Inheriting a home from a loved one can be a wonderful gift or a challenging inconvenience, depending on your individual circumstances and what you plan to do with the home. Many times, families will move into an inherited home and sell their own properties that they’ve been living in. In other cases, those who inherit a home will hold an estate sale to sell off unneeded items and then sell the property itself.
If you won’t be moving into the property and don’t desire to or are unable to rent the property, selling the home is an option. In this guide, you’ll find resources and information on selling an inherited home while avoiding the usual pitfalls and hassles that accompany the process.
Selling a home that you’ve inherited from a loved one can be an emotional process, so the last thing you need to make it even more difficult are avoidable obstacles that waste time, cost money, and add to your frustration.
Pricing an inherited home to sell is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, and it hinges on many factors, such as whether there is an existing mortgage on the property that must be paid off, whether the proceeds from the sale will be used to pay off other remaining debts, and of course, the current real estate market conditions. The following tips and resources will help you – along with the help of your real estate agent – determine the best listing price for your inherited home and negotiate with buyers to get the most out of the property.
Pricing Your Inherited Home
Don’t expect to get your asking price. Most people selling a home base the listing price on comparable properties that have sold recently, but depending on market conditions (whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market), offers may be tens of thousands of dollars below your asking price. Ultimately, the negotiation process determines the final selling price, so choosing a real estate agent who will advocate for you and negotiate on your behalf is important.
Don’t price the property too high. Ideally, you want to list the property at a realistic price – but at a higher price than you’re willing to settle for. A high or unrealistic listing price turns prospective buyers away, while a lower, more reasonable price can attract buyers. A low listing price is sometimes even used as a strategic move to attract a multitude of buyers who may then enter a bidding war, meaning the seller ends up with a higher sale price at the end of the day. Price it low enough that it’s attractive to prospective buyers but high enough that you have room to negotiate.
At the same time, don’t settle for less than the property is worth. Buyers want to get a home for the lowest possible price, while sellers naturally want to get the maximum price for the property. This is particularly true when the home is an inherited property that was once a family home where the sellers have many childhood memories. This is why offers are sometimes countered and buyers and sellers end up agreeing on a final sale price somewhere in between the two extremes.
Don’t be too eager to make concessions. Often, offers from potential buyers will ask for a lower selling price, seller assistance with closing costs, or even funds placed in escrow for certain repairs or improvements.
Don’t accept the first offer you receive. Unless you’re lucky enough to get a full-price offer on the property (in a hot seller’s market, this can happen if the property and price are right), don’t be too hasty in accepting the first offer you receive. In most cases, buyers will make an initial offer that is less than what they’re actually willing to pay and below – sometimes tens of thousands of dollars below – the listing price.
Educate yourself on the negotiation tactics buyers tend to use and decide what you will and will not compromise. If you’re prepared with the knowledge of what to expect from buyers and already know what you’re willing to compromise and on what you intend to stand firm, you’re better equipped to make counteroffers and clearly convey your expectations. It will also be easier to walk away from a deal that doesn’t meet your needs.
If you are looking into selling a probate home for cash, contact an expert member of the St. Louis Realty Advisor team today at 314-326-4900.