Inheriting a house comes with its own hurdles. Maybe the house stirs memories of past loved ones. Maybe the mortgage is still outstanding. Or maybe there are a number of issues with the home needing attention. All these problems are daunting enough on their own, but throw in multiple heirs all with their own agendas and you could be in for a huge headache.
The process of selling an inherited home is complex, so we’ve come up with some recommendations to make the process go smoothly. Keep reading to see the best methods for selling an inherited home with multiple owners!
Nominate a personal representative
While multiple heirs might have equal claims to the property, you’ll need to identify a spokesperson to be the named executor. This person will have the final say on all property decisions — from renovating the property as necessary to appoint a real estate agent.
Sometimes the deceased’s will may appoint an executor. If not, all heirs must nominate a personal representative. Typically, this person will be both emotionally and practically prepared for the responsibility, so talk this over with the other heirs to decide who’s best suited for the role.
Enlist the help of a mediator if needed
While selling a home with multiple heirs, opportunities for drama are endless. You never want to fight with your family, so if you’re worried there could be obstacles that could lead to unnecessary tension, hire a mediator.
When there are multiple beneficiaries, that means multiple opinions on the sale of the house, including renovations, the agent, price point, etc. Hiring a mediator can help resolve these disagreements before they elevate.
While your family may be close, there are numerous disagreements that could arise. Perhaps someone doesn’t want to sell for sentimental reasons. Perhaps someone else is only concerned with selling the property as fast as possible. Tackle these disputes before they arise by hiring a trusted mediator.
Open an estate account
Managing shared assets can be complicated, but you can make the process much smoother by opening a shared account. Your personal representative should handle this process in agreement with all the other heirs.
This account can be used to cover the deceased’s financial obligations that still need attention, including mortgage payments and property taxes, as well as proceeds from the home sale or any ongoing income from tenants or renters.
Find an agent experienced in probate sales
The real estate market is extremely favorable for sellers right now. Inventory is still low, while demand from buyers is high. While this will make your chances of selling favorably high, you’ll still need the help of an experienced real estate agent.
Probate real estate agents are tasked to net the family as much equity as possible, but — if you’re selling a property with history — a probate agent will also respect the emotional connection the heirs may have to the property. Homes have plenty of stories, and your real estate agent should present that to the world in the best possible light.
While selling an inherited house can be a daunting prospect, having a top agent on your side when you decide to sell can help make it even easier.