And Roseville Too!
Selling an inherited house can be a difficult experience. You may be grieving the loss of a loved one, or perhaps you feel unprepared to let go of a childhood home. Whatever the case may be, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably decided that selling the estate is the best option. So, where do you go from here?
Don’t worry; we’re here for you. We’ve compiled a list of common problems you might face, along with a few solutions we think can help. In addition to this page, we have a few helpful articles on inheriting property, selling a home, and dealing with household repairs that may serve useful to you.
Difficulties faced when selling an inherited house
Letting go of the house
Before embarking on any decisions, you first have to confront the emotions of letting go of the house. An inherited house is heavy with family memories and nostalgia. While selling it may be the best option, that certainly doesn’t make the choice any easier.
While this aspect of home-selling is more aligned with the grieving process than the selling process, it surely isn’t something to be ignored. We recommend gathering with any family or friends to talk through the decision. If you’ve made up your mind, remind yourself that this option is for the best. It may be too costly to maintain the property, or perhaps you live too far to properly care for it. In any case, if you’ve decided that releasing the property is the best decision, then it likely is.
Of course, if you’re finding it difficult to cope, try a few of these suggestions. Taking pictures of the home as it is can serve as a permanent memory. Think of it as immortalizing the home your passed loved one lived in. In addition, taking a tour of the house and reliving all the positive memories is a crucial step in the healing process. By acknowledging your attachment to the home and remembering the good times spent in it, you can later feel relief by figuratively putting it to rest.
Cleaning out the home
While de-cluttering the home is a great effort all on its own, sorting through both your belongings and your loved one’s is a behemoth task. An inherited house has tons of sentimental items. We understand that this step feels overwhelming, uncomfortable, and maybe even disrespectful towards your loved one. Indeed, clearing out someone’s belongings whom you’ve lost is a great challenge.
Firstly, just know that you can take as much time as you need. If you feel you aren’t ready to confront this task, bookmark it and return when you are prepared. However, if the house is standing empty, remember to lock all entrances and check often to ensure no robberies take place.
When you are ready to begin clearing out the home, we suggest you start small. The first step, of course, is to get rid of trash, including food, toiletries, and other used or damaged items. Next, begin emptying out items that hold little to no sentimental value. Maybe there’s stained clothes or small appliances that you can easily move out. Clear out these initial, easy-to-manage belongings before tackling your loved one’s more emotionally taxing possessions. By whittling down the sheer amount of items to deal with, you have more space and less work when later confronting those harder sentimental belongings.
Of course, this isn’t an easy feat to accomplish alone. If you have siblings or other relatives and friends that you trust, be sure to include them in this process. Having others around to assist you will not only ensure a speedier de-clutter, but can make it easier to sort through sentimental objects. In addition, you’ll want to get certain items appraised by a professional as you go through.
An inherited house is likely to be older and, consequently, more in need of repairs and/or updates. This can be a headache when trying to sell the home. A few common property damages in this situation include dilapidated bathrooms or kitchen, dirty carpeting, and broken fixtures.
While repairs are one of the most costly and difficult aspects of selling an inherited house, there are a number of solutions available to you.
The first thing we recommend you do is circle the property a few times and make a list of all repairs you can find. This is more efficient if you categorize the list room-by-room, including the exterior and yards. Once you have your list down, do some research on how much each repair would cost. If you want reliable insights, you can contact a contractor to survey the home for you.
Once you have a few figures drawn up, you can decide how to proceed. Depending on your budget and the costs (and time) required for fixing up the home, you can either make all the repairs, make some repairs, or make no repairs. If you choose to cover most or all the repairs, you’ll have an easier time marketing the property to buyers. However, this can be costly and time-consuming. If you don’t have the budget or time, you can choose to make little to no repairs and sell to a cash house buyer. More on cash house buyers in the next point.
Another great obstacle in selling an inherited house is the sheer amount of time you must invest. With all the repairs, cleaning, and staging you’ll likely do – not even counting time spent grieving – you have a long process ahead of you. While we can’t be there with you, we can offer you a few ways to speed things up a bit.
The quickest and most efficient way is to consult a professional. This takes the stress of research and planning off your plate. Whether it’s a financial advisor, a real estate agent, or a contractor, you can get a lot more tackled with less worry on your part. The downside to hiring a professional, of course, is the additional cost.
If you’re uninterested in talking to an expert, you can always sell the inherited property to a cash home buyer. Also called house-buying companies, these businesses purchase homes as-is for a fair cash price. Basically, that means you can skip repairs, staging, and marketing. If you’re looking for a quick, fair, and budget-friendly way to sell inherited property, dealing with a cash home buyer is the way to go.
Disagreements with family
During a stressful time such as this, it’s common for family disputes to arise. These disagreements can range from a number of situations. Perhaps the estate was passed to one sibling over the others, or there are arguments about what to do with the belongings within the estate. When selling inherited family property, it’s normal for tensions to increase. While we hope you can skip this unfortunate common problem, we do have a few useful suggestions.
If you approach the process as a group project of sorts, you’ll find the affair can be quite amicable and collaborative. Remember that everyone’s voice should be heard. When losing a loved one, or a loved one’s property, those close to them grieve in different ways. This may materialize through anger, sadness, stubbornness, and an unwillingness to part with the beloved’s belongings.
If you feel a leader is necessary, try to democratically assign one. This person will break any gridlocked decisions and keep the operation moving. The leader can be the one who inherited the house, or someone else if you all agree.
Divide the process into steps – removing belongings, making repairs, fixing up the lawn, etc. – and assign roles to each participating family member. Be sure to keep communication channels open. Being open-minded, communicative, and willing to hear opinions will streamline the process during this tense time.
Conversely, if you have siblings or family that refuse to help, you can approach this in a few ways. Is their presence mandatory? Are they grieving and unable to assist? Do you need their input? Family relationships can be tense and awkward, especially during a time like this, so how you deal with this situation can differ. If your sibling or family member refuses to help after you’ve attempted to reach out multiple times, the only option may be to give them space. We recommend you either enlist someone else or, again, hire a professional.
Pricing the house fairly
When finally choosing how much to sell the house for, you may be including accidental bias. If the home holds great sentimental value, it’s not unlikely that you’ll want to sell it for more than it’s actually worth. Of course, the inherited property is surely valuable to you and your family, but will it sell with the price you’ve assigned it?
Luckily, determining a fair price for any property is quite easy. You can get the home appraised a number of ways. If you’re hiring a real estate agent, they can determine, based on the house’s age, location, and other factors, what a decent market price would be. You can also research the area yourself and compare prices with other homes in your neighborhood. If you’re dealing with a cash house buyer, they’ll offer you a figure themselves after surveying the home.
Reach out to us!
Selling an inherited house is never easy to do yourself. That said, we hope the tips provided here takes some of the stress off this process. As mentioned previously, we also have another article with some general tips about inheriting an estate.
In addition to property advice, we offer house-buying services in Warren and Roseville! If you’re interested in selling your house for a fair cash price – and skipping repairs, cleaning and hassle – feel free to check out our website or call us at (586) 200-1710.