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Did You Inherit a House? What To Do Next

Avatar Josh Stech

You’ve inherited a house and you’re wondering what to do next. Maybe your parents passed and now the home is legally yours. But while you’re grieving and trying to sort everything out you hardly have time to think about what needs to be done with the house. We’ve got you covered.

1. Update paperwork

The first step you should take is to update the paperwork related to the house. That means updating the homeowner’s insurance policy, contacting the utility company to put it in your name, etc. You don’t want the insurance coverage to lapse and you want to make sure the utilities stay on and that bills are paid. Some things to update:

  • Homeowner’s policy
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Property tax payments

Making sure all of that is covered can help move things along. When you update the home-related paperwork and put everything in your name, you can help build the foundation for everything else.

2. Have a plan for belongings

The house you have inherited is likely filled with stuff that is not yours. You likely don’t want to keep all of it so you want to create a plan regarding what to do. You can have these categories:

  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Sell
  • Trash

If there are siblings involved, make sure everyone has a say on what stays and goes. Try to avoid any conflict and come up with a plan together.

Whatever you don’t keep, you can donate to charity or sell it in an estate sale. If it’s unsalvageable, you can toss it.

While this step can be hard, especially if a death is involved, it’s better to take action than to leave the house stuck in time.

3. Keep up appearances

You don’t want the home to deteriorate too much or make it seem like no one is taking care of it. Too often homes can go without care and they go into disarray quickly. On top of that, once homes reach a certain level you could be at risk for squatters or vandals. Keep up the appearance of the home and don’t leave it abandoned for too long.

4. Love it or list it

Inheriting a home can be a huge responsibility. You want to decide whether you want to move into the home, rent it out or sell it. Let’s review some things you should consider.

Moving in

If you decide to move in, you’ll want to schedule an inspection to see the quality of the home and be aware of any issues. If something needs to be repaired, evaluate costs and urgency. Also, an important thing to note is that if siblings are joint owners, they’ll have to sign off and approve what to do with it too.

Renting

Renting your inherited home can be a great additional source of income. But beware, suddenly becoming a landlord can be difficult. You will have to deal with the tenant and if things go awry you could deal with eviction or paying for damages. You also want to check with any local ordinances and rules about renting. If you’re considering making it a vacation home, you can become like a hotel manager putting out fires. It could end up being a lot of work.

Selling

You won’t pay capital gains tax on any increase in the home’s value during the deceased owner’s lifetime, only on any increase in value between the time of inheritance and when you sell it.

When it comes time to sell your home, there are typically two paths to take. A new option is now on the market too, that you might want to check out.

The first option is to work with a realtor to list the property. This could be a good option if the house is market ready and in good condition. However, you want to evaluate commission fees which could eat up six percent of your profit. On top of that, realtors may be inexperienced and not score you the best deal.

Additionally, the house may be out of date and need a lot of repairs. If you leave things as-is, the home can be on the market for a long time.

The second option, if your home is not market ready, is to sell your house as-is for cash. You know the signs “buy homes in cash”. The thing is many of these investors can be ruthless and won’t get you the best deal, while they make a profit.

If neither of these options sound great there’s another option in town. Sundae. We started our company to help homeowners who want to sell their house as-is and don’t want to feel scammed or robbed out of a profit. We will offer you the highest price, guaranteed. We also offer $10,000 in cash advances to help facilitate the process. We’re here to help you through the process so you can make the best decision for you.

Have any questions? Get in touch!

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Should You Use a Realtor to Sell Your House? Think Again

There’s no shortage of realtors to work with. In fact, there are 2 million realtors out there and in 2017, 5.51M existing homes were sold according to the National Association of Realtors. As noted above though, by and large, many realtors have no transactions to show. And the ones that do? They’re making good money, typically at the seller’s expense.