Selling Inherited Property

By: michael sterios

Many people find themselves in a situation in which they have inherited property from a friend or relative who has passed away. Inheriting property can provide a significant financial gain to the recipient, however, if the property is unwanted it will need to be sold before any profit is realised.

In order to sell the property on the open market the beneficiary of the inheritance will usually give the keys to an estate agent who is local to the property with instructions to sell it as quickly as possible. The estate agent will offer the property for sale on the open market in the usual way, but there can be issues the beneficiary should consider.

Firstly, inherited property can often be in left in a poor state of repair. This can make the property difficult to sell through an estate agent. The inherited property will be competing with other properties the estate agent has on their books, most of which will be in a better state of repair. This could result in the inherited property languishing on the market for a long time and the final selling price being significantly lower than the original asking price.

Additionally, the estate agent will charge a fee to the beneficiary once the property is sold. Also, while the property is on the market, the vendor may incur costs such as council rates and utilities. The property may also require some refurbishment and redecorating. All of these expenses must be met by the person who inherited the property.

A final issue to consider is that the property may not be located anywhere near the beneficiary. This could result in several long distance trips by the seller to visit the property and the estate agent while it is on the market. This may particularly be the case for properties that require repairs and maintenance to be carried out before it can be sold.

All of the time and cost spent on dealing with these issues could take a sizable chunk out of the beneficiary's inheritance once the property is sold. A better option could therefore be to sell the property privately at a discount as soon as the property comes into the beneficiary's possession.

While this would mean immediately surrendering some of the inheritance due but it could save time and money in the long run.

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