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Your First Step after Inheriting a House and What Comes Next

Inheriting a house can be overwhelming.

Maybe you were expecting it. Perhaps it was out of the blue. It could be you just weren’t prepared to deal with the circumstances that led you to this point—let alone figure out what to do with a piece of property. 

When you’re dealing with an inheritance, there are tasks you need to do right away and other activities that could be put on hold if necessary. However, the longer you delay, the more your inherited home is going to cost you.

Here’s a look at what you need to do immediately after inheriting a house, as well as the decisions you’ll have to make down the road.

What Should I Do First after Inheriting a House?

Your first move is to assess the home’s condition and take care of it. You need to contact the insurance company to update the homeowner’s policy and possibly do some comparison shopping with competitors. 

You should put all of the utilities in your name, cancel any services that aren’t needed, and keep paying the bills. You need to make sure the property taxes and mortgage continue to be paid. If there is yard work to be done, you should arrange for maintenance at least in the short term.

Your main objective is to keep the lights on and not let anything lapse or go into default because you’re in limbo on what to do with the property. However, if you are in a situation where you cannot take care of these details, a cash buyer can quickly take the home off your hands.

What’s My Next Step after Inheriting a House?

When you’re ready for step two, take inventory of the contents in the house. If you are the sole inheritor, what you do with the personal items is entirely up to you. But if you’re part of a group of siblings, for example, you must decide how to manage the belongings. 

One option is each person takes a turn picking out an item to keep and continue that process until everything is accounted for or no one wants anything else. You could sell the remaining belongings in an estate sale and split the money. If there are still things left, you can donate them to charity or throw them away if they’re not in good shape.

Warning: This part can be hard. You may not want to take this step right away (or ever), but keep in mind that putting it off will prevent you from moving on to the next stage. If you do not want to go through the house and sort the belongings, a cash buyer will accept the house as-is, contents and all. 

Your First Step after Inheriting a House and What Comes Next

What’s the Third Move after Inheriting a House?

Now it’s decision time. Do you want to sell, rent, or move into the house?

1. Selling a House 

Selling a house leaves you with the least amount of legal and financial responsibilities because the home won’t be yours anymore. You need to get a few real estate agents to assess the home for pricing and marketing. 

You’ll also want to get opinions on whether renovations are needed or you can sell the home as-is. That’s one advantage of choosing to work with a cash buyer. They will purchase the home in any condition and close the deal much faster than a realtor.

Selling the home has the highest tax implications. You will pay capital gains on the difference between the established fair market value at the time of inheritance and the selling price. 

2. Renting a House

Renting a house gives you an opportunity for income, but it has the highest amount of financial and legal responsibilities. You must first check out your city ordinances and any homeowners association rules about renting to make sure you’re in compliance.

You’ll need a house inspection to address any safety issues, as well as a landlord insurance policy. If you don’t have any experience in this area, or just don’t want the hassle, you should consider hiring a property manager to deal with the marketing, leasing, and managing of the residence. 

A quicker way to get additional income is to sell the house to a cash buyer. You won’t have any lingering landlord responsibilities or additional worries about what a tenant might do to the property.

3. Moving into a House

If you plan on moving into a house, you should get a home inspection in order to find out if maintenance or repairs are needed. If you are part of a group of inheritors, the other owners will have to agree to let you live in the home. If you can’t work out some sort of rental or buyout agreement, you may end up in court

This option has the lowest tax implications along with the typical financial and legal responsibilities of owning a home. However, you can expect property taxes to rise because the house will be reassessed at current market value.

If you sell the home to a cash buyer, there will be no concerns about moving, repairs, or taxes. You can stay right where you are with a fat check in your hand instead of a hammer.

What’s the Fastest Way to Sell My Inherited House?

By now, you realize there are a ton of decisions to make and lots of work to do after inheriting a house.

The first thing you need to do is, literally, get your house in order and maintain the upkeep. After that, you must decide what to do with the contents and handle the emotional turmoil that may come with them. Finally, you either sell, rent, or move into the home.

If you don’t have time to deal with the process of selling your inherited house on your own or with a realtor, there is another option. A cash buyer can close the deal in as little as seven days and take the home off your hands, contents included.

New Again Houses® makes the process simple. Just give us some information about your home and we’ll be in touch soon.