When a loved one dies, the last thing on your mind is likely selling their house. However, in some cases, it may be necessary. This can be an extremely difficult process, but with the right information, it can be a little bit easier. Contacting an experienced real estate team should be your first step to obtain expert advice about what needs to happen in order to prepare the property for sale.
How does probate work?
Many people mistakenly believe inheriting property is as simple as listening to an official reading of a will. Real estate inherited via a will is usually subject to the long, complex probate process. And if the individual didn’t leave a will, then probate is pretty much a given.
Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims, and distributing the deceased person’s assets to their rightful heirs. The process can be lengthy and expensive, so it’s important to understand how it works before you find yourself in the middle of it.
While probate can be complex and confusing, understanding how it works can help you avoid some common pitfalls. If you find yourself in the middle of probate, make sure to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate through it.
What finances must you manage prior to the sale?
Along with the house, you inherit the property’s debt and ongoing bills. If you don’t remain on top of those finances this could further complicate the home sale process.
Here’s a basic list of accounts and bills to keep an eye out for when sorting through the financials related to the home of the deceased:
- Personal and property tax records
- Mortgage payment records
- Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
- Reverse mortgage statements
- Utilities (water, electricity, sanitation, etc.)
- Insurance policies
- Communication services (landline, cell phone, internet service, cable TV, etc.)
- Household service expense records (gardener, housekeeper, home healthcare, etc.)
- Homeowners association payment records
You also need to notify creditors of the death, and you may need to submit a copy of the death certificate(s) to these creditors, the credit bureaus, and the social security administration.
What will a title search uncover?
Sometimes, a deceased individual’s home will have liens or judgments attached to the property, such as taxes that are in arrears, a home equity line of credit, or a reverse mortgage, and in that case, you may need to run a full title search to identify and address those financial issues.
There are tax implications to consider when selling an inherited property.
Potential tax implications include capital gains and estate taxes, which can be quite expensive. Your real estate agent can help you understand some of these implications but it’s always important to speak with your attorney and tax professional before selling the home.
Cove Realty is here to help you through this difficult time.
Your Cove realtor will provide you with a market evaluation based on comparable homes to help you establish a fair sale price and help you understand the best practices to prepare the home to sell for the highest price or determine if selling “as is” would be a better option for your situation.
Once the home is ready to put on the market your realtor will take care of all of the marketing and tours, so your only required involvement is whether you would like to accept or reject offers. Your realtor will help negotiate a price and timeline for the closing that works best for you.
For over twenty years, Cove Realty has been helping buyers and sellers navigate the Kenosha County real estate market. We are honored to serve local families over and over through the happiest and most difficult times of life. Contact us today to experience the Cove Difference.