Challenges When Selling Your Parent’s Home in Virginia

 There’s the emotional aspect of getting a loved one’s home ready for sale — which likely includes clearing out his or her belongings and depersonalizing the rooms. There’s the financial cost of making necessary updates to attract buyers… And understandably, sometimes family members drag their feet. Images of growing up in the home with Mom and Dad prevent them from springing into action. They can’t let go.

Selling a home is neHome sweet homever an easy process. Even if it moves on the real estate market, there is still the fact of moving itself. What about when it is not your home at all? What if it is the home of your parents, and perhaps your sole inheritance, with or without siblings? In that case selling the house can be rather difficult indeed, practically, financially, legally, and yes, emotionally.

When it to selling an inherited home, there are some complications to you must deal with and some have nothing to do with real estate.  For guidance, consider reading are recent MarketWatch article titled “How to sell an inherited home.

Get past the practical facts of getting to the home (maybe you live states away) and moving out all of the possessions or figuring out what to do with them. Get past the emotional problems, too. How do you even go about selling it? Can the property move on the market to begin with or, alternatively, is there a better market for a rental and can you manage it? Who owns it exactly and, especially if it is in probate, when will those who will own it actually own it? Are there any liens on the property or a mortgage that may or may not be underwater?

The simple truth for some families is that it may be best not to inherit the house at all and to let it go into foreclosure. Are there creditors in line to receive from the estate? If yes, then you cannot take ownership from the estate until bankruptcy proceedings have finalized.

A few of these issues are drawn out in the article and worth the general advice offered. In the end, inheriting and selling the family home can be the uncomfortable intersection of estate law, tax law and real estate law.

Without a plan, a family can find themselves in a mess. Without competent counsel, they may have trouble getting back up and away from the problems. If you are planning your estate, real estate — especially your home — is an essential component that may be overlooked to the peril of your loved ones later if not properly addressed from all angles now.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning

Reference: MarketWatch (January 13, 2014) “How to sell an inherited home

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.