When you inherit a property, it can be hard to know what to do. Should you move into it, sell it on, or rent it out? Selling can bring in cash for you to invest in other projects, but how do you make the sale quick and lucrative? Estate agents can't always sell inherited property within a reasonable time frame, and they're likely to add on extra costs as well. This means that you're far better using a property buyer like Property Buyer, as we can shift your property and make sure you get the money for it as quickly as you need it.
In this guide to inherited property sales, we'll simplify the process, helping you to understand the costs of inheriting property, outline your options, and explain how to sell inherited property through us. We'll also answer the most common questions asked about inherited property, with an emphasis on probate.
If you've recently inherited a property, it's likely that you're dealing with a significant loss. In this situation - especially if you've inherited a house from someone you love - you may feel ill-equipped to deal with a sale process. In particular, if you've never inherited property before, you might think you're out of your depth and worry that there's just too much to learn and figure out.
However, while this is an unfortunate and emotionally challenging time, selling inherited property can be much easier than you might think. Going through an estate agent can be time-consuming, complex and tiring, but making a fast sale to a property buying company like us can be just the opposite. First, let's take a look at the costs associated with owning and selling an inherited house before we move on to explain the concept of probate and consider how we can help you shift your inherited property quickly and easily.
Inherited properties typically come with home insurance costs, but these costs partly depend on your decisions about the property's future. For example, if you leave the house or flat unoccupied for more than a month, you'll need to take out an unoccupied insurance policy. This is one of many reasons why it's smart to consider a quick, easy cash sale of unwanted property.
Tax on inherited property is another major issue. Learning how to effectively sell inherited houses also involves getting a grip on three different taxes that you might need to pay: capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance tax. We'll explain each of these below. In addition, remember that even when there's no one in the property, you're obligated to pay council tax on it. Try reaching out to someone from our local council to check whether they can offer you a discount.
Finally, inherited properties may also come with a remaining mortgage. It's common for the mortgage to already be paid off, but look into this and make sure you ask explicitly. The mortgage lender can give you all the information you need on this, along with outlining how they deal with payments after death (as terms may vary between different lenders).
Whether you're liable to pay tax on inherited property depends on the total value of the estate of the person who has passed away. The estate value is determined by their total assets, and if these assets are greater than £325,000 then you'll need to pay inheritance tax. To avoid adding interest, the tax has to be paid within six months of the person's death
However, note that there are some exceptions to this - if you've inherited property from a close relative (usually a parent or a partner), there may be a higher asset threshold that reduces the amount of tax you owe.
If you decide to live in your inherited property or sell it, then you won't need to pay income tax. This form of tax only comes into play if you opt to rent out the property and receive an income from renters as a result. If you go this route, you'll also have to disclose this income by annually filling out a self-assessment tax return form. It's worth keeping these extra costs in mind if you're on the fence about whether to sell or rent.
You'll need to pay capital gains tax if your inherited property increases in value between the time you inherit it and the time you sell it. Sometimes, the total capital gains tax is lowered by home improvements or by fees associated with selling, but it can be a significant cost. A range of factors determine this, and the best way to get an accurate figure is to use the HMRC's easy capital gains tax calculating tool. However, if you choose to sell the property right away, you can avoid capital gains tax entirely. We'd be happy to help you do so.
In order to claim your inherited property after you're named in a will, you need to apply for probate. This allows you to ensure the property gets listed in your name. This is necessary whether you want to live in the property, rent it or sell it.
When a property owner dies, their estate is dealt with by the person named in their will, or by their closest living relative if there is no available will. This person becomes legally responsible for the estate, including any property, and will obtain probate - this makes it possible to sell the property, provided they do so in line with what is set out in the will.
Selling a probate property shouldn't be any more expensive than selling any other flat or house. However, you might face certain further costs when you inherit a property - for example, clearance of the house, insurance payments and valuations. You may also need to factor in maintenance work. To sell a house fast through a property buying company like us can help to cut some of these costs (e.g. through vacant property insurance).
If you sell your inherited house or flat for a lot more than the figure stated in the tax return's Probate valuation, you might be asked to submit evidence explaining this difference. Often, it'll be accounted for by improvements you've made to the property, and if you have the results of three or more independent valuations than you'll likely not have to pay any further tax.
Yes. With a property buyer like ourselves, we can offer an immediate change of contracts and ensure that the sale is final. This gives you the freedom to apply for a grant of probate when it suits you. Our staff are experienced in dealing with probate properties and will be glad to address any questions or concerns you might have.
This is variable. If the situation is especially urgent (e.g. involving a court case), it can take just a couple weeks to obtain a Grant of Probate. Meanwhile, if you don't owe any inheritance tax, then the average waiting period is about six weeks. If you do owe inheritance tax, the Grant of Probate can take up to double this time (approximately 12 weeks).
For probate, property documents are needed so that the estate's value can be determined. Generally, you'll be asked to provide some documents related to the deceased person's identity - their original will, their death certificate, and their National Insurance Number. In addition, you'll likely have to provide property deeds and information about the property's mortgage (whether paid off or not).
If you don't have a copy of the will handy, get in touch with the deceased's persons solicitor and ask for a copy. If you can't reach the solicitor or they're no longer practicing, try the Solicitors Regulation Authority. If all of these avenues come up short, it's likely that the person didn't make a will. In this event, it's normal for their estate to go to their closest living relative.
When you want to sell a house in probate, there are key mistakes to try and avoid in the early stages. The most commonly seen include the following: misunderstanding the deceased person's will, not recording everything that comes in and out of the inherited estate, failing to correctly transfer homeownership, not correctly assessing the debts associated with the estate, and filling in the Probate forms incorrectly.
Yes. We can offer this completely free of charge if you've inherited a property, and we can arrange this very quickly. In many cases, though, it's smart to get three or more independent valuations to ensure you know how much Inheritance Tax you likely have to pay.
At Property Buyer, we'll take extra costs out of the equation. Unlike an estate agency, we won't charge you extensive fees, and you won't need to pay a solicitor. We'll never charge you for our valuation and sale process, and we can guarantee that you'll be able to shift your inherited property in the timeframe that suits you. Although when we buy any house, it will be for a lower price than a typical estate agency would be listing it for, you'll be pleasantly surprised that the cost to sell a house with us will still give you the same money from the sale.