By Caroline Kirby
It can be overwhelming and confusing to inherit land, especially because it’s usually after the death of a family member or other loved one. Whether you’re trying to navigate the sentimental meaning tied to the property, your own emotions, the questions tied to land ownership, or a mix of all, don’t worry.
Here’s a helpful guide to getting started with this topic.
How to Sell Inherited Land
While it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, it may be comforting to know that selling an inherited piece of land or property is not all too different than selling any other piece of land. Generally, once the land’s title has been transferred to you, then you are free to do what you want with it.
The one major thing to be aware of is that selling inherited land will determine what taxes, if any, you will have to pay once you sell it if a profit is made.
Before moving further, the estate must go through probate. This is the legal process of getting an asset out of the name of a deceased person; it can often be avoided if the asset (in this case, real estate) has been placed in a living trust. For small estates valued between a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars, many states allow for summary probate. This is an expedited process that doesn’t take much time or require legal counsel.
Once the estate goes through probate, the court grants the executor of the will have the authority to distribute the estate’s assets and settle any debts. If you are the executor and you have siblings or other family members who share the inheritance of the land, you will need their permission before selling. After all of this is settled, then you may proceed with the selling process.
If you don’t want to handle the process at all, then you can hire a real estate agent, and that’s it! No need to read the rest of this article. However, if you choose to take this on yourself (which is not too difficult), then here’s what you need to know.
• Contact a professional, like an appraiser, to value the land for you. This will ensure that you place your property in the best place on the market.
• Reach out to the owners adjacent to your land first and see if they’d be interested in buying the property. This could be the easiest route and save you lots of time and effort.
• Get the word out! Assuming the neighboring landowners aren’t interested in purchasing the property, then put large signage up on your land. This can be as simple as writing “For Sale” with a phone number below.
• If you do not live near the property, you can hire a real estate agent to view the property and make any recommendations to make the land more likely to sell or to say if it is good as is.
• List your land on appropriate websites, like LandHub.com, which offers month to month plans and free cancellation.
Selling inherited land can be an emotionally charged process, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult. Use the advice above as you begin to explore your options.
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