How to Sell a House You Inherited – What to Expect During Probate

Selling an inherited home in Texas is not quite as simple as people think! Read on to learn how to sell a house you inherited in Dallas Texas

First of all, there is always that emotional component of getting a loved one’s house ready for sale, especially when depersonalizing his or her rooms and clearing out all the belongings. You have to consider the time and the cost of marketing the house in order to attract potential buyers.

Usually, the heirs get to deal with the costs of settling any associated liens and other issues that may have accumulated over the years or while the property sat vacant during probate. And to make matters worse, heirs tend to have disagreements during the process about all kinds of things. Some common disputes tend to revolve around:

  • Each heir’s portion of the money to be inherited
  • Who gets the loved ones’ belongings and how they’ll be distributed to whom
  • Whether to sell or not to sell the house
  • Sometimes even one or more of the heirs may have their own personal debts that will need to be paid before proceeds from the sale of the house are distributed to the other heirs.
    • That’s right! If one or more of the heirs have personal debts that haven’t been paid, such as a child support judgment, or credit card judgment then the proceeds from the sale of the inherited house will first have to be used to pay off that/those heirs personal debts and THEN the remaining proceeds (if any) can be distributed to the rest of the heirs equally (or as instructed per the will). Seems unfair, right?

There are so many things to be aware of when selling an inherited house. Therefore, we’ve put together a few points that should help steer you in the right direction, if you ever find yourself in such a dilemma. Here are a few tips on how to sell a house you inherited in Dallas.

Making the probate process go smoothly

First, get some advice

The first step you should take is to get some professional advice. You must understand the status of your house is in, verify ownership, determine the best course of action, etc. It’s best to seek advice from a local probate attorney, a local real estate attorney, and your CPA. Don’t be afraid to get info from other experts too if you feel necessary. And feel free to refer to our website too, of course. We can also give you a fair deal for your inherited house if it qualifies. Fill out the form here to get started.

Then begin the probate process

Before you begin the selling process, your house must go through probate (if your loved one passed away with a Will). If your loved one passed away with a Will, then in Texas it will need to be probated through the probate courts within 4 years of the death of the loved one. However, we recommend that you follow the guidance of a local probate attorney to help you navigate the probate process and ensure you don’t miss any steps. Once the house passes the probate process, you can then put it on the market for sale.

Don’t forget your tax consideration

We know….taxes….blah!!! But, this is extremely important when selling an inherited house! Shortly after your loved one passes away, a major consideration of selling an inherited house that you need to be aware of is the tax basis of your property. The tax basis will be the house value on the date that the person who willed you died. You can use the local County Appraisal District’s estimated value of the house shortly after your loved one passed away, however, to get the highest and most accurate value we recommend getting a professional appraisal done by a real estate appraiser. This will usually give you the highest and most accurate value of the house and will hopefully help reduce the gain on the property. This is very important because the difference between the amount you realize from the house sale and the appraised value at the time of your loved one’s death is basically the gain on which you owe the taxes. If you want more information about this it’s best to talk to your probate attorney and your CPA about something called “Step Up Basis”.

How to sell a house you inherited

Agreeing to sell

If the house has already completely cleared through the probate process then you can sell the house whenever the rightful heir(s) decide he/she/they would like to sell. However, if the estate is still in the process of being settled but you are ready to sell the house, you can inform the executor to petition the court in order to get the “go ahead” and proceed with the sale from there. However, please do so under the guidance of your local probate attorney to avoid any potential pitfalls. Once you have the green light then you can contact a local realtor if you’re going to list it on the market, or you can contact local cash buyers (like us!) to get a quick, “as is” cash offer.

Preparing to sell

If you’re wanting to list your house for sale at full retail, then you’ll want to ensure that the house is retail-ready. Sometimes an inherited house may require repairs and a bit of updating before you can put it on the market for sale. From our experience, an inherited house that is a bit older (about 40+ years old) will almost always have:

  • Foundation issues (that darn Texas soil!)
  • Plumbing issues. Watch out for cast iron pipes!
  • Unforeseen electrical issues such as aluminum wiring without pigtails, old recalled electrical panels that are still in use (see Federal Pacific, Challenger & Zinsco electrical panel recalls), etc.
  • Often times need an entirely new roof (that darn Texas weather!)
  • Very old HVAC systems that don’t have much life left in them

Not to mention the actual remodeling/upgrading of the interior of the home that usually will be necessary for older homes. It seems overwhelming if you’ve never renovated or repaired a house before but you can always choose to hire local individual contractors or you can hire a local general contractor that specializes in house renovations. Have them note down potential issues and recommend possible repairs or upgrades to ensure you can sell the property for top dollar. But, if that sounds too exhausting then you can sell an inherited house “as is”. However, be aware that if you do sell a house “as is” that needs some repairs or upgrades you likely won’t get top dollar for the house, especially if the house requires extensive repairs, upgrades, or cleaning.

Here at North Texas Cash For Homes however, we will always give you a fair offer and help you get as much value from your inherited house as possible. We often times buy local houses in Dallas, repair and fix them up and either rent them out or sell them to another family looking for a great house.

If your house meets a few simple qualifications, we can buy your inherited house fast! How to sell a house you inherited?

You can fill out the form or pick up the phone and give us a ring anytime at 214-761-3150

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