Real estate is one of the biggest investments a person can make, with many people spending much of their adult life paying off the mortgage on their primary residence. Given how much value real estate can represent to an individual and a family, it’s little surprise that parents are often enthusiastic about the idea of leaving their real estate holdings to their children when they die.
Receiving real estate, such as your parents’ marital home, as part of an inheritance often means that the value of your inheritance is tied up in physical assets, rather than liquid and available for you to spend or invest.
If you already own your own home and don’t want to move or rent a property out to someone else, selling your inherited real estate may seem like the best option. There are, however, certain considerations to take under advisement before you make any major decisions.
You may have to wait until the estate finishes probate
If you are not the executor of the estate, you won’t have immediate access to or control over the assets your parents left behind for you. Unless they put the title for the property in a trust, you will likely have to wait until the estate goes through the probate process before you will have the legal authority to dispose of the property as you see fit.
In some cases, some of the equity in the home may wind up liquidated in order to repay creditors or pay off the balance on a mortgage, meaning that you will owe money on the home after probate.
You may need to convince your siblings that selling is the best option
Even if none of you want to live there, if you will share ownership of the property with your siblings, it may be more difficult than you imagine to convince everyone that selling is the best decision. Emotional attachment to the property either as your childhood home or as the place where your parents lived before they died may prevent some people from seeing the value of selling the property and distributing the proceeds.
Providing information about how the value of an unoccupied home quickly diminishes and the difficulties involved in converting a home into a rental unit might help convince your siblings that the approach of selling is the best option.