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Selling An Inherited/Probate Property?

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Curious About Selling Inherited Property Or House In Probate?

First, we’re so sorry for your loss. This can be a very challenging time for many reasons, and dealing with property ownership and an inherited house is tough at the best of times.

You’re thinking, “I have or will soon be inheriting a property, what do I do with this house?” Should I keep it? Should I rent it? Should I sell it?  How should I sell it?

Tons of options open for you, but…

… we can help.

We’re seasoned investors in Ohio real estate, we buy houses for cash and we’re looking to buy several houses each month throughout the Buckeye State.  Every month we get calls from those who have an inherited probate property who are looking to sell it… so the info below includes a few tips to help new or soon-to-be homeowners navigate the process.

I Have An Inherited Property, What To Do Next?

Here’s a few important considerations to help you make the right decision when you have an inherited property:

1) Find out if probate is required.

The first step in Ohio is to figure out if the property actually needs to go through the probate process. There have been many changes to the probate law by the Ohio Legislature in the last 10 years that have changed the process, allowing many family homes to escape the probate process.

Ohio no longer uses a Transfer on Death Deed, but now uses a Transfer On Death Affidavit. There also are Survivorship Deeds, often between surviving spouses, as well as property ownership by a Trust, LLC, Corporation or other entity the property doesn’t necessarily need to transfer via probate.

2) Make sure the mortgage is paid.

This may sound obvious, but if the person who left you a property also had a mortgage (unless it had no mortgage and was paid off, which is great!), you have to pay it (assuming you want to keep the property). Some banks will allow you to assume the loan, while others may force you to refinance into a new loan. If you don’t qualify for a new loan, renting may not be an option for you.

Ohio Attorney Probate Summary

Homesmith - Ohio Attorney Probate Process Summary

For a quick summary to help with the understanding of how to sell a probate property in Ohio, watch the above video featuring Hank Schaefer, Probate Attorney of Groth & Associates, Attorneys at Law based in Toledo, Ohio.  Hank explains the key elements of the process.  He can be reached directly with any questions at

3) The investment is only as good as the manager.

If dealing with brokers, maintenance, tenants, rent collection and all the nuances of property management isn’t the best use of your time, hire a professional to help you or cash out now.

Some people who inherit homes decide to keep the house and rent it for extra income. That’s a great strategy for sure. You just need to be prepared to manage the property and the hassles that can go along with tenants and toilets.

4) Property ownership costs money.

It’s rare to see a building that’s been perfectly maintained. Most inherited houses or properties in probate need major improvements to return it to its highest market value. As you’d expect, it costs even more to get it looking like it was designed for HGTV.

Consider hiring a professional property inspector to give you a detailed rundown on what you’ll need to do within the next five years, along with estimated costs. Surprises are very, very expensive.

5) Selling a property for top dollar costs money.

First of all, there is always that emotional bit of preparing a loved one’s house ready for sale – which most likely includes depersonalizing his or her rooms and also clearing out all the belongings… Then there is the cost of marketing the house in order to attract potential buyers.

If you don’t want to deal with making repairs, updating kitchens, improving landscaping and overall cleanup, don’t worry.   Sometimes the prospect of removing household items and just cleaning up the property can be overwhelming.  

Homesmith can offer you a smooth and compassionate transition.  We buy houses in Ohio for cash, in “as-is” condition and we specialize in speed and convenience.  No repairs or cleaning are necessary and you can leave behind any furniture or unwanted items. Keep what you want and leave the rest.  There are no banks, fees or commissions to deal with, we will handle it all for you and we can close on your schedule.

6) If the market will continue to grow faster than your other options, hang on to the investment.

We can help you analyze the value of your property today versus the long-term benefits of renting. If you can use the equity in your property in another way that outpaces the performance of the real estate market, you should. If you don’t have anything better to do with the money and the neighborhood is rising in value, hang on – real estate can be a great investment if you know how to correctly read the market.

7) Uncle Sam wants a piece of the action.

Don’t forget to discuss your inheritance with tax and legal professionals before you take action. There are major property and income tax consequences that will dramatically impact the cost of owning your investment.

8) Consider all your options.

In certain situations we may be able to help you structure a lease-option agreement that allows you to rent and sell at the same time – capturing the best of both worlds. These kinds of deals can be complicated, but our investment experience throughout the Buckeye State can help you win.

9) Compare a few scenarios.

We’ll help you determine prices for any property in Ohio – if you sold it today without doing any work, the highest price the market will bear, and the projected value of keeping it as a rental (along with the costs). If you decide to sell, the best, hassle-free way to sell the house is to Homesmith. Unlike traditional listings, you will have a guaranteed sale, a quick closing date you can rely, and no surprises at closing. To learn more, send us a message or call (614) 401-3651 or 1-877-HOMESMITH (466-3764) at any time!

BBB Black Horizontal

“I need to send a note of thanks for all the help Barry and his company gave to me and my brothers when selling my mom’s condominium. She passed away last November and my brothers couldn’t get to Columbus until March when we contacted Barry. We spent an emotional week going through her things to get it ready to sell. I’m happy to report we closed on the property last week (about five weeks from start to finish). The process has definitely been the easiest part of these past few months. I am so thankful there are people like you at trying times like this. Thank You!!”

SM - Sheri M. - Testimonial Sheri M. [Columbus, OH] 5 Stars Review

Recent Homesmith Articles On Inherited Houses And The Probate Process

For more information on inherited houses and the probate process in Ohio, check out a few of our recent articles below:

We buy houses no matter what your situation. Call us today at (614) 401-3651 or click contact us now for more information on how we can make you a fair cash offer on your inherited probate property today!