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Selling inherited property: considerations and advice

A dream to some, a nightmare to others – inherited homes can be something of a double-edged sword. Not only is such a property likely to be full of memories, taking the steps to clear it out can be very difficult. Additionally, there are a number of laws and tax implications to consider if you do decide to sell it. Dealing with these aspects of selling inherited property, especially after the death of a loved one, is often the last thing we want to be thinking about. When it comes to knowing how to sell a house you inherited, the first thing to do is take stock and ask yourself the following question: what do I need to consider before going to market?

Selling inherited property: considerations and advice

Accept the emotional implications

Selling inherited property of a loved one is never going to be easy. Understanding this can help to make selling an inherited house a little more manageable, but this fact alone will set it apart from other house sales you might have experienced. Make sure you have the support of family and friends, both with the decision to sell, but also to help you through any difficult emotions that may arise.

Find out the legal responsibilities

If a will has been left, then the executor will usually be the one nominated to look after and handle the property. This will include selling inherited property as well. The principle is the same for the trustee if the property has been left in a trust instead. Remember, the executor may be a different person to the inheritor of the property. Only the nominated person or persons can legally handle a sale.

Consider the tax implications

To inherit a property will be subject to various tax laws, but these will vary greatly depending on where the property is located. Make sure you speak to a tax consultant before moving forward with anything else. In Germany the sale is tax free. Good to know: You don´t have to declare the sale for tax purposes by yourself. In Germany for example the tax authority will contact you. 

Prepare for the sale

In order to sell an inherited house, you'll want to make sure the property and any accompanying land is in good condition. It will certainly be challenging removing the personal effects of a loved one, but it's important that the property looks and feels as new as possible for potential buyers. Add a few licks of paint, declutter and clean up the garden. Consider getting professionals to look over the wiring, plumbing and other systems.

Select the right estate agent

Finding a good agent to sell your inherited house is fundamental. You need someone who has, ideally, dealt with similar properties and situations before – someone who can be sensitive to the emotional impact of the situation while remaining objective and professional.
Knowing how to sell a house you inherited is something that Engel & Völkers can help with. We're accustomed to dealing with high value real estate, and offer a tailor-made service when it comes to taking your property to market. Our experienced team will always treat your sale as a priority, and take you through the process smoothly.

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