Often, siblings will inherit a family home after the death of a parent, grandparent or another loved one. Inheriting a home may be bittersweet news — and it can also be a headache during an already difficult time if everyone doesn’t agree on what should happen to the inherited property. There are a number of reasons why someone may not want to hold onto the home.
If some family members want to sell while others don’t, can a sibling force the sale of their inherited property?
The short answer is yes. However, before you get to that point, there are several considerations.
Ensure property taxes have been paid to current
Before making the decision on what to do with the inherited property, there are some things you may want to consider, like paying taxes. Whether you rent or live in the house, you will need to ensure property taxes are current. You and your siblings may want to have a discussion with a tax advisor on whether you may need to pay capital gains tax or an inheritance tax.
Determine how much the house is worth & what updates are required
Before proposing the idea of selling the home, it’s important to come to the table with verified research and data.
Your siblings will probably have a lot of questions and may also be emotional about the decision. Present them with the options: selling the home, renting it out, or if one sibling is eager to keep it in the family, they can buy out the rest of the family members.
To help all parties make an informed decision, it’s helpful to get a full account of the financial commitment involved in keeping the house.
You may first want to begin by requesting a new home appraisal to assist throughout the process. This will provide everyone with an idea of how much the house is worth to balance against the sentimental value, as well as get a full accounting on how much is left on the mortgage.
It’s also helpful to have a list of the necessary repairs or updates the house needs and cost estimates. This can help you and your family decide if you should make the repairs to sell it or rent it out for a higher price, or just leave it “as is.”
Besides the remaining balance on the mortgage, are there any other outstanding bills to account for? Are the property taxes paid for the current year? Are there any liens against the property or does the property have a clear title?
When you all can’t come to an agreement
It’s not always easy to find an agreeable solution for everyone. Rather than being stuck with a property you don’t want, the siblings can attempt to force the sale of an inherited property by filing a partition lawsuit.
After all, the home can’t be split evenly among the siblings like some other assets. A partition can be filed even if the majority of the benefactors want to keep the home.
Lawsuits can get complicated and be a financial and emotional strain to all parties involved. In addition to losing a family member, tensions may run high when navigating inherited properties.
On the bright side, a partition lawsuit can be settled outside of court. Those who do not want to keep the house can have their portion bought out by those who do, or if an agreement still cannot be made, the courts will probably opt to put the home on the market.
Three ways to sell your inherited home
If you and your siblings come to the agreement that selling the property is the best route to go, there are three ways to do it.
- Find a real estate agent. The first is to go through a real estate agent, who will list the home for you and bring in potential buyers to drum up interest. For their work, the buyer’s and seller’s agents will split the commission, typically 5 to 6 percent. Home sellers can also be responsible for closing costs, and closing can take 30 to 45 days, according to Rocket Mortgage.
- Sell the house on your own. You and your siblings may opt to sell the house on your own. However, that means you all will be responsible for listing the home, marketing it, handling showings, and managing the paperwork in the closing process.
- Sell the house to a home buying company. If you want to sell the house quickly without the hassle of hiring a real estate agent or selling it on your own, you have the option of selling it to a home buying company. When you go this route, you can sell the house “as is” without making any updates to it.
Benefits of selling your inherited home to a home buying company
With Meridian Trust, there are no additional expenses of fixing up the home. We also take out the stress of selling and take care of the closing costs.
For more than 15 years, Meridian Trust has purchased tens of thousands of houses, townhouses, condos, apartments, and multi-family units. Call us for a free, no-obligation property value analysis and to discuss if we’re able to make a cash offer.
To learn more, give Meridian Trust a call at (954) 807-9087.
Note: This guide is for informational purposes only. Meridian Trust does not make any guarantees about the sufficiency of the content in or linked to from this blog post or that it is compliant with current law. The content within this blog post is not a substitute for legal advice or legal services. You should not rely on this information for any purpose without consulting a licensed lawyer in your area.
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