How To Deal With Inherited Property: To Sell Or To Keep?


For some people, instances come that they get a property into their ownership in an unexpected way and end up not knowing how to handle it. One of these instances is when a family member or a loved one who has passed away inherited you a property.

While having a property is an added asset for someone, handling it can be tough: it can be an additional burden for an individual thinking that he has another property to deal with. This scenario just gets tougher especially that getting a property from an inheritance also means that you are still coping from a loss.

You have two options when faced in such situation: keep or sell the property. But before you may even make a decision, you need to fix the legal aspects of the property and go through each phase step-by-step.

Get a legal advice
The first thing you must do is to have the property transferred your name, or in some cases, your name, together with the other family members whom you’ ll share the property with. There are varying legal processes depending on the state, having a lawyer or consulting the clerk of a court office would be helpful in streamlining the process for you.

One of the basic things you must know in this undertaking is that there is nothing to pay (such as taxes) when doing a transfer out of inheritance.

Visit the property
The next practical thing to do is to visit the property, of course. This is most especially true in cases that you as the recipient of the property, haven’t seen the house itself. Inherited properties tend to have a run down state and would need a good amount of repairs.

Taking a good inspection of the property may also help you decide whether you would want to keep it or sell it.

Talk among your family members
In cases when the property is shared among siblings, or other family members, varying opinions will arise with what they want to do with the property – some would want to sell it right away, some would want to keep it, or some would like to take time to decide.

Voicing out each person’s opinion is a healthy process in coming into a conclusion. So, it’s good to find time and have a discussion and exchange of thoughts to be able to get the most ideal solution and avoid a possible lawsuit, which would lead to a forced sale of the property.

If there’s one or two who wants to keep the property and others would like to sell, an option would be to hand over the property as his share, while those who would like to sell it can have stocks and bonds as their share.

Look into the mortgage of the property
There are also some legal and/or financial aspects you would need to consider while making a negotiation amongst your family members such as the property’s mortgage, taxes and insurance.

Look into the status of the mortgage and if there are liens on the property. Check the payment of the taxes as well.

When selling an inherited property, a stepped-up basis is ideal for the new owner to save taxes. A property that’s in a stepped-up basis is one that’s re-valued during the death of the original owner, which means, if sold as the same price as its new value will exempt you from taxes.

Get an appraisal
If you’ve finally decided to sell your home, getting an appraisal is the next step. This will help you to get a birds eyeview of how much you can get from the property. You can do this by getting help from real estate counsellors and let them give you a solution based on your needs on the desired price and on how fast you want the property to be sold. Usually, having experts in the real estate industry helps avoid any family feud within the family, as they can suggest a solution that’s beneficial to most, if not all.

In addition to the appraisal, also ask the real estate consultant on the kinds of improvements that needs to be done with the property to help in selling it faster.

Once you get the appraisal and figure out the costs of any repairs or improvements to be done, talk amongst your family members or co-beneficiaries as to the amount of the lowest bid you are willing to take.

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