How to Sell a House You’ve Inherited

Selling a house you’ve inherited can be an overwhelming, emotional, and complicated process. There are many factors that must be considered, such as the division of responsibilities and heirlooms among family members, figuring out legal regulations and processes, and the mourning that often accompanies the situation. We’d like to help make the process less stressful. Here are a few things to consider when selling a house you’ve inherited.

Understanding the Legal Process

Once the decision is made to sell the inherited property, you’ll want to become familiar with the local laws and processes involved with selling the home. There are property tax laws concerning inherited properties that have recently changed, and many other technicalities involved in selling an inherited house. These laws can be complicated, but you don’t have to figure it all out on your own so if we can’t help you we can help put you in touch with people who can. 

Understanding the Emotional Process

As an heir, you have a lot of responsibility when it comes to working with the family and facilitating the dividing of property. Along with the grief surrounding the death of a family member, there is a potential for conflict between relatives when deciding on how to allocate the responsibilities of who does what and deciding who gets which belongings left at the home.

If there are heirlooms, give everyone a chance to pick their favorite memorabilia. One of the hardest decisions is who is going to be responsible for removing the personal items in the house which can require hours and hours of packing, sorting and moving. This is a hard job and resentment can build so its important for the families to support each other during this time and offer appreciation to all involved. We at the Smith Home Team are able and ready to assist with these tasks as well. We can help arrange movers, haulers and maintenance people to help get the property ready. Sometimes the whole team has to pitch in and pack up items and hold estate sales for the family. You do not have to go it alone, we are here to help. 

Dividing and Getting Rid of Belongings

When you inherit a home, chances are, the house is going to come with a lot of stuff. Some of it will be of sentimental value, some of it will be of monetary value, and some of it won’t be of value to you and your family at all. The first thing you’ll want to do is give members of the family a chance to choose special pieces from the belongings.

Consider other people that were special to your loved one, like neighbors, family friends, maintenance or grounds keepers and ask them if there is anything they would like to have. Once you and the family decide who will get what, there will be more items left over to get rid of and you and your family and loved ones friends might consider utilizing the left over household goods and cleaning supplies.  You might have a year’s worth of cleaning supplies you can “repurpose” and keep out of the landfill.

This is also the time to hold estate sales or yard sales. And The Smith Home team has lots of experience and people to help. You can and should have more than one; you can hold them as often as every weekend until you’ve sold everything you could expect to. Then, you can donate anything left over that’s of value. Or donate all your valuables to a local charity so they can benefit from the proceeds. The Hospice in Angels Camp does wonderful work. And the Calaveras Humane Society has a thrift store in Arnold that supports a lot of their services. 

Working With a Real Estate Agent

The Smith Home Team and I are familiar with the legal processes. And we understand the emotional challenges of selling a home you’ve inherited. We can help you through the process with personal and compassionate service. Then you can focus on your family and mourning. We will help take care of all the technicalities and work involved with selling your inherited house, while keeping your best interest in mind. It’s important to choose a real estate agent you can trust. Our small mother-daughter team is passionate about offering personalized service that you can’t expect from a large realty business.

Reach out to Team French to get started with selling your home in Gold Country. Give us a call at (209) 303-7637 or email us at We can’t wait to meet you and help you with all your Gold Country real estate needs.

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