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Can Heir Property Be Sold? Get the Facts Here

By The HomeGo Team On 2019-08-05

When your parents make the move to assisted living or you inherit a home because a loved one has passed away, you face a tremendous amount of stress and the need to decide what to do with the property.

This loss or major life change can strain you as well as your siblings or other family members who may also be heirs to the property. Emotions are high, especially if the home your selling is your childhood home and filled with memories, and making the decision about what to do isn’t easy.

Yet these decisions should be made quickly in order to maximize financial gain. Unfortunately, families are often unsure of what their options are when facing property inheritance.

You and your family members are forced to figure out a plan in a highly emotional state. Here’s a closer look at what you need to consider when considering selling a property with multiple heirs.

Who Owns the Home?

The first question to ask is who actually owns the home, especially if one parent survives the other. The two common ways a title can be held are joint tenants in common and joint tenants with survivorship.

Joint tenants in common set up the home’s ownership so that the owners share interests 50/50. If only one owner passes away, the other parent still owns 50 percent interest in the property.

Joint tenants with survivorship allow the surviving spouse to inherit 100 percent ownership in the property when the other spouse passes away.

If both parents have passed or the home has been legally turned over to heirs, consider whether or not there is a will in place.

Are all siblings named? Are other non-sibling individuals named? List out all interest holders who have a right to the property, because some may be more emotionally invested than others.

Do You Want to Sell?

Once you’ve identified the owners, determine as a group if you want to sell. You must ask some pertinent questions, like:

  • Can you afford to keep the home?
  • Who will be responsible for renovations, taxes, repairs, and mortgage costs?
  • How will you divvy out responsibilities if some siblings live out of state?
  • What will you do with the home? Options include selling, renting it out, or having one of the heirs live in it.

What If You Don’t Agree?

After listing out your options and answering these questions, you may find that you and your siblings or the other heirs do not agree on what is the best option. The high emotions make these discussions difficult. Consider hiring a mediator to help your group focus on facts.

If one or more of your siblings do not want to sell, consider offering a buyout. A buyout calculates the fair market value for the property, then divides the value by the number of heirs. Those who wish to keep the home pay off the one who wishes to sell for their portion of the property value.

Another option is a deed of trust. This transfers the title to a trustee and allows a sibling to force foreclosure if the other siblings keeping the house fall behind on their payment responsibility.

Finally, if one sibling is adamant that the home needs to be sold, a partition by sale can force the other siblings to sell. In this case, the home sells at a foreclosure auction, and the heirs divide the proceeds.

It involves going to court to force the sale. This process sells the home quickly but will result in a much lower sale price, often as much as two-thirds less than the home’s value.

Do You Want to Sell As-Is or Invest in the Property?

If you agree that you wish to sell, you must then determine how quickly you want to sell. If you take a lot of time to make this decision, you must continue paying the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and other costs for the home while you wait.

It also drags out the emotional burden surrounding selling a childhood home. If you’ve inherited a property with multiple heirs, selling quickly and moving on is often the best solution.

If you’re going to sell, will you use a realtor? Do you have time and money to invest before selling? What renovations or repairs does the home need?

These questions add even more for you and your siblings to agree on. Investing in the property often puts the burden of doing renovations on the sibling that lives closest to the home, because those who live out of state are not able to supervise the work.

HomeGo Can Help

A better option may be to sell the home as-is. This lets you get rid of the emotional and financial burden quickly so you can move on.

HomeGo offers same-day cash offers on homes in all conditions. Selling to HomeGo means no realtor fees, no need to repair or stage the home, and no unnecessary maintenance costs.

If your siblings or other heirs have agreed to part with the property and want a fast, fair way to sell the home, reach out to HomeGo for help today.

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