It doesn't happen especially often, but every now and then, someone will find themselves the new owner of a home through inheritance. The top three reasons that people engage in estate planning are to avoid probate, minimize discord among beneficiaries, and protect children from mismanaging their inheritances.
During the estate planning process, someone may leave real estate to a family member. If you've found yourself in possession of a new property this way, it's important to get a realistic estimate of what the property is actually worth. Here are a few signs that your inheritance might be more valuable than you first think.
While some people are specifically shopping for a fixer-upper, the general real estate buyer is looking for a property that's fully finished and move-in ready. The more recently the home has been updated, the more likely it is that the house is ready for someone to move into. If the home you've inherited has been updated or improved in the past few years, such as with a new furnace or a roof, you'll likely be able to ask a higher price for it.
If the previous owner of the home made updates to it, the type of updates can also make an impact on the home's overall value. Some improvements have more of a market value than others, and they're not always the improvements you may suspect. For example, a swimming pool can boost your home’s value by up to 7%, even if some buyers aren't looking to purchase a home with a pool. Do some research on the specific features of your inherited home - you may be surprised what you find.
Not all homes that are inherited as part of an estate are in great condition. Many aging property owners don't have the capacity to update their home, or even maintain it. However, that doesn't make the property less valuable. The size, age, and location of the home alone can make your fixer-upper property one with surprising hidden value. Do some market research to see what the going rate for comparable homes in your area is - with a bit of elbow grease, you could make a significant profit on the home.
Not everyone will find themselves in a position where they've inherited a home as part of an estate - however, knowing what to do if you find yourself in that position is important. Use these tips to estimate or even improve the value of your inherited property, and you'll be able to sell it for what it's truly worth.