed by a probate court according to the state’s laws of intestate succession.
When an individual inherits a home from a family member who didn’t have a will in place, they may face a number of common challenges. One common issue is that the home’s property ownership isn’t always updated right away. In fact, it may not be updated for many years.
Sometimes an heir is already living on or using the property. If a probate process doesn’t occur after the death of the property’s owner, the land records will not automatically reflect the new owners. This issue may continue across several generations of owners. When a current owner decides to sell a property, they’ll first have to go through a complicated legal process to prove that they are the rightful owners of the property.
The Emotional Weight of Inherited Homes
Another challenge that owners of inherited properties often face is the emotional weight of owning the home of a loved one. While the home may need significant repairs, not be in the right location for an individual to live, or they may even already have their own home, they may be hesitant to sell the inherited house because the home holds sentimental value to them.
However, it’s common for inherited homes to have a number of problems. Often, if the previous homeowner was an older adult or faced medical problems, maintenance, and updates were not done for a number of years before their death. The home is also likely full of their belongings, leaving little room for a new owner’s belongings.
All of this adds up to a home that can be stressful and expensive for the new owner to maintain.
The Advantages of Selling Inherited Property As-Is
Selling Long Island property is hard enough. Investing a large amount of time and money into renovating a home, all while facing the emotional strain of making changes to a loved one’s property is even more difficult.
Selling an inherited property as-is can help homeowners avoid the cost and emotional strain of renovating the property to keep or to sell down the line.
A home may appear to need only surface-level repairs and updates, like new flooring or paint. But more often than not, additional repairs appear during the renovation process. This is especially true of older homes, or homes that may not have been properly maintained by an aging previous owner.
However, when you sell a home as-is to real estate investors, you won’t need to worry about repairs or renovations. Not only can this save you money, but it also saves tons of time, as you won’t need to wait until renovations are complete to list the property
Inherited property sales can also be more complicated than selling a home that’s been renovated and kept-up. Even if you choose to not make extensive renovations, you’ll still need to get the home ready to show to potential Long Island home buyers. Then, you’ll need to go through showings, accept offers, counter-offer, and finally close. This process can take months or more, especially in a home that’s in need of work.
While the home is being listed and shown to buyers, you’ll still need to pay to maintain the property. This means paying the electricity and water bills, getting the lawn mowed, and more.
Selling a home as-is is not only fast, but allows you to avoid these expenses during the sales process.
Why Traditional Sales Aren't Always Ideal for Inherited Homes
Traditional sales aren’t always ideal for an inherited property.
As we’ve mentioned, these homes are often not in perfect shape. Many people who inherit a home already have a home of their own, or live a long distance from the home that they’ve inehrited.
This makes the new home a burden to care for, to prep for sale, and to oversee during the sales process. Having a second property means paying a second set of taxes, a second set of utility bills, lawn care for two properties, and more. Even after a home is listed, you’ll still pay these fees while the home is shown to potential buyers and inspections are completed.
Then when it comes time to sell, the homeowner will need to pay realtor commissions and closing fees.
Throughout the process, you’ll also need to spend countless hours prepping the home for showings, meeting with realtors, and doing paperwork.
In the end, an inherited home in disrepair might not net enough through a traditional sale to make the process of maintaining or renovating that property worthwhile.
The Role of Professional Long Island Real Estate Investors in the Inheritance Process
Professional real estate investors simplify the process of inherited property sales.
You won’t need to worry about making renovations, finding a realtor, going through showings, or even wait around for endless inspections. Instead, you’ll give the investor some information about your property. If it matches their criteria, you’ll meet with them. Then, you’ll get a fair offer, with no obligation.
If you choose to accept the offer, you can close at a reputable title company and get cash for the proeprty in as little as 10 days.
A cash offer means no hidden fees or additional costs. You’ll know exactly the profit you’ll get from selling your home.
Unlike with a traditional real estate agent, you won’t need to pay a commission or even closing costs. Instead, you’re selling the home directly to the real estate investor, with no middleman. This means that you keep a greater amount of the profits from the sale of your property.
Not only does this process remove the extra fees of a traditional sale, but it’s also much, much faster. No renovations, preparing for showings, or even inspections to wait through.
Navigating Legal and Financial Implications with Expert Guidance
There are a number of tax implications that come with selling an inherited property.
Depedning on the circumstances of the inheritance and the amount of money earned from the sale, the income received from the sale of an inherited proeprty may be considered taxable income by the IRS.
In addition to naviagting your tax obloigations, there may be issues with the sale itself. You could need to obtain a deed, prove ownership, and more. All of this will need to happen before you sell.
Navigating the complicated legal and financial implications of selling an inherited property can be confusing. But when you work with the right real estate investors, you’ll get valuable expert guidance throughout the process.
Steps to Take When Considering Selling Your Inherited Property on Long Island
There are a few steps that you should take if you’re considering selling your inherited proeprty. The first thing to do is to evaluate the current condition of the property, as well as it’s market value.
If you find that the home is in poor condition or in need of a few expensive repairs, consider the cost of making those repairs and renovations. Don’t forget to also consider the cost of maintaining the property during the renovation and sales process. This includes paying utlity bills, taxes, paying for lawn care, etc.
You should also consider the emotional toll of renovating the inherited property. You may face cleaning out a loved one’s belongings, or changing the overall look of their home. You’ll also juggle renovations with work, taking care of your family, and other obligations.
Once you’ve evaluated the home’s value and the repairs it needs, and your own emotional well-being, you might decide that the profts from the sale wouldn’t be worth the cost or time it would take to renovate. In this case, it’s time to find an investor.
A trusted real estate investor can get you a cash offer for your property. You’ll save time and money on repairs and renovations. You may even have money in hand within just 10 days.
If you’re looking to sell an inherited property, contact us today to learn more about our process and how we can help.