Inheriting a home comes with a lot of responsibilities and decision-making by the heir(s). If you have a loved one that has passed on and you’ve inherited their home or are the executor of the estate, below is a guideline to help you through the process before you decide whether or not to sell or keep the home.
Man sealing box with adhesive. Packing for relocation.
Making sure the home is secure and re-keying is extremely important. (it’s almost impossible to know who may have a key). Notify the local police department that the property is now vacant. Speak with trusted neighbors and ask them to keep an eye on the property.
- Set up lights with timers to make the home appear to be occupied.
- Make sure mail is forwarded or regularly picked up and no leaflets are left at the door/porch.
- Continue making mortgage payments, property tax payments, home insurance payments, and utility payments.
- Make sure you can maintain the home or hire someone for the yard/home maintenance.
- If the property is still vacant in the winter, you should winterize the property.
- Make sure the home insurance company knows the property is vacant- this is very important!
- Secure and remove all personal papers from the home (ie: wills, bank statements)
Start to inventory all items in the property of value for tax purposes and to track for all the heirs. You also may want to photograph or video the home’s contents. Heirs should start removing all items they want once the inventory has been completed.
As a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, I work with reliable contractors to handle estate sales, clean out, trash removal, staging, and repairs. I am able to provide a comparable market evaluation of the home’s worth in its current condition (selling “as is”), as well as the value of the home with minor upgrades such as fresh paint, new flooring, and other small projects.
As a top producing agent with 20+ years of experience in the East Bay, I have helped hundreds of clients navigate the probate process in the Greater San Francisco Bay area and the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa. My experience as a former appraiser allows me to help my clients understand the market as well as all of their options. If you have any questions, I am here to be a resource for you.