Selling an Inherited House

Did you inherit a house?  Are you the executor of an estate and trying to get through the probate process?

Dealing with real estate as part of a probate or inheritance provides many challenges during a difficult time. As much as you may want to keep an inherited house, sometimes you may be forced to consider putting it up for sale. Not only can this be an emotionally difficult time, but the house will add challenges to you and your family; dealing with home ownership costs, cleaning it out, and still keeping on with the normal life… it all adds up to stress and can be expensive.  When real estate is involved in probate or as an inheritance, you will need to get help in making good choices.


Here is what we have heard from other people who want to sell an inherited house and have gone through the exact thing you are going through.  How would you answer our questions?

The bills keep coming in on top of my normal bills… I can’t afford it all

Don’t forget that a new house comes with utility bills, property taxes, Maintenance and Grass Cutting, and Property Insurance.  Make sure to get the proper insurance because most policies will not cover a vacant home.  You may be paying for something that won’t cover the house if something goes wrong.  Are you able to cover your own bills and the bills for the house?


I don’t have the money and time to make repairs, list the house and wait for it to sell

If the inherited house has deferred repairs, or has not been updated in a while, it can be really expensive to get the house ready for market.  It takes time to clean out a house, then get it updated, then list and wait for the right seller.  If you skip one of the steps, it just delays the sales time if it will sell at all.  Not only do the repairs cost money, but it also costs to hold and maintain a house.  Do you have the time and money to go through this process?


I worry about my vacant house being vandalized,  having copper stolen, or squatters moving in.

This is a very real concern.  Especially considering that your property insurance may or may not be covering the house now that it is vacant.  I have visited countless houses that looked OK on the outside, but when you go inside, there are holes int he walls, and the wiring and copper pipes were ripped out of the house.  Any new light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and kitchen appliances are also at risk if someone decides to break in.  Do you have someone that can stay in the house or watch the house closely?


I need the Cash more than I need the House

Receiving the gift of an inherited house is a blessing if you need to live in the house or you plan on renting it out.  Otherwise, it makes good sense to sell the house and get the money out of it.  Selling a house on the traditional market almost always requires upgrades, and you will want to fix the big items.  Fixing up a house will cost: Money, Time, and Energy.  Do you have resources to spare for a little while?


If you answered “yes” to these questions, then I would encourage you to find a good Real Estate Agent that can work with you on ideas for getting the house ready for market and helping you list and sell the house when you are ready to do so.  If you need referrals, just contact us and we will give you a few names of people we have worked with before.


But if you find yourself saying:

I don’t have time to take on one more thing… 

Let Us Help

We understand these burdens, and we make it our goal to help relieve the stress and uncertainty in selling a house.

1. We will buy the house in any condition (as-is).  You don’t need to repair or update anything. If you don’t want to clean anything, or deal with the “things” that are left, we will take care of it.

2. We will pay all closing fees

3. You do not pay any commissions… we are a direct buyer and there is no need to get and pay for real estate agents to find a buyer.

4. You get control of the process.  Close when you want to close… take the time you need or sell it quickly.  Choose how you want to get paid…sell the house and receive a cash payment, or receive monthly income from it without having to deal with tenants and upkeep.



Additional Questions to Consider:

1. Who all needs to decide on the sale of the house?

2. Are you still in probate, and if so, what process do you need to go through?

3. Repairs?  What needs fixed up to sell, how much will it cost, and how much time will it take?

4. How much time will you or can you spend on the house?

5. What will you do with the things still in the house?


Cleaning Out an Inherited House

Cleaning out the house an sorting through belongings is often the hardest part of the process.  It is emotional, and there are many small and large decisions that need to be made.


Caution: This is usually where the process slows down and a year can go by before you know it.

If you don’t want to deal with the “things” or the process is too difficult, please let us know.  We can add an option to clean out the house as part of our service to you and your family.  Once you have the things out of the house that you and the family want to keep, leave the rest to us. We will donate everything we can to local non-profits and charities, and we will discard the rest for you.


Owner Finance Option: Turn an Inherited House into Monthly Cash Flow

When you have a house that is paid off, you have a great opportunity to no only sell a house, but to get interest on the sales price and get a monthly check.  It is low risk because it is backed up by the house itself (you can always get it back). Turn your inherited house into a blessing that can give to you every month.

Sell an Inherited House: Owner Finance OptionHow it works:

Mortgage – you are the “bank”

Monthly payment includes interest.  The interest over the life of the loan increases the amount of money you make on the sale of the house

This is your best option, and it is our preferred method of buying a house.

  • It allows us to give you more money over time (interest payments),
  • We can usually offer more on the house, and
  • We would rather send you payments than a bank or some other person that did not have a stake in the house.

Important Requirement: We require that the house is paid off (no loans or leans).  If there is a loan or lean, it would need to be paid first, then any remaining amount could be owner financed.  If paying off the loan is not an option, we can explore taking over payments, but this adds risk to everyone and we avoid it as much as we can.

Selling a House in Probate

When yous ell a house as part of the probate process, be prepared for the process to take longer that you may want.  There are court papers, appraisals, and a couple of different court appointments.  If you would like to sell the house out of Probate, make sure that you have completed the following steps:

  1. You have the completed property appraisal
  2. Obtain the petition from the court to go ahead and start selling the property

Read more about this in our blog post: Can a house be sold while in probate?


More Reading:

We are Real Estate Investors.  We buy houses, but we also advise our clients on the options that they may have.  You have a lot of difficult decisions to make and we want help you discover the information you need to make a smart informed decision.

In short…

No matter the condition of your house – your situation – or time-frame…

Our goal is to help make your life easier and to get out from under that property that’s stressing you out… while still paying a fast, fair, and honest price for your house.

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Watts Buys Houses is a family owned business.  We buy houses in as-in condition and seek to help homeowners out of difficult real estate problems.  Read more  about our values and goals, or contact us with any questions.  We are on your side and we will work together to find you a good solution to your inherited house.