Selling an inherited house in probate is different from selling a house the conventional way. This is because property can only exchange hands when the probate process is complete. The process is especially time-consuming when the decedent’s heirs can’t agree. Also, the property needs to be appraised to reflect its value at the time of the deceased’s death before the sale. Understanding how to sell inherited house in probate is critical for the heirs and prospective buyers. Here’s a detailed outlook.
What is an Inherited Property Under Probate?
When an individual dies, their estate including property, investments, and other assets are disposed of according to the will. If you’ve inherited such property through the will and want to sell your home fast, there are no restrictions regarding a sale, but the terms of the will can derail the process. Sometimes the will is wrought with fights between family members lengthening the amount of time you can execute the will and sell your home.
If the deceased hadn’t drafted a will, how to sell inherited house in probate is slightly different. This because the division of the assets and sale of property can only happen through the court system, a process called probate. The executor first applies for the right to deal with the decedent’s estate according to the will, a process called applying for a grant of probate. This official document confirms the validity of the process and the person holding it can settle the estate, in this case, sell the inherited property. If there are identifiable beneficiaries, the grant of probate is issued within one or two months.
Can I Sell My Inherited House in Probate?
Legally, you can’t sell a home in probate. However, you can put it up for sale, conduct viewings, market it, and agree on a price with a prospective buyer. In addition, the buyer can apply for a mortgage to pay for the house but can only sign the contract when probate is granted. There are many reasons you may opt to sell an inherited house, and here are a few ways you can inherit the home before you sell it:
- Once the title is transferred through probate and you become the new legal owner
- If the property has been held in trust without probate. The trustee can sell the house while in his trust and transfer the sale proceeds to the person who has inherited the property
- If the deceased has deeded the property in your name
In case you decide to put the property up for sale before probate is granted, inform prospective buyers that the sale can’t be completed until probate is granted. Some buyers may wait while others may opt for a different property.
How to Sell Inherited House in Probate
Auctioning is a popular choice for executors looking to sell an inherited property. This is because an auction provides a specific date for when to sell the flat or house. The downside to this method is that the seller remains uncertain about the selling price. Generally, auctioneers encourage executors to set the lowest price when opening the bid to encourage investors to bid.
Another option is to sell your home to a cash buyer. This method is effective when you want to sell your home fast for cash and at a fixed amount. If the demand is high in the seller’s market, a well-priced home can sell 10 days after getting listed. However, if buyers have dominated the market, it may take a month or more to sell. The sales proceeds are used to cover any out of pocket expenses and the balance distributed to the beneficiaries.
Another way of disposing of an inherited house is to sell through an estate agent. The agent handles all the marketing and viewing of the house so you never need to deal with the buyers directly. The main drawback of this method is that there’s no guarantee as to when you’ll get cash for your home. It can be weeks, months, or years before even getting a buyer to make an offer.
Now you know how to sell inherited house in probate. You can auction the house, look for a cash buyer, or sell it through an estate agent once probate is granted.