Have you inherited a house and not sure what to do with it? If you don’t want to spend the next 50 weekends swinging a hammer and updating it yourself, you have two primary options: Sell it directly to a cash buyer, or list it with a real estate agent. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Selling your house to a cash buyer is easier, but you won’t be sure you are getting the highest amount. Listing with an agent might bring a higher offer, but it will probably take longer and you will pay both the listing agent and buyer’s agent from your proceeds. That being said, should you sell your house to a cash buyer or list with an agent?

What is the house’s condition?

Most inherited houses have deferred maintenance and need to be updated. If, however, the house is in good enough condition that a buyer could get financing and be happy, you should probably list it and let your agent market it to the highest amount of buyers. If it’s in good condition, the additional amount you’ll get on the market will probably exceed the agent commissions. However, if the house needs work, it will be a cash buyer who most likely buys it on the market. It might then make sense to sell to a cash buyer who will add value to the house through a remodel. By selling your house directly to a cash buyer, you can avoid the hassle and costs of listing with an agent.

How Much Time Do You Have to Deal With It?

Selling a house to an investor with cash is pretty easy and fast. They can typically close within a week and you don’t even have to clean anything up. A cash buyer usually does all the cleanout and can even help solve probate issues that might come up. While an agent will handle a lot of the work that comes with listing a house, you’ll still have to deal with negotiating offers, inspections, and the time it takes to go through the process. Many market contracts fall through due to inspections. That can significantly increase the cycle time of selling a house. Don’t forget to count the costs of holding the house for a few months while it goes through the process.

Do You Care What Happens to the House?

For many families who have inherited property, it’s not just a house. It’s the centerpiece of your family’s story. You might care if the buyer is going to invest in the house or simply turn it into a cheap rental property.  If it’s in good condition, it will probably become another family’s home where they raise their children. If it’s in poor condition, it will likely be purchased by a cash buyer who flips homes who will invest in it or a landlord who might rent it with the least amount of work possible. There’s also a chance the market buyer will be a landlord who will put in the least amount possible. By choosing a real estate investor who will invest tens of thousands of dollars into a remodel, you will know the house will be preserved and enjoyed by families for years to come.

Final Decision: Should you sell to a Cash Buyer? Or a dedicated Real Estate Agent?

Inheriting a house can be emotionally and financially stressful. Answer these questions honestly, and then decide whether you should find a quality agent or cash buyer, depending on your particular situation.

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