A Guide to Selling an Inherited Home in Georgia
Inheriting a house from a loved one can be a wonderful gift or a challenging inconvenience. In Georgia, you essentially have three choices when it comes to what you can do with an inherited home: move into it, rent it out, or sell it. Many times, families will move into an inherited home and sell their own properties that they’ve been living in. In other cases, those who inherit a home will either rent the property out as an income property, or they hold an estate sale to sell off unneeded items, then sell the property itself. If you’re planning on selling an inherited home this guide is sure to help you avoid the usual pitfalls and avoidable obstacles that waste time, cost money, and add to your frustration.
Understand the Variables of Selling an Inherited Home in Georgia
Know the worth of the home. Online tools are a great way to get an initial understanding of the inherited home’s worth compared to similar properties in the area. However, the amount you see doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to sell the house for that amount, a lot of a home’s true worth depends on the condition of the home itself as well as the overall market conditions for that area.
What’s the outstanding mortgage? You’ll need to find out how much is left to pay against the mortgage or loan on the house.
Are there other outstanding debts? Besides what’s left on the mortgage, are there any other outstanding bills you need to account for? Were property taxes paid every year or did they slowly pile up and now you have to use the proceeds from selling the home to pay them off? Are their any additional liens or judgements against the house? If so, they will need to paid.
How many are inheriting property? A lot will depend upon how many individuals might inherit a portion of any given property. Do all involved agree that selling the inherited property is the right choice, and who’s going to manage the process of the estate sale and selling the house itself?
Prepare the Inherited Property for Sale
Once you’ve determined that selling the property is the right course of action, you’ll need to prepare the home. This means clearing out personal belongings, de-cluttering when necessary, and de-personalizing the rooms. Here are some tips for preparing an inherited home for a sale:
Clean Out Personal Belongings
One of the most emotionally challenging aspects of inheriting a home is going through your parents’ or loved ones’ most personal belongings, often bringing back many memories. Though you can’t combine a lifetime’s worth of belongings with yours, you should find a few cherished mementos for yourself and other family members then start organizing stuff into piles: what to give away, what to throw away, and what to sell.
Hold a Yard Sale or Estate Sale
After divvying up cherished possessions to heirs, you may opt to hold a yard sale or estate sale for the rest of the belongings. Homes show better on the market when clean and empty and then staged. You can also think about making small upgrades at this point to help the house sell for more. However, if the strain is too much considering everything else that is going on, there are concierge type services that can do this for you.
Wait for the Estate to go Through Probate
The estate must go through probate (the official proving of the Will) before you may sell the property. Most states have a summary probate process, but this is available only to small estates ranging in value from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars. Most estates that include real estate and other assets will exceed this threshold.
Determine Who Holds the Legal Responsibility to Handle the Transaction
If the property owner left a Will, the executor is the person who has the responsibility and ability to distribute the assets of the estate, including real estate. If the property is in a Trust, the trustee holds this same power. In situations where siblings have inherited property together from their parents, one person often has the ultimate authority and responsibility to handle the real estate transaction.
Pricing Your Inherited House and Negotiating Offers
Pricing Your Inherited House and Negotiating Offers Pricing an inherited home to sell is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, and it hinges on many factors such as if there’s an existing mortgage, other remaining debts, the condition of the property itself, as well as the condition of the current real estate market. The following tips and resources will help you determine the best listing price for your inherited home and negotiate with buyers to get the most out of the property.
Don’t Expect to Get Your Asking Price
Most people selling a home base the listing price on comparable properties that have sold recently, but depending on the home’s current condition, your offers may be limited. Additional real estate market conditions (whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market), offers may be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars below your asking price. Ultimately, you should price the home for what it is actually worth in its current, “as-is” condition.
Don’t Price the Property Too High
List the property at a realistic price. A high or unrealistic listing price turns prospective buyers away. While a lower, more reasonable price can attract buyers.
A lower than normal listing price is sometimes used to attract multiple buyers who may then enter a bidding war. This means the seller ends up with a higher sale price at the end of the day. Price it low enough that it’s attractive to prospective buyers but high enough that you have room to negotiate.
Don’t Settle for Less than the Property is Worth
Buyers want to get a home for the lowest possible price, while sellers naturally want to get the maximum price for the property. This is particularly true when the home is an inherited property that was once a family home where the sellers have many childhood memories. This is why offers are sometimes countered and buyers and sellers end up agreeing on a final sale price somewhere in between the two extremes.
Don’t Be Too Eager to Make Concessions
Buyers will often ask for a lower price and assistance with closing costs. Additionally, they will ask for funds to be placed in escrow for certain repairs or improvements.
Don’t Accept the First Offer You receive
Unless you get a full-price offer on the property, you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. In most cases, buyers will make an initial offer that is less than what they’re willing to pay.
What to Expect During the Sale Process
The process of selling a home can take weeks to months, depending on the condition of the property. Market value, market conditions, time of year, and the skills of your real estate agent all play an important role. From the offer to closing, these resources outline what to expect while you’re selling an inherited home. Selling a home is a multi-step process beginning with market research and ending with a closing.
The property inspection is one of the most important steps in any real estate transaction. A certified home inspector will inspect every inch of the property to look for problems such as rotting structures, broken pipes, cracked foundation walls, and other problems that could spell financial trouble for the buyer.
If the property has a mortgage, those payments must still be made on time. In addition, you will need to pay all utility bills (water, sewer, gas, electric, cable, etc.) each and every month. You may also encounter additional expenses and even demands on your time for lawn maintenance and other household maintenance tasks.
At 855JENNYBUYS we aim to make selling your inherited property as simple as possible.
Contact us today to sell your inherited property.