Everyone goes through the grieving process differently, but it’s undoubtedly never easy. Some people feel like they need to cling to the memories to remember and live their lives in peace; others have to move on, both figuratively and literally, which is why it’s not rare for people to get rid of inherited goods, especially houses. It might also be easier if there are any issues with shared ownership or the will doesn’t specify it clearly.
However, the selling and buying processes look a bit different in this case. According to Probate Advance inheritance experts, if you are the one who wants to buy a house from a bereaved family, you need to bear a few more things in mind compared to buying a regular property, such as potential debts, the number of legal owners, or whether it must go through probate.
Below, you will find more details about what you need to remember and consider when buying a house from a bereaved family before you place an offer.
Ask Your Real Estate Agent if the House Is in Probate
Even if the deceased person left a will, there is still a chance that it could go through probate. Probate is a legal process when the state verifies the will’s validity and makes sure that the estate goes to the rightful beneficiaries or heirs. This process can take a long time and may involve additional charges. However, properties going through probate are also cheaper than those listed on the market, even with the fees.
Asking your real estate agent about the probate status of the house is crucial as they have access to all the necessary information regarding public records. The agent will also be in a better position to advise you regarding the best strategy to pursue when buying a house from a bereaved family in this situation.
Check out If There Are Any Claims or Liens on the House
It’s a good idea to check out whether there are any claims or liens on the house. This is something you should do even if the house isn’t in probate. As said before, there are many different reasons why people need to sell inherited dwellings, which is why it’s possible that the former owner had financial issues.
You can check out the public records at your local county courthouse to see whether the house has any liens or claims against it. If it does, you can try to find out more about them by speaking with the real estate agent or the deceased person’s attorney. Some liens might require a bond, which means that you have to pay a certain amount of money before you can close the deal. If you don’t want to go through this trouble, it might be wise to look for another property.
Contact All the Legal Owners of the House
In some cases, there can be more than one legal owner of a house, e.g., all the children of a deceased person. In such cases, you need to make sure that you contact all the legal owners of the property, as it’s not uncommon for some of them to have a different opinion regarding the selling process.
It’s a good idea to consult an attorney about this issue before you place an offer on the house from a bereaved family. They will help you develop a strategy and offer you professional advice on how to proceed with purchasing the property.
Make Sure the House Is in Good Condition
No matter what house you’re buying and under what circumstances, you should always make sure it is in good condition. Owners often take care of minor repairs when preparing to sell their houses. However, in the case of a home sold by a bereaved family, it may be a bit more neglected. If the house requires extensive repairs, the heirs may be willing to sell it for less than its market value.
It’s a good idea to hire a professional inspector to check if there are any issues with the property, such as mold or possible termite infestation. The inspection will also provide you with all the necessary information on how much repairs might cost and whether you should negotiate.
Make Sure the Price Is Right
The price of the house will vary depending on the market. However, it’s also possible that the heirs will ask for more than the property is actually worth. This can lead to an unnecessary bidding war, which you might not be able to win even if you offer the full price.
It’s a good idea to research the property’s comparable sales before making an offer. If the heirs ask for too much money, you should let them know and try to decide on a fair deal or simply let go.
It’s always a good idea to document every step of the way when purchasing a home. After all, you don’t want any unpleasant surprises when you close the deal. You should always have a real estate agent by your side and have all the important issues and agreements in writing.
This will help you avoid future issues as you will have proof of everything that has been promised or agreed upon. You may also want to ask your real estate agent to write a letter detailing the state of the house and its condition, any possible liens, and the details of the price negotiation. This way, you can be sure that you won’t get into trouble later on.
These are some of the most common things you need to remember when buying a house from bereaved families. A simple check can give you a better understanding of what you might be getting into and save you both money and worries. Make sure to follow all the necessary steps before placing an offer and always ask professionals for advice.
If you are ready to invest, make sure to contact a real estate agent. They will be able to assist you with checking the house, identifying potential issues, and finding solutions. Realtors also have access to more detailed information, which will help you get the full picture, saving you a lot of trouble.