couple getting handed the keys to a house or inherited property

How to Sell an Inherited Property

Home » seller considerations
Losing a relative is hard enough, but there are many headaches when settling an estate. The biggest of these is deciding what to do with an inherited property. You can move into it, rent it out, or sell it. If you choose to sell, these steps can help you avoid pitfalls and other surprises.

Step 1: Get Through Probate

Probate is the official proving of a Will to verify it’s genuine. During probate, the estate is administered, and beneficiaries are named. If you are the sole inheritor of the property, you can sell it while in probate. You may want to discuss your options with your probate attorney first.

Step 2: Sort Through the Deceased’s Financing

Sadly, when you inherit a property, you inherit its debt as well. Run a title search to discover if the property still has a mortgage, owes taxes, has liens or bills. All these need to be satisfied, some before selling and others with proceeds from the sale.

Step 3: Hire a Real Estate Agent (Optional)

There is a lot to do when someone passes away. If you don’t have the time or ability to sell a property FSBO, you might hire an agent. An agent can list and market the property, schedule appointments, and handle buyer negotiations on your behalf. In return, you pay them 3% to 6% of the sale price.

The agent must reside in the same city as the property. This way, they can access the local MLS and are licensed to operate in that market.

Step 4: Clean Out Personal Belongings

It is an emotional challenge to sort through a loved one’s belongings. It takes time and often involves other family members. Set aside cherished mementos, then organize the remainder of stuff into piles – what to keep, what to sell, and what to toss.

By removing clutter and depersonalizing living spaces, you improve buyer impressions during a walkthrough. Buyers want to envision themselves living in the house but cannot do so with another owner’s belongings in sight.

Step 5: Perform Maintenance and Clean Often

Consider hiring a professional home inspector to identify issues with the property. Decide with your agent which problems cannot be overlooked and make repairs.

For as long as the property is on the market, it is good to perform monthly maintenance and cleaning. This keeps the property functional and appealing to visiting buyers.

Step 6: Review Insurance Policy

A vacant property is more susceptible to vandalism and break-ins. For this reason, the recommendation is for the beneficiary of the property to get a vacant home insurance policy. The policy stays in place till the property sells and covers most incidents.

Step 7: Set the Price

After repairs and cleaning, schedule an appraiser to value the property. They will give you a fair, more accurate idea of how much the property is worth than an online search.

Skip the Stress, Sell to an Investor

The loss of a relative is not easy. There is enough emotional stress without adding the sale of an inherited property. For this reason, you might consider selling it to an investor.

Most investors offer cash for properties “AS-IS”. You can forgo repairs, maintenance and cleaning, and even leave behind those belongings with less sentimental value. The investor will close on a date that is most convenient for you, giving you time to adjust and make arrangements.

gavel and block at probate court

How to Sell a House in Probate?

Home » seller considerations
Are you going to inherit a property you cannot afford to keep? Is it in probate? Probate is a legal process by which the estate’s debts are settled. It also ensures all beneficiaries receive what is promised to them in the will.

You can reject your claim by signing a disclaimer of interest, but a property is not something you just set aside. It has value, and you can sell it, even in probate. There are strict sale procedures outlined by the probate court and real estate law in your area. You may want to check with these first, but here are the basic steps to sell a house in probate.

Step 1: Hire a Probate Attorney

A probate attorney advises you and helps prepare legal documents. They can represent you in probate court, sparing you the stress, and handle important matters involving title, insurance, and tax returns.

If you hope to sell, and the house is in good shape, a real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of probate can also help. They can evaluate the condition of the property and assess what needs to be done to make it sellable. They also recruit appraisers and inspectors and navigate buyer negotiations on your behalf.

Steps 2 and 3: Appraise Property, and File a Petition with Probate Court

To sell a property in probate, you must file a petition with the probate court. With your petition, you must also provide an appraisal that estimates the current value of the property. It is only with the court’s approval can you list the house on the market or auction it off.

Step 4: List for Sale

If you decide on an open market sale, offer buyers disclosure. You must disclose the house is in probate, all material issues, and that the purchase agreement is dependent on approval from the court. Waiting for court approval can add a month or more to the sale timeline; so will repairs and necessary upgrades.

If a buyer makes an offer, collect a 10% deposit from them.

Steps 5 and 6: Petition Court for a Hearing, and Advertise the Sale

Petition the court to confirm the sale. The court (or you) publicizes the date in local news to give others a chance to bid on the property. This is to get the best price for the estate, which helps if there are debts to pay.

Should someone outbid your prior prospective buyer, you will refund them their 10% deposit. The winner will present a cashier’s check for a deposit to the court. If the court accepts a buyer’s bid, their deposit applies to the purchase price.

Step 7: Close on the Sale

Only the executor or the court-appointed representative can sign real estate documents. This is on behalf of the deceased. Check the legal description of the property before the deed is recorded with the county.

Make sure the buyer’s financing is sufficient. The full amount goes into the estate fund, and once the debts are paid, the remainder of the funds is divided among the beneficiaries.

Step 8: Report Sale to IRS

You must pay capital gains taxes from the sale of an inherited property. The IRS taxes the difference between the fair market value and the price at sale.

For example, if the house is valued at $200,000, but you sell it for $250,000, you pay capital gains taxes on the $50,000.

There are ways around paying taxes, and you can ask your probate attorney for solutions.

Need to Sell Fast? Skip the Hassle

You can forgo some of these steps by selling the inherited property to an investor. Our investors have knowledge and experience buying real estate in probate. They will buy the house “as-is,” whether it is degraded, vacant, or mid-renovation, for cash.

They also pay all closing costs and fees associated with the sale. You choose the closing date, which can be as soon as you have the court’s approval of the investor’s offer.

calculator real estate agent fees

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid? Fees House Sellers Should Know

Home » seller considerations


Real estate agent commissions take the biggest cut of your house sale. Is it worth it then to even hire an agent or realtor? Or should you sell your house for sale by owner (FSBO)? Here is a rundown of real estate agent fees to help you decide.

What Are You Paying a Real Estate Agent to Do?

Seller agents may do the following:

  • Assign a fair, accurate price to your house.
  • Market your house across the MLS, social media, and print marketing.
  • Schedule walkthroughs.
  • Advocate for you when dealing with house inspectors and appraisers.
  • Help negotiate terms of sale between you, the buyer, and buyer’s agent.

How Much Does a Real Estate Agent Get Paid?

An agent earns commission upon sale of the house. Typically, their cut is 6% of the sale price, though a recent survey shows the national average is 5.45%. This downward trend is attributable to competition and a shortage of houses for sale in certain markets.

You can negotiate agent fees by arguing these points:

  • Time it takes to sell: if the house sells fast (in less than a month).
  • Anticipated sales price: if your house is priced high (e.g., $500,000s and up), a low rate is still a good chunk of change.
  • Buyer’s agent: if there is no buyer agent for the commission to be split with.
  • Agent’s workload: if you take on some responsibilities in the home sale process.

 An Agent Does Not Keep What They Earn

An agent does not keep all of the commission because they do not act alone. Most agents work under a real estate broker. The broker, then, takes half of the agent’s commission.

The seller agent then splits the commission with the buyer agent, and they with their brokerage. If we do a quick calculation, as an example, here is how it might play out:

  • Your house sells for $250,000;
  • 6% of the sale price is $15,000;
  • each brokerage gets $7,500; and
  • the brokers each pay their agents $3,750.

Once paid, your agent has to cover expenses. These include membership dues to real estate institutions and technology, but also money spent to market your house. You can see then that an agent does not make a huge profit. That is why they handle multiple house sales at a time.

Who Pays the Real Estate Agent?

You, the seller, pays both the buyer and seller agents. True, the buyer is purchasing your house, but it is out of your profit that the 6% is paid to these agents.

Instead of an Agent, Sell to an Investor

If you want to forgo agents and commission rates, consider selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house, regardless of how it looks and without a buyer agent. You, then, only pay your share of closing costs. You enjoy a quick closing and a profit which you then use as a down payment on your next house.

red clock is it time to sell your house

Is Now the Best Time to Sell a House?

Home » seller considerations


Timing is crucial in the real estate market. If you sell at the wrong time, you suffer the consequences, like less money or a bad buyer’s market. To decide if you should sell your house now or wait, consider the following factors.

Market Conditions

If you bought low and hope to sell high, get a sense of the health of the housing market. Determine how the value of your home fits in the market inventory. The National Association of Realtors releases a monthly existing-home sales report which reflects the state of inventory across the nation. It breaks this down by region. If inventory in your market is low, you have the advantage of asking for a higher price on your house.

Seasonal Trends

Buyer behavior fluctuates with local seasonal trends. Popular opinion says spring is the best time to sell. Buyers come out of winter hibernation to shop the market. However, seasonal trends differ between cities and regions. Your best time to sell could be summer, fall, or winter. Consider where you live: are you at a popular tourist destination? Do you live where it is quiet? Or are you in the suburbs where houses for sale trend all year round? Research trends for your area, and weigh factors like the weather and holidays which dissuade buyers from shopping the market.

Maintenance

If your house is not up to snuff, you can miss out on a great sale opportunity. Say it is the height of spring, and buyers are aggressively shopping the market. An eager buyer walks through your home, but wait – the pipes are bad or there is damage from a recent disaster. The buyer is on a tight deadline to close and cannot wait for you to make repairs. They find another house to purchase, and you miss a sale.

Consider also that a house depreciates in value over time if it is not properly maintained or cared for. Surely you do not want to miss out on more money. Take advantage of a slow season to make renovations. This way, your house will be ready to show at its best, at the height of another high-volume season.

Are You in a Rush to Sell?

Maybe there is no time to make repairs. Maybe you need to sell fast to avoid foreclosure, or so you can relocate for a job in another state. Things happen, and when they do, you are put in a tight spot. Rather than stress or worry over market conditions and selling trends, consider the alternative: sell to an investor. Most times, an investor will make a cash offer for a property any time of the year, regardless of its condition. You can enjoy a quick closing and offload your old house without any trouble.

Cash offer considerations when selling your house

Cash Offer Considerations When Selling a House

Home » seller considerations


Selling a house is stressful. Between regular cleanings, walkthroughs, and negotiations with buyers over the price, it is no wonder sellers dread the process. If you are in a well-off market or competitive location, you will encounter cash offers. In general, here are the cons and pros to consider before accepting a cash offer for your house:

Cons of Accepting a Cash Offer

Con #1: Less Cash

Cash buyers typically fix up and flip the houses they buy. To cover renovations, they offer less than the asking price. This amount may be as low as half the potential house’s value, depending on its condition.

Con #2: Buyers Are Not Vetted Thoroughly

Sellers who are desperate to sell fast may not research the cash source as extensively as they should. Do your due diligence on buyers to avoid scams or use SolidOffers. We verify all buyers for you and find the best fit.

Pros of Accepting a Cash Offer

Pro #1: A Faster Closing

With a typical buyer, the sale process takes a month. Cash offers usually take two weeks to close because there is no lender. A faster closing means you can move out of your old home faster and into your new home more quickly. This is good for sellers who are relocating for a job or need a bigger home for their growing family.

Pro #2: Less Risk of Buyer Fall-through

A big concern with a typical buyer is they will not be approved for a loan. If this happens, the buyer backs out of the deal, and you start the selling process all over again. A cash offer is guaranteed money. This means a cash buyer must show proof of funds.

Pro #3: Fewer Contingencies

All-cash sales get rid of annoying contingencies. First, there is the financing contingency. This lets buyers back out if they cannot secure a mortgage.

No mortgage means no appraisal contingency. You might still consider getting an appraisal, though, so as not to get less than the home is actually worth.

Finally, you do not need to worry about a home sale contingency. This contingency lets buyers back out if they do not sell their current home.

Pro #4: Fewer Fees

Cash offers save fees for both buyers and sellers. There are no mortgage fees, no appraisal fees, and sellers can forgo repair costs. There are also no fees for a realtor or professional cleaning and staging services.

Pro #5: Less Work and Stress

All the time and worry a seller spends selling a home disappears with an all-cash offer. You do not have to be concerned with cleanings, inspections, repairs, staging, or walkthroughs. You skip back-and-forth negotiations with buyers and close fast.

Get a Cash Offer from a SolidOffers Investor

SolidOffer verifies all investors, so you always know they can pay what is agreed. Selling your house can be done quickly. You have the flexibility to choose your closing date within 7 days or less. Investors (or investment companies) will make a cash offer on the house, regardless of its condition. Their terms of sale are creditable and legal, and the interests of both parties are considered. You can feel good about the sale, get money fast, and offload your old house.

Couple in front of house with For Sale sign they are selling the house by owner FSBO

How to Sell Your House by Owner (FSBO)

Home » seller considerations


Selling your home by owner, without an agent, is possible. It can be a challenge, but once you know the process, it is doable. All you need is a strategy with an outline of key steps.

Step 1: Determine the Fair Market Value

This step is crucial. If you price the house too low, you walk away with less money than it is worth. Price it too high, and the house could sit on the market for months.

Use online real estate valuation sites, like Zillow or Trulia, to get an estimated value. This could be off by thousands of dollars, so get a second opinion. Ask a real estate agent to provide a competitive market analysis. This service is typically free but may come with a sales pitch. To avoid this, pay a licensed appraiser for the most accurate estimate.

Step 2: Prep the House for Sale

Pretend you are the buyer and walk through your house. What might a buyer notice and not like? Are there flaws? What about needed repairs? You must be objective. If necessary, bring in an outsider, like a professional stager or home inspector.

Buyers want to envision themselves living in your house. Declutter and clean living spaces to make them visually appealing. If you are too busy, hire professional cleaning services.

Step 3: Market For Sale By Owner

There is no single way to market a house. For sale by owner (FSBO) listings appear on consumer-facing listing sites like Zillow all the time. Consider listing on the multiple listing service (MLS). It is the largest, most accurate database of for-sale homes. Only licensed real estate agents can post on the MLS, but for a flat listing fee, an agent will list your house.

Traditional market house options include yard signs, flyers, and open houses. If you market your house online and use these options, you improve your chances of selling. The house gets noticed, and buyers will schedule walkthroughs.

Step 4: Negotiate Terms of Sale

Sell by owner means you must negotiate terms of sale with buyers and their agents. Be prepared for give-and-take situations. Buyers will offer less than your asking price and may ask for seller concessions. These include you paying for the appraisal, inspection fee, or a portion of the closing costs.

Step 5: Handle the Closing

Closings are legal matters overseen by closing attorneys or title agents. Once you choose the desired party, they will outline the required procedures. It is important to keep buyers in the loop. The biggest obstacle is the buyer’s mortgage. If it is not approved, the deal falls apart. Keep the mortgage agent informed of closing details as well.

Skip These Steps

If you would like to forgo these steps, consider selling your house to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer regardless of how a house looks or its condition. You can enjoy a quick closing with fewer steps, less paperwork,  and stress.

solid offers Worried man who needs to sell house while in forbearance

Can I Sell My House while in Forbearance?

Home » seller considerations


When a mortgage borrower is unable to pay off their loan, a lender will opt to foreclose. This means they seize the property and sell it to recover their lost money. To avoid foreclosure, lenders and borrowers will forge a forbearance plan.

What is forbearance?

Forbearance means the parties agree to new mortgage terms. The borrower will pay interest-only payments or smaller payments for a few months or a temporary pause on paying back the loan. These postponed payments will eventually be due. This debt is not forgiven.

Forbearance is good for anyone who has suffered a hardship. If a home is damaged in a flood, or the economy takes a hit, and you lose your job, forbearance eases mortgage stress. It is a complicated agreement because there is no “one size fits all” arrangement. Options will vary based on the lender, type of loan, and owner requirements in the mortgage loan.

Forbearance under the CARES Act

Protections under the CARES Act apply to all federally backed and federally sponsored mortgages (Updated: April 2021 to reflect new information).

  1. For mortgages backed by the FHA, USDA or, VA, the deadline to request an initial forbearance is June 30, 2021.
  2. For loans backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, USDA, or VA, your lender or loan servicer cannot foreclose on you until after June 30, 2021.
  3. If your financial hardship is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you have a right to request and obtain a forbearance for up to 180 days (for a total of up to 360 days).
  4. When the forbearance period ends, you are not required to repay the skipped payments in a lump sum. You can discuss a repayment plan.

Can I sell my house while in forbearance?

The answer is yes; you can sell your house while in forbearance. However, the forborne amount must be paid back upon sale of the home. This amount will likely come out of the purchase price of the home. You must also pay off the owed balance remaining on the mortgage; this too comes out of your profit.

If you plan to sell while in forbearance, your lender might extend the forbearance agreement. Foreclosures are hugely expensive and can drag out for months. Lenders want their money back fast, and dealing in home sales can exhaust their time and resources. If you sell, a lender can receive full payment of the loan and be spared the home sale process.

Things to Consider

A forbearance is, again, a temporary loan modification. Note the word “temporary.” Even if you get the lender to give you an extension, you have to consider the selling process.

You enter forbearance because you cannot afford to make regular monthly mortgage payments. Now consider:

  • If a home needs repairs or renovations, can you afford these?
  • Can you afford professional cleaning and staging services to maintain walkthroughs?
  • If you hire a realtor, they get a commission fee from the purchase price of the home. Selling a home costs money, and if you already have trouble making mortgage payments, can you really afford to sell through a traditional listing?
  • In sum, can you afford to sell to another hopeful homeowner?

Instead, Sell to an Investor

If you want to sell fast and make a profit, consider selling your house to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a home regardless of its condition or while it is in forbearance. You can enjoy a quick closing, pay off your loan and delayed payments, and be free of the menacing debt.

Solid Offers How to sell house with pets dog cat at home

How to Sell a House with Pets at Home

Home » seller considerations


Pet owners love their pets, but Fido or Fluffy could make selling your house a challenge. Buyers want to envision themselves and their own pets living in your home. Your furry friend could stifle that vision. Follow these steps to show and sell a house with pets.

Remove Evidence

Your home must be staged for photos and walkthroughs. Remove evidence of your pets. Put away the chew toys, scratch posts, food and water dishes—store cages and crates. Clean litter boxes and keep them out of sight.

Deodorize

You are accustomed to the smell of your dog or cat, but buyers will notice odors right away. Scented candles and perfumed sprays will not mask these odors but often make them worse. Try pet-specific deodorizers on carpets and fabrics, or get all textiles professionally steamed.

Mass Cleaning

This is important even if you have no pets. Your home must be clean to make a good impression. Sweep floors, clean carpets, and vacuum furniture to remove pet hair and dander. Clean windows of paw prints and drool marks. Mop up pet stains. If you have a fish tank or other animal enclosure that cannot be easily moved, make sure the glass is squeaky clean.

Repair Pet Damage

Remember when your puppy or kitten chewed on posts or clawed the curtains? Even fully grown, they can scratch up the floors or dig up the carpets. These damages must be addressed if you are to sell a home.

Spruce Up the Yard

Dogs love to play, run, dig, and roll around in the yard. They also do their business outside. This leaves your lawn less green and less pleasant to walk across. It helps if you clean up after your dog and spruce up the landscape. If your pooch was in the front yard, keep in mind that curb appeal matters in a sale. If buyers do not like what they see when they pull up, they may not care to see inside the home.

Relocate Your Pet

The best way to keep your house clean and make a sale is to relocate your pet with a close friend or family member. This will be a temporary arrangement till the house is sold. It also spares you problems with buyers who are afraid of dogs or allergic to pet hair.

If you want to keep your pet with you and avoid the hassle of the aforementioned activities, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a home regardless of animal tenants, pet damage, or odors. You can enjoy a quick closing and get you and your pet into your next home right away.

what makes a house hard to sell or unsellable

What Makes Your House Unsellable

Home » seller considerations


Most things can sell at the right price, but a home is a big investment, so buyers are more scrupulous. This is where they are going to live, so it needs to be “just right.” Here are 7 items that can make a house unsellable.

Undesirable Location

Location, location, location! It matters. Few buyers are willing to live near an airport, railway, or busy highway because of noise. Living next door to loud neighbors is a turnoff, and a dicey neighborhood with a high crime rate is unnerving. High-risk disaster areas and flood zones scare many buyers away. Most times, a house in a bad location can only be sold at a low price.

Outdated Home Style or Décor

Would you want to live in a home that looked like the set of “That ‘70s Show”? Most buyers want a home with the latest interior trends and new materials. If you want to sell, you may have to fork over the money for renovations.

Mold and Dampness

Visible signs of a leak concern most buyers. They worry if a home has a dampness issue, this could present later problems, like harmful mold. Dampness could be due to bad plumbing or a leaky exterior, and no one wants to buy a home that needs immediate repairs.

Neglected Maintenance

It is one thing to be busy or short on funds, but if you neglect maintenance – your house deteriorates. Buyers often have enough money to buy a home but not enough left over to make repairs. You will have to invest the time and money to make these repairs yourself, or with the help of a professional, to pass a home inspection. If the cost in time and money is too high, your best option is to sell to an investor. Investors look specifically for properties in need of repair, so you can sell quickly and easily without spending any money on it.

Bad Odors

Have you ever entered a space and been offended by a bad smell? Imagine how your buyers feel if your home smells like a vet office, with so many animals, cages, and litter boxes. Or what if you or another member of the house smokes? Cigarette smoke is a major turnoff, as its odor becomes trapped in materials like carpeting.

Lack of Natural Light

No one wants to feel like they live in a cave. Windows and natural light make spaces feel open and bigger than they really are. You can paint a room white to make it seem brighter or add windows or skylights to let in light.

Cluttered, Not Staged Home

Buyers want to envision themselves in a home when they visit for a walkthrough. If your rooms are cluttered with belongings, this becomes difficult and makes rooms appear smaller. You must throw stuff out or donate it, then clean and stage your home, so it makes a good impression.

If you do not have the time, funds, or ability to address the aforementioned items, consider selling your house to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer despite location, damages, or outdated designs, and most times without a walkthrough. You can enjoy a quick closing and offload your problem house.

Selling a house with bad loud neighbors

How to Sell a House with Bad Neighbors

Home » seller considerations


Selling a house is stressful enough without having bad neighbors run off your buyers. If a buyer comes to look at your house, and next door, they see an overgrown lawn, hear yelling, or smell the dogs – you know, the ones that howl all night and dig up the fence, they may not finish the walkthrough. Bad neighbors can sour a house deal, lowering its value by 5% to 10%. Here are some steps you can take to improve the situation and sell a house with bad neighbors.

Be Transparent

Some neighbors do not mean to be bad. If your neighbors are approachable, talk to them. Please do not come at them aggressively. Instead, mention you have buyers visiting the house and politely explain how their actions impact the sale. You can also use a professional mediator to handle these conversations and avoid confrontation.

Be Kind

Some neighbors are busy, and caring for their property falls to the wayside. It takes time and effort, but you can offer to help your neighbor with outward-facing home projects. Mow their lawn or lend a hand with home repairs. If their car is on cinderblocks, or they hoard things scattered in plain view, help move the car into the garage and move things inside or into storage.

Call the HOA

If your neighbor is unreasonable or aggressive, it could be time to take action. Homeowners’ associations tend to stay out of small disputes; however, most have a clause that says residents have a right to “quiet enjoyment” of their homes. Your HOA should enforce neighborhood codes, including telling neighbors to keep house, landscape, and keep down the noise.

Take Legal Action

If your HOA is inactive, and your neighbor seems hostile, notify the county or city of a “sabotaging neighbor.” You can claim nuisance. This means your neighbor unreasonably interferes with your property’s usage through loud music, debris, or other means. If you feel threatened, call law enforcement. Hire a lawyer to convince your neighbor you take the situation seriously and show you have a sound case against them. These are extreme actions and not often called for unless absolutely necessary.

Be Honest

You must let potential buyers know the situation with your neighbors. If they are loud, obnoxious, or there is another issue, you must disclose the truth to avoid legal trouble post-sale. Most real estate disclosures demand sellers warn buyers of problems of which the seller is aware.

If you want to avoid your neighbors and evade leery buyers, consider selling your home to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer despite problems next door. You can enjoy a quick closing and move away from the people who give you so much trouble.

12