Are you thinking of selling a home you inherited?

Inheriting a property can be both rewarding and challenging. For many people, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they know little about. Some choose to move into the inherited home, while others explore options like renting it out or selling it.

If you’re planning to sell an inherited house in California, your real estate agent can offer guidance that helps you avoid common pitfalls that can cost you financially, prolong the process, and make the experience more frustrating than it needs to be.

Wine Country Real Estate: Selling an Inherited Home in California

Taxes, financial obligations, and other associated costs can make selling an inherited home a complex process, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming.

Things you need to consider include:

  • Home loans. Does the property have one or more mortgages or a home equity loan?
  • Tax liens. If the previous owner had property taxes or other tax obligations, you’ll need to either pay them out-of-pocket or as part of the sale.
  • Property damage. Significant repairs and renovations can make selling the home immediately challenging, though you might be able to sell it “as-is” with the help of your real estate agent.
  • Property value. A local realtor can help you estimate the value of the inherited property based on its condition and overall market conditions.
  • Shared inheritance. If one or more individuals inherit a portion of the property, you need to think about whether everyone’s on board with selling it.

For most people who inherit property, capital gains and other tax implications are a top priority. California’s new Proposition 19, which became effective February 16, 2021, is a dramatic property tax increase that completely overhauls former family transfer benefits. Areas with the highest property values, such as in the wine country real estate market, will be impacted the most.

Like most laws, there are exceptions written into Prop 19, such as for people who are 55 and older or children of the deceased who intend to live in the house within one year of transfer. You’ll want to talk to a real estate attorney or your tax adviser about how this new rule might affect your inheritance and your financial obligations.

Talk to a Real Estate Agent About All Your Options

Once you get a handle on the financial aspects of selling a home you inherit, you’ll need to prepare the house for sale. You might need to hold an estate sale, clean out personal belongings, and wait for the estate to go through probate.

The right real estate agent can help you navigate pricing an inherited home and negotiating offers. They’ll also fill you in on hidden hurdles you might face, such as delays in the probate process. Most of all, an experienced agent knows how to help clients cope with an emotional process that can be much more overwhelming than one for a typical house sale.

To learn more about how a real estate agent can be your trusted partner selling an inherited home, contact us online today or call us at 707.967.9570!


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