September 15

Can I Sell My House if I Inherited This Property: A Quick Guide


Inheriting property must have been great news!

But not-so-great when you have to deal with all the obligations of selling an inherited property.

It may be pretty daunting if you don’t know if you can sell the property, especially during the probate proceedings.

Worry not, because we are here to give you a complete and reliable guide on the first steps of selling an inherited house.

Can I Sell Inherited Property?

Yes, you can sell an inherited property, under several conditions, of course.

You have to settle down with other beneficiaries, calculate the tax, negotiate the price of the house, deal with the real estate transaction, and hire professionals to guide you.

You cannot sell an inherited property until ownership has formally changed hands during the probate process.

What Is a Probate Process?

A probate is when the deceased person leaves the assets to allocate to the beneficiary, but this could be more than one person.

The assets include bank accounts, real estate, and financial investments.

This is when the executor will help administer the deceased person’s Will or the estate plan of a dead person without a Will.

The inherited house needs to be preserved during this course of time. This includes the management of the utilities and property taxes.

Furthermore, selling inherited property requires legal proceedings, mainly if the Will states divide ownership among beneficiaries.

Of course, a consensus is vital for property ownership.

When Can You Sell an Inherited Property?

When the property owner is settled and the property has been appropriately transferred, you can proceed to selling inherited property.

If the Will names more than one heir, each beneficiary must agree on how to proceed with the property management.

In cases where each beneficiary settled to sell the house and split the market value, you have to tidy up the inherited property and start working with real estate agents.

If the original owner’s death leaves you without a Will and the Estate has insufficient funds to cover outstanding debts, the inherited house fast sells before the probate process.

If you were left with a house not included in the estate plan, it could be sold in a probate sale as part of closing the estate. 

What Types of Property Can Be Inherited?

Properties can be inherited with the help of the estate administrator that will draft the assets and divide them accordingly.

When selling inherited property, it primarily emphasizes real estate, like marketing an inherited home.

An inherited home is one type of property that can be succeeded. Other assets include:

  • Money and bank accounts
  • Assets such as investment stocks
  • Copyright properties
  • Personal belongings such as clothing, cars, and jewelry
  • Real estate and commercial buildings.


What Happens if I Sell Property That I Have Inherited?

Selling an inherited property can bring about tax implications.

When you market an inherited house, capital gains will follow. This capital gains tax is a tax on the profit when you sell an asset with fair market value.

But it is the profit that has taxes, not the amount of money you receive.

These property taxes are the difference between the property value at the time of inheritance and the final sales price.

Mind you, when selling an inherited property, it is not just the financing and tax implications you need to take care of, but the real estate deals.

When the family members inherit the house, they must clear the property, including getting rid of personal belongings.

Once the sale process is initiated, leave yourself time to manage these responsibilities. 

10 Steps to Sell an Inherited Property

This guide will not be complete without the comprehensive steps on selling an inherited property.

Follow the guide below, and you can sell an inherited house in no time!

1: Understand Mortgage Status

Knowing the mortgage status of the inherited house is fundamental if you want to sell the property soon enough.

You and your family might be in charge of the mortgage payments, and selling an inherited house with mortgage payments can be a bit complicated.

Ask the bank or the lender directly for the agreement and documentation for you to be able to learn about the property’s status.

The family members can inherit property with a substantial mortgage, but sometimes, there won’t be any.

Still, it is good to know the terms of the inherited property to keep up with the pace of the process.

What Can You Do?

You can also do the following:

  • Inform the current lender and resume the payments.
  • Depending on the estate, you might undergo the probate process, which takes time. If the situation gets heated, look for a financial advisor or probate attorney.
  • If you got the property involving more than one person, you might have to buy the other heirs if you want to sell it or live in the house. This can also be vice versa.
  • If the estate is resolved, you can take the mortgage payments with the entire loan terms, sell it, or apply for a refinance.

2: Anticipate Your Ownership Timeline

Expect that it will take quite some time for you to own the family home officially. This will rely on the process through probate, beneficiary deed, or living trust.

Interestingly, you can sell an inherited property quickly when you have acquired it by living trust or life estate deed.

As there is no need for court approval, you can sell the house instantly.

However, for the probate system, the process is more complex.

This can take a way longer period, from weeks to six months. But you must follow the judicial rules to dispose of inherited property.

So, ask your probate attorneys, along with the estate administrator, regarding the probate process so that you can plan the timeline.

3: Identify All of the Heirs and Determine the Personal Representative

Sit down and talk with your family members to identify all other heirs of the deceased who have the property right.

This may be the children, two or more siblings, or even the nieces and nephews. Discussing family relationships to avoid heated debates and simplify selling the house is better.

Find a personal representative or executor at the estate sale that is legitimate to make decisions on behalf of the estate.

You could appoint an executor if the deceased did not identify one. So, the beneficiaries should nominate someone as their representative.

Usually, the family identifies one that has sufficient time and is emotionally ready to battle the process of selling an inherited property.

4: Open a Bank Account to Manage the Shared Assets

A smart way to safely hold the deceased’s assets temporarily is for the personal representative to open a bank account under the dead person’s name.

This will include the house’s final sale price, rental, and ongoing income.

In compliance with all heirs, then the personal representative can use the account to pay for the deceased responsibilities.

This will include mortgage payments, estate taxes, unpaid taxes, car payments, and the expenses of the probate process.

5: Consider Selling the Inherited House for Cash

You should know that selling an inherited house will cost you time and labor. Not to mention that you still have to pay taxes, mortgage, and maintenance.

If you are eager to sell the inherited property quickly, contemplate and offer it to a cash buyer.

The proceedings can be more speedy, easy, and convenient than putting it on the market.

However, it may have a bit of a drawback, as you may get fewer sales prices in opting for cash. So, it is a matter of comfort and the final sale price.

You can look for simple sale platforms that provide a competitive cash offer with almost no constraints.

It is possible to receive an offer in as little as 48 hours, with closing costs as ten days when the request is confirmed.

So you can skip the repairing and negotiating part and jump right in to simplify selling.

6: Find a Real Estate Agent With Probate Experience

If you go through the probate proceedings, you will have to deal with the real estate laws, which vary on each estate.

Look for the top real estate agents honed in any real estate transaction, as well as the probate, so you can fully grasp the procedure and help you make better deals.

7: Seek Help From a Mediator if Necessary

If you sell inherited property, expect that it may sometimes (or many times) stir drama among immediate and other family members.

If you are encountering a disputable agreement regarding the home sale, you can look for a mediator to help you with this problem.

Usually, some beneficiaries do not conform to selling the house or other matters such as renovations, hiring personnel, and dealing with tenants.

In this case, a professional mediator can assist you if an heir doesn’t give in to sell inherited property due to sentimental value or if one family member wants to hold out for more money.

You can go to a reputable law firm, as a lawyer usually will draft the contract, resolve the formal court process, and help you lessen the time to solve a particular family issue.

8: Make a Decluttering Plan

Yes, you have heard it right. When you inherit property, as much as you need an estate plan, you also need a decluttering project.

The plan can help you overcome emotional encounters and pick out the sentimental items and personal belongings that you want to keep in the family.

The time frame? Well, this will depend entirely on you as you can do this in minutes or months.

For a tip, there are home sale platforms and buyers out there that do the job.

They can buy the residence in its present state. You can leave everything behind, like furniture, appliances, personal things, and even the trash.

Very easy and cost-effective, as they don’t ask for additional charges when you leave large amounts of items in the house.

9: Spruce up the Property, but Don’t Renovate

If you want to emphasize cosmetics upgrades to make your primary residence look furnished, increase its property value, and increase its profitability.

Then, you can ask your real estate agent what areas you need to revamp and what you can skip.

You can hire an agency to do the hard part for you. Prepare $2,000; your inherited property can get a significant makeover.

You can spice up your home to make it look more attractive, but don’t wholly renovate it as it may cost you a significant amount of money at a high stake.

Tips on How to Improve the State of the Inherited Property

Here are some examples of how you can refurbish the house.

  • Enhance the curb appeal with a newly groomed lawn and fresh paint on the welcome door.
  • Throw away your aged carpet and place a vinyl wood flooring
  • Dispose of the window screen, fake plants, furniture covers, and other outdated things that may look haunted.
  • Choose suitable paint for the walls in the common areas. Light and neutral colors always work!

10: Calculate the Capital Gains Taxes

Acquiring personal property does not instinctively mean you owe taxes, but how you act upon it indeed does.

If you are selling inherited property, you have an obligation to pay capital gains taxes.

When you sell property, the real estate must pay capital gains tax, except if they have lived in the house for the past two out of five years.

What Is a Stepped-up Basis Tax?

The stepped-up happens if you inherited a property and put it on sale with its market value.

You will only be taxed on the cost difference between the property value at the specific time you acquired the property and when you decided to sell it.

If you inherit a property acquired in 1975 with an original price of $60 000. That property will now be worth $360 000.

Rather than getting capital gains tax on a $300 000 net profit, you will only be obliged to pay on gains during the time from when you obtained the property at $360 000.

So, if you sold it for $380 000, you will only have capital gains taxes of $20 000.

One last step to help you prepare is to learn about the mortgage payments, the property, income taxes, and federal tax lien.

TIP: Read and research the changes in provisions regarding capital gains taxes and real estate transactions, as a new tax bill is on the way. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

With all the complex matters on personal property, capital gains, and the selling of the inherited house, we added some additional information to keep you updated.

Is the Sale of an Inherited Property Taxable?

YES, selling inherited property is taxable and will serve as an investment profit by the IRS if you make gains from the home sale.

The capital gains tax will be prompted, but this will only apply to the difference between the inherited value and the final price.

It will be imposed depending on the period you owned the property.

If you sold the property within a year of acquiring it, the rate would range from 10% to 37%. If you have owned the property for over a year, the rate will run from 0% to 20%.

Capital gains can also set off income tax. This is when you have used the house for rental, as the rental income will also be taxed.

If that is cash you inherited, it is taxable through inheritance taxes or estate taxes.

If that’s inheritance taxes, you may file and pay it, but if that’s an estate tax, the IRS will impose taxes on the estate directly.

What Are the Main Types of Taxes That Cover Inheritance?

So, you don’t automatically pay taxes once you acquire the inherited home, but eventually, you will do once you put it on sale.

You must be well aware of the different types of taxes.

1: Inheritance tax

These are taxes that the beneficiary should pay based on the inherited value of an estate.

No federal inheritance taxes exist, and only six states have imposed any form of inheritance taxes.

2: Estate tax

These taxes are paid out of the estate before anyone acquires it. They usually have a minimum threshold.

For example, if your estate is worth $11 700 001, then the government will only charge taxes on $1 and the remaining proceeds tax-free.

3: Capital gains taxes

These taxes are paid regarding any assets that an heir obtains via an estate. They are only charged when you sell the property for profit.

Learn more at

Who Will Qualify for the Home Sale Tax Exclusion?

The tax law offers homeowners a considerate tax exclusion when they sell their property.

You can get up to $250 000 purchase price tax-free if you are a single homeowner.

On the other hand married homeowners who filed jointly can receive up to $500 000 profit and not be included in the income.

To get entitled to the exclusion, the home should have been used as a primary residence for two years out of the prior five years before the sale.

However, when you inherit the house, you will no longer be qualified for the exclusion, and you need to live there for at least two years to get certified.

How Do I Avoid Capital Gains Tax When Selling an Inherited Property?

When it comes to money matters, you can find ways to be tough and smart, including avoiding capital gains tax.

If you live in the house for two years, you can avoid capital gains tax through the home sale tax exclusion.

One option is to sell your residence and move into the inherited house.

However, you have to note that you can fend off the capital gains tax if the house is sold at a loss where it is ordered for a quick sale.

The tax will not be collected, so you can use the loss and profit to balance further gains in the investment.

TIP: Work with a financial advisor when you sell the inherited property, as this will help you secure practical tax settlements and cut costs. 

Learn more at

Can Your Siblings Force You to Sell an Inherited Property?

Family members can be challenging, as your siblings can force you to sell an inherited property if the Will states that property ownership should be divided.

If most of the heir decides to auction the inherited house, and the estate requires the budget to cover debts, the sale can undergo probate measures.

Always seek an agreement on selling out or buying other siblings.

If you don’t come up with an agreement, you may arrange a partition action

with the court to push you to sell the house. Probate lawyers will be sent out to settle in.

If the probate court confirms the selling of the property, then the house will be itemized and sold for an audited price.

At last, the revenue will be divided among the heir, even if one heir opposes the sale.


Yes. Selling inherited property is a bit of a headache with all the taxes, the papers, the agreements, the sentimental value, and the drama between family members.

Nope. There’s no quick way to get your hands on the money.

But if you have an organized timeline, topped with the best real estate agent and financial advisor.

You might settle everything without getting stressed.

So, better talk it out and call for the right people!


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