Selling Your Deceased Parents Home: Everything You Need To Know

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Are you selling your deceased parents home? If you are wondering how long you have to sell a house after someone dies, you’re not alone.  We’re going to tell you all that you need to know about selling a parents’ home after their death so that you can make an informed decision on what to do with your inherited property.

Losing a parent or a significant other can be one of the most emotionally difficult and challenging things that one has to endure. Whenever this happens, its significance is just the beginning of the issues that are to follow.

While it isn’t possible to do anything to reverse the situation, what is inevitable is that you have to move forward. It doesn’t have to be immediately, but at one point, it will have to happen. And that’s when you now have to start dealing with the issues that were left behind.

This person who formed a big part of your life had a few things attached to their name.

Things such as:

  • Property
  • Investments
  • Bank Accounts
  • Businesses
  • Debts
  • Many others

Of interest to you is the fact that they left behind their house and other properties. As you and your siblings or family are already living your own lives, you have to establish what to do with your newly inherited tasks.

The biggest of these, of course, is the house. The prevailing market conditions and the home condition can mean that it takes months to dispose of the house.

Sadly, some people inherit a headache.

Now that they are gone, there is a whole other layer of complexity to sort through with inheritance laws.

Last Will and Testament for Inherited Property - Quick Home Buyers NJWhat Is The Status of the Inherited Home?

In some instances, they receive a letter, or a lawyer gives them the same cold letter outlining the details of what will need to be done.

If only real life were as simple as receiving a brief to-do list during a time of grieving.

In the real world, there are three ways to inherit the property that was left behind. These are as an executor, as an administrator, or as a trustee.


Whenever a parent, or a significant other, passes on, there is a process involved in transferring the home and other properties. If there is a written will, there still is a process to go through before ownership is passed to the family members.

This is what is known as the probate process.

Probate is a requirement of the law handled by a probate court. Their job is to ensure that the people involved in the process are vetted to determine if they are the right people to be inheriting the property.

The probate process also has to ensure that debts are paid off that had accumulated before their death. In this way, all their property is taken into account, and if any sale were to happen, the proceeds would first go towards paying their debts.

As is the case with many other laws, each state has different requirements under their jurisdictions. The entire process from filing the petition to the distribution of funds from the estate sale can take anywhere from several months, with some taking up to two years before the conclusion.

Beneficiary Deed

While the probate route is the most common, it is not the only one available. This other method will require planning even before the death of your parents or significant other. It should also be noted that this method is not accepted in all states.

The signing of a beneficiary deed, or better known, the transfer on death deed, is another means of transfer.

This means that the property will handed over to you immediately after your parents’ passing. There will be no probate process involved.

While this may look like an easier way, some states may require you to have been handed down the property not only on the transfer on death deed but also in their will. If there is no mention of a will, then the beneficiary deed is invalidated.

Living Trust

A living trust is probably the easiest way to avoid any issues with the law and the process of selling the home. With a living trust document, the property’s management and inheritance become a much more straightforward process.

A living trust involves having your parents as the trustees, as this allows them to be in charge of the property while they are alive. They will then get to name you as the beneficiary of the trust in case of their passing.

In a case where there are several heirs, a trust dictates who among the heirs would be the best decision-makers when it came to matters concerning the property. This makes it easier to sell the property as the market will determine how long it will take to sell the home. No probate process is involved.

Selling Your Deceased Parents Home: Everything You Need To Know notifying executor lawyerHas The Executor Been Notified?

The death of parents, in some cases, has sadly brought about tension among the siblings. When suffering a heavy loss it can bring up all sorts of unresolved family issues from the past. Everyone processes loss differently, and sadly some people project it onto others rather than process it.

This is an unfortunate thing that I have seen often.

Some of these disputes have degenerated into great court battles. Sometimes even heirs to the property who weren’t initially identified appear afterward, and the court battles ensue.

This is why everyone who is pertinent to the inheritance must be identified and notified. 

Even though you may have been the closest to your parents, it doesn’t immediately mean that you are the one in charge. Your parents may have specified someone else as the executor or the personal representative of their will. It isn’t easy selling your childhood home after your parents die. In fact, letting go of the house with so many memories can be a very painful process.

The executor or the personal representative usually gets to make all the decisions pertaining to the property. This is very important to identify and understand.

As the people who will inherit the property, you will have various other people to notify after your parents’ passing.

Among these is their creditors. Even though your parents have passed, their debts will still have to be paid.

If your parents had an attorney, they would usually have the information about the debts they owed. If not, approaching a real estate agent to conduct a quick search might be a great way to find if there have been any liens placed against the property.

When there is no executor named, it is up to the heirs to conduct all due diligence. This is where issues start popping up, and the court battles between the heirs start coming in. The best way out of this is to have a meeting as soon as possible.

In this meeting, you will need to discuss various things. These include repair of the property, if necessary, and who will handle it if there are other expenses such as those related to the sale, who is going to be responsible for paying them.

Most importantly, you have to decide how you will split the proceeds from the property’s sale.

Do You Want To Put The House On The Market?

Once all of this has been decided, it is time to put up the house on the market. Selling the house by yourselves could be an option, but it may be complicated beyond your combined skill sets. Hiring a real estate agent may require additional work, home staging, and a lot of time/expenses.

Some agents are experienced in handling property from inheritances. Before you collectively settle on a real estate agent, you should ensure that they have experience dealing with properties that are either in probate or in trust.

This is especially true when you factor in taxes and other charges required of inherited property.

Often, the fastest and easiest way to transform your inherited headache into cash is to sell it to an investor who knows the market. They can identify all of the needs behind what would need to happen to make it a win-win for everyone since they have the resources necessary to get you cash quickly (without the burden of spending tons of money on utilities, taxes, repairs, etc.)

If you would like a free no-obligation cash offer on your Jersey home, click here to fill out this form.

Have You Sorted Through The Financials?

Everyone has their own financial endeavors that they have to manage. Your parents may have had everything figured out with a will, or they may not have been fully prepared. They could also have other commitments such as homeowner’s insurance and unpaid utility bills.

The first step is to go through the financials. The amounts you find in their accounts could be all you need to cover the bills they had accumulated before they passed away.

The next step would be to find out what kind of debts they had been servicing. The most common of these is their mortgage. What kind did they have? Was it a reverse mortgage or some other loan?

Once you have this info, it’s time to notify the creditors that your parents are gone. To do this, you will need a death certificate that you will have to submit copies to entities such as credit bureaus, the social security administration, and other creditors.

Insurance is one of those nuances of owning a home that can be a headache to deal with. This is especially true of a home that will be vacant for a while before it sells or someone moves in.

Vacant homes are targets for break-ins, and some insurance policies will not cover the cost of the damages unless you have a vacant home insurance policy cover.

Have You Prepared The House For Sale?

Once you have everything sorted out with the creditors and other tax obligations, it is time to get to the next phase–selling your parent’s home.

Before that, though, you will need to ensure that you have completely removed the persona effects that belonged to your parents.

In some cases, your parents may have specified that various properties be distributed to the heirs that they had mentioned in their will.

In some states, this process may not be entirely up to you. A probate court may require an inventory of all the personal effects before anything can be distributed.

If there is no named executor, it becomes difficult to decide what happens to the personal effects. Various siblings may try to claim the same item, and this may lead to fighting. You will either have to find a way to solve the issues that arise or have an impartial mediator help solve the problems.

Once the personal effects are out of the home, it is time to prepare the house for potential buyers. If there were repairs that needed to be made, this would be the best time to get a home inspector.

If you want to avoid emptying the house or making repairs, fill out this form, and we’ll give you a cash offer on the home.

They can give you a complete report of what needs to be done before you put the house up for sale.

While this is going on, you could clean up the home and even update various rooms in the house. The most common include the kitchen and the bathrooms.

You could also decide to sell it as it is, but this may end up earning you less money. The buyer’s realtor will negotiate based on the report that their inspector will hand to them. They could even end up pushing for a much lower amount (while you continue to pay for taxes, utilities, etc.)

Putting the house up for sale will mean that you are on the last leg of jumping over many hurdles. There are just a few left. These include the comparative market analysis for the home, depending on the condition that it is in.

You would also have to weigh the tax liability the home will put you under. The sooner you can sell the house, the fewer bills you will have to pay monthly to keep it running.

Selling Your Deceased Parents Home Conclusion

As to how much time you have to sell a house after someone dies, that will be entirely up to the process that you have to go through. That process will be set up by the kind of inheritance that was left behind by your parents. A period of four months to two years is a reasonable estimate when taking into context all the hurdles that are in your way.

If you don’t want to wait that long, let us know, and we’ll give you a fair cash offer that can create a win-win for everyone. We’re happy to take a look at the property, estimate what needs to go into it, and discuss the entire process with you.

If you are interested in transforming your inherited headache into cash, fill out this form to receive a cash offer for your property or call us today..