Inheriting a House? Choosing the Best Option for a Quick Sale

Inheriting a house can be a bittersweet experience. While it represents a sentimental connection to a loved one, it also comes with the responsibility of managing the property. If your situation necessitates a quick sale, you’ll be faced with a crucial decision: sell to an investor or list with a real estate agent. Both options have their pros and cons, and the “best” choice depends on your specific needs and priorities.

Photo of a key in a door - Inheriting a House? Choosing the Best Option for a Quick Sale
If you find yourself inheriting a house, you’ll be faced with several important questions. Having an agent on your side to answer them is very comforting.

Compare Your Options When Inheriting a House

There are always multiple paths you can take. Each will have pros and cons, as you would expect. Let’s look at each one that will guide you if you’re inheriting a house.

1. Speed: Cash vs. Market Timeline

Selling to an investor is the undisputed champion of speed. These companies specialize in buying houses quickly, often within a matter of weeks. They handle all the paperwork and closing costs, eliminating the need for repairs or staging. This is ideal if you need to settle an estate quickly, avoid ongoing maintenance costs, or simply want a fast and hassle-free transaction.

Selling with a real estate agent takes longer, typically a few months on average. The process involves listing the property, marketing it to potential buyers, conducting showings, negotiating offers, and navigating the closing process. While it’s slower, there’s a chance you might receive the highest offer compared to an investor’s offer, which is usually below market value.

2. Price: Convenience vs. Market Value

Investors prioritize speed and ease over maximizing profits. They typically offer below market value, often in the range of 70-80% of the house’s appraised worth. This convenience comes at a cost, potentially sacrificing a significant portion of your inheritance.

Real estate agents work to get you the best possible price for your house. They leverage their experience and market knowledge to price the property competitively, conduct open houses and targeted marketing, and negotiate with potential buyers to secure the highest offer. While there’s no guarantee of exceeding an investor’s offer, skilled agents can often bridge the gap between a quick sale and a good price.

3. Condition: As-Is vs. Prepping for Sale

Selling to an investor eliminates the burden of repairs or renovations. They typically purchase the house “as-is,” meaning they take on the responsibility of fixing any issues before reselling. This is a good option if the house requires significant repairs or you lack the resources to make them.

Selling with a real estate agent often involves some level of prepping the house for sale. Agents can recommend cost-effective improvements that can significantly increase the property’s value and attract more buyers. This could range from minor cosmetic work like painting and decluttering to addressing any major repairs. While it requires an initial investment, it can lead to a higher selling price that outweighs the upfront costs.

4. Expertise: Do-It-Yourself vs. Professional Guidance

Selling to an investor is a relatively straightforward process. These companies handle most of the legwork, requiring minimal involvement from you. However, they might not be forthcoming about potential problems with the house or alternative options.

Selling with a real estate agent benefits from their expertise. They can provide valuable guidance on pricing, marketing strategies, negotiation tactics, and legal requirements. This can be particularly helpful if you’re unfamiliar with the real estate market or have limited experience with selling property.

5. Emotional Factors: Detachment vs. Sentimentality

Selling to an investor can be a detached transaction. They focus on the business aspect, making the process impersonal. This might be preferable if you’re emotionally invested in selling the house quickly and moving on.

Selling with a real estate agent can be a more sentimental experience. Agents can help you find buyers who appreciate the property’s history and might be willing to pay a premium for its unique features. This can provide some closure and satisfaction if you’re attached to the house.

Choosing the Right Path

The decision between selling to an investor or listing with a real estate agent comes down to your circumstances. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Speed: How quickly do you need to sell the house?
  • Price: Are you willing to sacrifice some profit for a faster sale?
  • Condition: Does the house require significant repairs?
  • Expertise: Are you comfortable navigating the selling process yourself?
  • Emotions: How attached are you to the house emotionally?

By weighing these factors and understanding the pros and cons of each option, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and preferences. Consulting with a financial advisor and a real estate agent can also provide valuable insights and help you choose the path that leads to the most successful outcome.

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.