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Selling an Inherited House
Did you inherit a home that you’re now thinking about selling? While an inherited property can be a wonderful gift from a loved one who has passed on, it can also be a costly burden. Often selling it makes sense and allows you to use the gifted equity for some other purpose. But you may not find it so easy to sell an inherited property, especially if it needs a lot of work. Here are some tips, along with a few stories about other home sellers who have been in your shoes.
How To Price Your Inherited House For Sale In The Metro Washington DC Area
Tip #1: Price To Sell Quickly
Some people price their inherited property at an amount they think the market might pay for the house. However, there are many factors that go into this price and one of the biggest considerations is how fast do you want to sell? Selling through an agent “on the market” can take months. Plus you’ll have to pay for the house expenses and maintain the property the entire time. That can be costly and can eat into your profits.
Many property owners quickly learn that they might be better off pricing their house slightly lower to get a faster sale. They might get less for the house from the sale price, but they also pay less for repairs and carrying costs, as well as in effort and time. Ultimately it’s a trade-off that might turn out to be equal in the end.
Sell Inherited House In Virginia
Martin from Springfield called in one afternoon in mid-August to inquire about selling his daughter’s house. She had passed away and left him her 5-bedroom, 2.5-bath house in Burke, Virginia. The house just needed minor updates, such as paint, hardware and fixtures, landscaping and some deck repair, but Martin didn’t want to take the time or invest the effort in selling it through a conventional sale. He wanted to sell an inherited house quickly, relieve himself of the emotional burden and take his young granddaughter on an extended trip abroad.
On that phone call, our home buying specialist Matt, explained Express Homebuyers’ easy, three-step process, asked Martin some questions about the condition of the property and set an appointment to come out to the house.
When Matt visited him at the property, he learned Martin’s daughter – his only child and a young mother – had lost a long battle with cancer the previous week. The funeral had been only the day before. Martin and his wife were now responsible for raising his 4-year old granddaughter. He couldn’t bear to do anything with this home other than sell it and move on with his life.
The entire meeting was very emotional for both Martin and Matt, as on top of sharing the information about his daughter’s passing, Martin revealed that his father and his father-in-law had also died within the past several weeks. He was exceptionally grief-stricken.
Martin and Matt agreed on a fair purchase price for the property. Matt went over the offer agreement and answered all of Martin’s questions.
Before closing, Martin arranged for his daughter’s closest friends go through everything and take what they wanted from the home. Because Express Homebuyers buys houses as-is, he was able to then leave everything else he or they didn’t want in the house. Martin was extremely grateful for Matt and Express Homebuyers’ sensitivity and ability to close within three weeks of his first phone call. He said he couldn’t have asked for a better experience, especially considering the circumstances.
Tip #2: Avoid Pricing Based On Fond Memories Or Emotion
One of the biggest challenges property owners of inherited houses face when trying to price their house for sale is separating the happy memories from the true value of the house. The house might be worth a certain amount on the market but you may have such fond memories of growing up in the house or of happy times in the house that you unconsciously use that emotion to increase the price. (This is VERY common.)
How To Price Your Inherited House For Sale In The Metro Washington DC Area
A better approach would be to work with a real estate company and find out what they can offer you. Recognize the price might be lower than you were expecting – not because the house isn’t worth as much – but because your wonderful memories have unintentionally inflated the price!
Josh and Steven had recently inherited their childhood home in Sterling, Virginia after their parents passed. Because it had sentimental value, they pooled funds and did everything they could to keep the house in good shape. Unfortunately, the home sat vacant over the years and eventually fell into disrepair, as they no longer had the money to continue the necessary maintenance. It was time to finally sell their vacant inherited property.
After seeing one of our television commercials, they decided it would be a good idea to get in contact and see if we could buy the inherited house in Sterling, Virginia. During the call, they explained that they were unable to perform any more renovations and were tired of paying property taxes on a vacant home that no one was able to live in anyway. After hearing them out, we gave them our initial ballpark offer and they decided to move forward.
One of our homebuying specialists met with them at the home a few days later and walked through the property. Upon inspection, it was even worse than they had described. Extensive damage to the roof would need to be repaired before the house would be safe for anyone to live in, and the majority of the inside was badly worn. It was obvious the home would actually have to be gutted and completely redone.
Josh and Steven were worried that this meant even more money out of their pockets. But, luckily for them, we have the ability to buy homes as-is and make all of the necessary repairs and renovations. They wouldn’t have to worry about any of it. They were pleased about this fact and wanted to close the deal. After quickly obtained the title to the house, we were able to close within two weeks of the meeting. The brothers were extremely happy with the offer and the ease of the whole transaction.
Inheriting A Home Can Be A Blessing Or A Curse
Tip #3: Build In Discounts For RepairsIf you inherited the house from a loved one who had lived in the property for many years, you might find the property needs some updating. Often inherited houses need massive repairs, as Josh and Steven learned. You could choose to do this work yourself and then ask for a higher price, but why spend that much money, time and effort (including what you’d have to pay for equipment, supplies, or a contractor)? Instead you can just ask for less and give a “repair discount.” That way you avoid the hassle and headaches of the doing or managing the work, and you still come out the same financially.
Selling An Inherited House Doesn’t Need To Be A Nightmare
Over the summer, Juanita and her three brothers inherited a house on Regency Court in the Belmont subdivision in Woodbridge, Virginia. While the 2,300 square foot property had been in their family for more than 50 years, it hadn’t been well maintained and now needed significant repairs. Although the house held wonderful memories for them, none of the siblings wanted to live there now, as they all already owned their own homes around the Washington, DC area. And neither Juanita nor her brothers was in a position to fund the extensive repair work necessary to restore the home to its original mid-century, 7-bedroom splendor.
That’s when an Express Homebuyers TV commercial caught her eye. She called to find out about selling an inherited house in Virginia, spoke with Tom and scheduled an appointment for him to come take a look at the home a few days later. Once there, Tom confirmed that yes, the house did need massive rehabilitation; the turquoise kitchen appliances were circa 1960 and didn’t even function completely. The toilet in one of the three pink tiled bathrooms was missing and the back deck was somewhat of a hazard. But that wasn’t a problem for Express Homebuyers because they make selling an inherited house in Woodbridge, Virginia easy, regardless of condition, and Tom made her an offer on the spot.
Juanita discussed the proposal with her brothers, who were not convinced that this was the best course of action. They wanted to look into other options. However, several weeks later, they conceded that holding on to the property any longer was more of a hassle than it was worth. They agreed on a price, signed a purchase agreement and Express Homebuyers bought the house without any issues within two and a half weeks. Juanita and her brothers were relieved to be able to sell this inherited house easily, keep their good memories of it and move on with their lives.
Sell Inherited House In Maryland
Following the passing of his brother, John inherited a two-bedroom house on Briarcliff Terrace in Germantown, MD. This condo was an hour away from where John lived. The father of two active kids, John didn’t have the time or energy to take on the added responsibility of managing the property. He had searched online for companies that buy inherited homes and come across an article in which Express Homebuyers was mentioned.
During his first conversation with Homebuying Specialist Andrew, John explained that the condo needed work. He also expressed he was not interested in becoming the property manager. Currently he was checking on the property once a week and the responsibility was beginning to wear on him. John and his parents were looking for an option that would allow them to sell the condo for a fair price. Andrew made him an offer over the phone and then set up a time to come see the property the following week.
The condo had been built in the early 1990’s and John’s brother had lived in the home for 16 years. Now the two bedroom, two bath unit needed significant renovations to get it in good selling condition. The double-paned windows needed replacing. The central air and heating unit was due for service. In the kitchen, the appliances and vinyl flooring required updating. The fridge and dishwasher were original from when the condo was built. Both bathrooms required complete renovation. And lastly, the carpet throughout needed replacing. It was a long list of repairs.
John wanted to sell the property fast and move on. After seeing the home and despite all the needed work, Andrew revised his offer and was actually able to offer John a bit more than his original price. John discussed the offer with his parents and signed the agreement. On John’s schedule, three weeks later, we closed on the sale.
For John, selling an inherited house in Maryland was simple and fast. The process can be just as hassle-free for you too, even if your house isn’t in Maryland. We buy houses throughout the DC Metro area.
Many people who inherit a house don’t need an additional home, don’t have the means to rent it out, or don’t have the resources needed to take care of it. Furthermore, if the home isn’t pristine, it can sit listed for a long time and might not sell at all. What can you do in this situation? Turn to Express Homebuyers. We’ve purchased more than 2,000 homes in the Tri-State area (Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC), and have more than 10 years of experience doing so. We also have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and can even give you a cash advance to help you with bills or a down payment if necessary! So if you want to sell your inherited home fast – in as few as 7 days – then contact Express Homebuyers now to get started!