Selling an inherited property

If you’ve inherited a property through a will, you might be wondering whether and how you can sell it. The good news is that selling a house fast is possible in a number of ways; through auction, via an estate agent, or with a reputable property buying company. The right choice will depend on your individual needs, such as financial requirements or time constraints.

What is an inherited property?

Simply put, an inherited property is one that a person called an executor is given the rights over through the will of a deceased person. The executor will be responsible for carrying out the terms of the will and overseeing the sale of the deceased person’s house or flat.

Are there limits to selling an inherited property?

There are no restrictions on the options available for selling an inherited property (for example, through a property buying company, auction or estate agent) but the terms of the will can sometimes make the process somewhere more complicated than a regular home sale.

In order for an executor to be able to start the process of selling an inherited property, they’ll first have to receive what’s called a grant of probate. These are issued after the various complications of sorting out the estate are complete. The grant is a document that effectively gives the executor the legal power to process the estate of the deceased person who wrote the will, and is necessary to obtain before even contacting one of the potential buying options.

How can I sell an inherited property?

If you’re the executor of the will then you must first obtain the grant of probate before you can assess which option for selling the inherited property is the correct approach.

In situations where a will does not exist and there are clearly identifiable benefits such as relatives, or when there isn’t a will, a grant of probate is typically issued in a month or two. That clears the path for selling the property through one of several options.

If it’s a complex will, or if there are other factors that make the probate process very complicated such as fights between family members over the estate or problems locating necessary legal documents about the estate, this naturally will lengthen the amount of time take before you can receive the grant of probate that will give you the power to sell the house or flat.

What options are there for selling an inherited property?

Auctioning is a popular choice for executors seeking to sell an inherited property, because it provides a precise date (the auction date) for when the house or flat will sell. This can be ideal if the executor is looking to sell the home quickly and with certainty of the sale date.

But auctioning is more uncertain when it comes to the final sale price. Auctioneers will typically encourage executors to set the minimum reserve opening bid at a level lower than the home’s actual value in order to drum up interest from prospective buyers. The goal is to generate interest so that on the auction date they engage in competitive bidding, driving up the final sale price to perhaps much more than the executor might have expected. The major downside is that there’s no guarantee that this will happen, and you might have to settle for the minimum reserve price if you only receive one bid on the property.

Another option is selling through an estate agent who will handle all of the marketing and viewings for the inherited home, but a significant drawback of this option is that there’s no guarantee of when the house or flat might sell. It could be weeks, months, or in some cases years before you get an offer from a buyer, creating major uncertainty for when it will sell.

Yet another good option is working with a property buying company, such as LDN Properties, who will work directly with the executor to give them a competitive offer for buying the house or flat without charging any fees. Sales done this way are usually very fast, and can secure a higher purchase price than selling through auction or an estate agent.

What’s the right choice for selling an inherited property?

The correct choice will depend on important factors that the executor must consider, including how quickly they want to sell the property and the amount of money they hope to raise from it. If you’re an executor and are struggling with this decision, consider the pros and cons of the various options detailed above before settling on a specific option for selling.

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