Five Tips For Selling An Inherited Property

Five Tips For Selling An Inherited Property

The process of selling an inherited home is often more complex and lengthy than your typical real estate transaction. We have provided this brief guide to help you better understand some of the complexities. 

In addition to having to deal with the already stressful house selling process, more and more people are finding themselves having to navigate the wills and probate process. In light of this, we have collated a list of five expert tips to help anyone in this situation. 

He acknowledges that trying to sell a property even in normal circumstances can be overwhelming, but things get even more stressful when you are also dealing with the loss of a loved one. Due to the additional steps and intricacies involved when selling an inherited house, you need to ensure that you’re following all the right steps. 

He adds that even though the amount of paperwork significantly increases, various elements of selling a house remain the same. You need to ensure that the property looks as visually appealing as possible to lure in potential buyers and attract better prices. 

He recommends hiring a chartered surveyor to conduct a property survey. This will help to identify and fix any glaring issues that may put off buyers and degrade the value of your property. 

Now let’s take a look at this step-by-step advice…

1. The will

The first step when inheriting a property is ensuring that all legal matters are addressed and that the will has named the executor (the person who will be responsible for managing the deceased’s estate affairs) as well as the beneficiaries (the people to inherit the estate). 

Shared ownership can make things more complicated and intense when making these big decisions, however, the next step is to apply for a grant of probate from the Probate Registry. 

In case the will has named more than one executor, the probate application form provides advice and some guidance notes. In addition, the government has provided a guide on how to go about this process. 

2. Apply for probate

Probate officially grants the executor the power to administer the deceased’s estate. It gives them access to things like investments, bank accounts, and anything else associated with the property. 

It typically takes about six to eight weeks for the grant of probate to arrive. And depending on things such as the size of the estate, the finalized issues of inheritance and the estate can take anywhere from three to six months or longer. 

3. Seek expert help

To avoid all the stress and hassle of the probate process, you can consider hiring a solicitor. While you might be consulting with family members during the process, it’s always smart to cover yourself and minimize any potential conflicts. 

If you are already considering having some work on the property, it is wise that you get a chartered surveyor involved as soon as possible. Remember that you will also need to provide an accurate figure to the HMRC for probate purposes. 

4. Check your inheritance tax requirements

Estates worth more than £325,000 are required to pay a 40% inheritance tax, but there are some exceptions to this:

Properties passed on to the deceased’s spouse or civil partner, a community amateur sports club, or a charity aren’t subject to any inheritance tax. 

For properties left to children or grandchildren, the threshold is up to £475,000. This also applies even to adopted, foster, and stepchildren.

Just keep in mind that you may be required to pay capital gains on any profits made from the property. 

5. Prepare the home for sale

It is always advisable to appoint an agent to assist with the sale. An online estate agency is a great choice, with the same marketing opportunities as a traditional estate agent, but due to their minimal overheads, they operate for a lower, one-off fee. When selling a property, even an inherited property, it is always important to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Most buyers are looking for a good-looking property in good condition. While you might be uncomfortable making changes to your loved one’s home, it’s always a good idea to make necessary renovations and improvements to appeal to more buyers.

However, all this will depend on your specific situation and what your priorities are. If you are looking for a quick sale, some light touches may be worth the investment. This includes things like painting the property in neutral colors and replacing old carpeting with wooden floors.

Decluttering is another crucial step when preparing a property for sale. It is important for the buyers to visualize themselves living in the property. Additionally, ensure to let in as much natural light as possible. Also, don’t forget that the exterior of the property is the first thing that potential buyers will see. It will heavily influence how the buyer perceives your property. So, take the time and effort to power wash any paving, trim the lawn, tidy up the front and back gardens, and clean and polish the windows.


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