With boomers moving into the sunset of their lives in droves, more of us are facing the possibility of inheriting a home from our parents that we don’t intend living in. So while many never considered the possibility that they would need to find out the ins and outs of selling inherited property for a while if ever, it never hurts to learn the basics before you need to use them. In addition, with smaller families, it often comes down to one sibling that has to handle all the chores that come with that inheritance. Knowing what to expect can make that chore a bit easier.
If your parents did not move out of their home and into a retirement community, you may be looking at clearing out decades worth of living. For many this means hauling to the dump old furniture that has long lost any resale value, clearing out closets of clothing to donate and deciding what the children want to hang onto as a keepsake. Photos need to be sorted, and for some families, jewelry needs to be handed out according to their parent’s wishes. But the biggest chore before selling the family home may be simply getting it cleaned. This can be very emotional if the death is recent. The best approach may be to hire professional cleaners once the basics have been removed. If you are selling the home and the furniture and appliances are still in good shape, you may want to include them in the sale. But for now, cleaning is the first order of business.
Sell or Rent It Out?
Another option to look at if none of the children are interested in moving into the home is whether you want to rent it out and share the income. This has both pros and cons for it and all aspects of the tax liabilities and tax breaks your parents may have had as seniors should be considered. For this type of solution, a good lawyer is recommended to look into the legal liabilities of renting out the home.
Get a Good Appraisal
If you do decide to sell, take your time to get a good appraisal of the value of the home. If your parents have lived in it for a long time, you may be surprised to find out just how much it has accrued in value over that time. Do a walk through of the home, make sure everything you may possibly want to keep has been removed and make sure the price you are asking will cover all of your costs.
Whatever you decide to do when you inherit that home, take your time to make the decision that makes the most sense for you and your family. For some families, taking over the house for whoever has the most children and lives in the area makes the most sense. For a lone child who lives out of state, selling the home is not only the most practical choice, it is the easiest. Even if renting it out seems a good investment for the time, be sure that the choice is made from an informed point of view. Whether it is a condo in the city or a house and land in the country, the emotions attached always need to be considered when making that final decision about the family home.