Selling Your Parents' Home After They Pass Away: Take it Step by Step
Updated: May 18
The passing of a loved one is a difficult time for everyone involved, and dealing with the legal and financial aspects of their estate can be overwhelming. One of the most significant assets that many people leave behind is their home. Selling a parent's house after their death can be a complicated and emotional process, but it's essential to take it one step at a time.
In this blog, we will explore some key considerations for selling a parent's home after their death. We'll cover topics such as how to transfer property after the death of a parent with a will, siblings' rights after a parent's death, and how long you have to transfer property after death.
Determine Who Has the Legal Right to Sell the House
The first step in selling a parent's house after their death is to determine who has the legal right to sell the property.
If the parent had a will, the executor of the will is usually the one responsible for managing the deceased's assets, including selling their home.
If the parent did not have a will, the process can become more complicated.
If you go through probate, the court will appoint an administrator to manage the deceased's assets, including their home.
You may also be able to sell the house according to intestate succession laws and avoid probate.
Also Read: Can You Sell an Inherited Property Without Probate?
Decide Whether to Sell or Keep the House
Once you have established who has the legal right to sell the house, the next step is to decide whether to sell or keep the property.
This decision can be influenced by a range of factors, such as the financial situation of the estate, the condition of the home, and the preferences of family members.
If the home is in good condition and located in a desirable area, selling it may be the best option.
However, if the property needs significant repairs or renovations, it may be more cost-effective to keep the home and make the necessary improvements. You may also consider selling the house as-is to companies that buy houses in any condition.
Additionally, if the home holds sentimental value for the family, it may be worth keeping the property for sentimental reasons.
Prepare the Property for Sale
Before selling the house, it's important to prepare it for sale. This may involve making repairs, decluttering, and staging the home to showcase its best features.
If the property is in poor condition or needs significant repairs, you may need to hire a contractor or handyman to make the necessary improvements.
This can be costly, but it's often necessary to ensure that the property is marketable and that you receive the highest price possible for the home.
Negotiate the Sale and Close the Deal
Once you have found a potential buyer, the next step is to negotiate the sale. This involves agreeing on a price and any other terms of the sale, such as the closing date and any contingencies.
It's important to work closely with a title company to ensure that all legal requirements are being met. This can include obtaining all paperwork necessary and ensuring that all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Once the sale has been agreed upon, the final step is to close the deal. This involves transferring ownership of the property to the new owner and receiving payment for the sale.
This process can take a couple of weeks or even several months, depending on the complexity of the transaction and any legal requirements that need to be met.
Also Read: Should You Sell or Keep an Inherited House?
Sibling's Rights After Parents' Death
In some cases, siblings may have a legal right to the parent's home after their death. This can depend on a range of factors, such as whether the parent had a will and how the property was titled.
If the parent had a will, the document should specify how the property is to be distributed. In many cases, the property may be divided equally among all siblings. However, if the parent had specific wishes for how the property should be distributed, these wishes should be outlined in the will.
If the parent did not have a will, the process can become more complicated. In this case, the court will appoint an administrator to manage the deceased's assets and distribute them according to state law. The rules for distribution can vary depending on the state, but in many cases, the property may be divided equally among all surviving siblings.
It's important to work with a company experienced in buying inherited houses to determine the legal rights and responsibilities of siblings after a parent's death. They can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that all parties are treated fairly.
How to Transfer Property After Death of Parent with Will
If a parent has a will, the process of transferring property after their death can be relatively straightforward. The will should specify how the property is to be distributed and who is responsible for managing the estate.
In many cases, the will may name an executor who is responsible for managing the estate and distributing assets, including the parent's home.
If the executor decides to probate the will, the will need to work with an attorney to ensure that all legal requirements are met, such as obtaining any necessary approvals or permits and paying any outstanding debts or taxes.
Once all legal requirements have been met, the executor can transfer ownership of the property to the designated beneficiaries. This process can involve signing legal documents and filing them with the appropriate government agencies.
If the parent did not have a will, you will need to follow your state's intestate succession laws.
How Long Do You Have to Transfer Property After Death?
The timeline for transferring property after a parent's death can vary depending on a range of factors, such as whether the parent had a will, how complex the estate is, and whether there are any legal disputes among family members.
In general, the process can take a couple of weeks to several months or even longer, especially if there are legal disputes or other complications.
Overall, the process of selling a parent's home after their death can be complex and challenging, but with the right support and guidance, you can ensure that the process is handled effectively and that all parties are satisfied with the outcome.