Selling your home under normal circumstances can be a stressful situation but even more so when you’re dealing with a bereavement. If you find yourself needing to sell an inherited home, you’ll find that the process is very different. Here’s our guide to selling a house under probate and how to make selling a probate property as problem-free as possible.

5 tips for selling an inherited property

  1. Check the Will

Firstly, let’s look at the legal side of things when inheriting a house in the UK. You will need to check the will to ensure that it states the name of the executor – the person in charge of the deceased’s estate. And the beneficiaries – those who are to inherit the estate.

  1. Apply for probate

If you are named as the ‘executor’ then you can apply for a grant of probate from the Probate Registry. Probate gives the executor the legal authority to act on behalf of the deceased, this includes access to bank accounts, investments and anything else that is relevant to the property.

It usually takes a grant of probate around six to eight weeks to arrive. And then finalised issues of inheritance and the estate can take from about three to six months, or even longer, depending on things, such as, if it’s a large estate with various bank accounts, properties, etc.

  1. Speak to the experts

Alternatively, you can appoint a solicitor or somebody else licensed to provide a probate service to do this on your behalf. This can help if you want to avoid the extra paperwork and may help you save time and effort.

You will also need to instruct a chartered surveyor. We would recommend doing this as early as possible as the HMRC will require an accurate figure for probate purposes. One of our surveyors will be able to offer assistance.

  1. What about inheritance tax?

When you sell your own home, you do not need to pay Capital Gains Tax. However, in most cases when selling a property that you have inherited, if you sell for a profit, you will be liable to pay this. There are exceptions to this, for example, you won’t have to pay any inheritance tax if it is passed to the deceased’s spouse or civil partner, a charity or a community amateur sports club or if the property has a value below the Inheritance Tax threshold of £325,000.

If the deceased left the estate to their children or grandchildren, the threshold goes up to £475,000. This applies to adopted, foster or stepchildren, too. This threshold only applies if the person’s estate is less than £2 million

If inheriting a house means you own two homes, you will have to nominate one of them as your main home. You will then need to inform HMRC which is your main home within two years of inheriting it.

  1. Making a sale

The final consideration is to establish if the property could be readily sold in its current condition. This means, it could be sold in a matter of weeks for a good price. If the answer is no, then it’s a good idea to think about making some light changes. Having a good clear out, a fresh coat of paint in neutral colours and even changing the floor coverings can make a big difference.  Doing so will make sure you are creating a calming, bright and airy space.

To find out how we can help, contact your local Hair & Son office.