Most times, inherited property often finds itself getting tacked on to the end of not-so-good news. And this is particularly so before things simmer down and you are left to deal with the property.
At the end of the day, the decision most of us come up with is to retain the property.
Sometimes, or rather, in most cases, that decision is mostly fueled by emotion as we are reluctant to surrender it to outsiders who have no idea the memories our home holds. Other times, we are unsure if selling the property would have been what our parents would have wanted us to do with it. Assuming, of course, the issue never came up in the discussions.
In truth though, inherited property can be costly, both emotionally and financially.
While relinquishing a house whose memories date back three or more decades back can be a very emotional decision, sometimes it’s in our best interests. In life, we need to cut the ties that bind us to our past in order to move on. And grow.
Moreover, it can be draining on the financial aspect when you factor in property taxes and things like periodic maintenance costs, or even mortgage payments in the event the latter still exists and needs to be paid off.
I’m not playing inspirational deacon today, so I’ll focus more on the real estate selling side of things as opposed to emotional.
Pricing an Inherited Home
Now, assuming you are done going through the probate motions and the home is now lawfully in your hands, what are some of the things you need to factor in after making the decision to sell the probate property?
Below, three tips to keep in mind.
#1 Price Quick to Sell
Inexperience in selling property is a common Achilles heel we often encounter from people looking to sell inherited property. There is an inclination to price the home at an amount the homeowner thinks the market would shell out.
What is lost on them is that a lot goes into determining this price, including: how fast you want to dispose of the property, if there is an existing mortgage, whether you have debts you need to settle with the proceeds from the sale, not to forget the existing real market conditions.
Do yourself the big favor of being flexible in your asking price as you may not always get it, unless you are lucky to find yourself in a seller’s market (as opposed to a buyer’s) when house prices generally tend to be higher (good news for the seller). Otherwise, ‘waiting out’ the market can sometimes lower your property value, something most sellers often overlook.
Ultimately though, enlisting a real estate agent to advocate and negotiate on your behalf can have an impact on the final selling price. Unless, of course, you are happy to take an offer in the realms of what you had in mind.
#2 Avoid Pricing based on Emotion
Another chink in the armor for most property owners when selling inherited property is that they find it hard to separate the happy memories from the true value of the house.
Memories are not bad at all, especially if they are wonderful memories. But they may, as they often tend to, cloud your judgment. The actual market price may be worth a certain amount at a particular time but because you have such fond memories of the house, you find yourself mistakenly hiking the price. Actually, this is something that happens quite frequently.
To set a realistic selling price, it would perhaps be a good idea to consult a certified local realtor to find out how much the property is actually worth. They might do a good job in helping you tame your expectations.
#3 Factor in Discounts for Repairs
In some cases, inheriting property may necessitate you to carry out some repair works prior to putting it on the market.
In such a case, you could take either of two options.
You could take it upon yourself to incur the expenses which you can then factor in to the selling price. Or you can decide to save yourself the time and effort (and the upfront costs associated with a contractor, supplies and equipment), and quote a lower selling price. Sort of like offering a repair discount, yes.
Think this through with the help of actual figures as it could have a huge bearing on the final amount you manage to cash in.
As we said earlier, an inherited house can be work if you are looking to sell it. Work.
If you need any guidance on how to sell or price your inherited home in Chicago, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
It’s what we are here for.