Sell Inherited Home Fast In Massachusetts – Guide 2024

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sell inherited home fast massachusetts

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Nothing in life comes easy. Inheriting a home is no exception, particularly when you need to sell it as quickly as possible. 

Lawyers, estate agents, accountants – papers, papers, papers! But does it have to be? 

Selling an inherited home in Massachusetts can be made easier and quicker with the right strategies and steps. 

Ultimately, the home you inherit should be a blessing, and selling it a source of comfort. So, read on as we help you navigate this process with confidence.

Key Notes

  • Options for inherited home sales include cash home buyers, iBuyers, real estate agents and FSBO.
  • Proper preparation and pricing of property is crucial.
  • Sale of inherited home includes capital gain tax of 5%.
  • All heirs must agree to sell inherited property.

1. Confirm Status of Inherited Home Ownership

Legally, an individual may only sell inherited property that has already been transferred into their name. Such transfer takes place in three ways:

Transfer on Death Deed (TOD)

In simple terms, a document prepared by the deceased that automatically transfers ownership of the property to the beneficiary on the date of death. Possession of a TOD enables the seller to avoid the probate process.

Living Trust Transfer

In circumstances where property is inherited through a living trust, the designated trustee will be tasked with distributing the assets to beneficiaries, avoiding the probate process.

Probate

Probate is the administration and distribution of a deceased’s estate under court supervision. Massachusetts probate law provides that any property owned by the deceased at the time of their death must pass through the probate process to legally change ownership before any sale can occur. 

To speed up the probate process for selling an inherited property, sellers should consider the following:

  • Consult a probate attorney.
  • Familiarize yourself with probate requirements.
  • Gather essential documents, including death certificate and proof of ownership.
  • Confirm and clear any outstanding debts and liens on the property.
  • Confirm title of property and resolve any existing ownership disputes.
  • Determine property value.

Sellers should remember that the Massachusetts probate process ordinarily takes 9 to 11 months—far from ideal, we know. 

But, there are alternative options for selling inherited property within 6 months.

2. Explore Your Selling Options

Cash Home Buyers

Selling your inherited home to a cash home buyer in MA is an option that promises to save you time and sleepless nights. Cash home-buying companies specialize in quick, hassle-free property sales and have no issues purchasing properties as-is, foregoing your need for upkeep. 

Cash home buyers also eliminate commission/agent fees, closing costs, and the endless chore of preparing a “show house.”

iBuyers

iBuyers are technology driven property companies that use automated valuation models and algorithms to make instant offers on homes. 

iBuyers charge a service fee, but this is offset by the speed and convenience they offer, often completing transactions within a few weeks.

ℹ️ Did you know? iBuyer service fees in Massachusetts typically range from 7-9% of the sale price while the average real estate agent’s commission sits at 5.45% in 2024.

Real Estate Agents

Hiring a real estate agent is a tried-and-tested option available to inherited home sellers. Agents specialize in providing market insights, setting a competitive price, and handling negotiations. 

Sellers choosing the traditional route should ensure the agent has a strong track record and comprehensive local market knowledge. Their expertise can streamline the sale and quickly attract serious buyers.

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

Sellers may opt to take on the task themselves by way of an inherited property FSBO. Selling the property yourself can save on iBuyers service fees and agent commissions, as well as the benefit of proceeding with your preferred market value. 

FSBO can be effective and highly profitable if you have the time to manage listings, showings, and negotiations. Make use of platforms such as the Massachusetts Multiple Listing Service to list the property and reach a broad buying audience.

3. Preparing the Property for a Quick Sale

Assessing the Property’s Condition

Hiring a professional to conduct a home inspection before listing is an invaluable expense, ultimately helping you to negotiate the best possible sale price. 

Focus on essential fixes that can uphold or enhance the property’s value without significant expense. 

Identify necessary repairs before the buyer identifies an opportunity to knock down the price.

Staging and Presenting the Home

Staging helps buyers visualize the property’s potential and their place in it. 

Simple steps like repainting walls and updating light fixtures can transform a living space. Cleaning and decluttering also make a world of difference in terms of buyer appeal. 

Professional staging services should also be considered for a polished look. Professionally staged homes sell for an average of $40,000 over the list price.

Setting the Right Price

Competitive, well-placed pricing is key to securing a quick sale. 

Consider current market conditions and recent sales of similar homes in the area.

The 2024 Massachusetts Housing Market favors the seller. Higher sale prices and record-low inventory equates to a market primed for sellers looking to make a quick and profitable sale.

MetricMarch 2024
Median Sale Price (single-family home) $609,900 (+9% YoY)
Total Sales (single-family home) 6,547 (+14.63%YoY)
Inventory (single-family home)3,650 (-28.57% YoY)
New Listings (single-family home)3,584 (-11.9% YoY)

4. Tax Considerations

When selling an inherited home in Massachusetts, you will need to pay capital gains tax on the profit made from the sale of the inherited home.

The profit on sale of an inherited home is taxed according to the Massachusetts Long-Term Capital Gains Tax, currently fixed at 5%

This profit is based on the difference between the house’s current appraised value and the house’s selling price.

Step-Up in Basis

The Step-Up rule applies to inherited property in Massachusetts. Under this rule, the value of the property is adjusted to its fair market value at the time of the original owner’s death. 

The rule exists to ease capital gains tax calculations and can offer significant savings. However, these may ultimately be offset by estate taxes in large estates.

Estate Tax Exemption

Sellers who received an inheritance from an estate that is subject to the Massachusetts estate tax may be able to take advantage of the estate tax exemption. 

For 2024, the Massachusetts estate tax exemption is $2 million. This means that if the estate is valued at less than $2 million, it will not be subject to the estate tax.

5. Legal Considerations

Massachusetts state law requires that, in the case of multiple inheritors, all heirs agree to sell the property before any sale can take place. 

In the absence of such an agreement, the property cannot be sold, and the inheritors must go through the lengthy probate process outlined above to try to resolve the dispute under court supervision. 

Clear communication between heirs is essential to avoiding conflicts and delays in estate distribution. Hold regular meetings to discuss the sale process and agree on major decisions. 

If disagreements arise, consider mediation to reach a consensus. Legal professionals can assist in facilitating these discussions and ensuring all parties are fairly represented.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is now a good time to sell an inherited home in Massachusetts?

Yes. The 2024 Massachusetts housing market presents a low inventory, high sale pricing trend. This suits prospective sellers looking to quickly offload inherited property, as buyers are struggling to find reasonably priced homes.

How long does it take to close on a house in Massachusetts?

Sellers can expect a closing process ranging from 30 to 60 days, depending on administrative circumstances. The closing period is considerably less when using a cash buyer, deals can sometimes be closed in as quickly as 7 days.

What costs can I expect using real estate agents and iBuyers in Massachusetts?

The average real estate agent’s commission is 5.45% in 2024, with closing costs around 3.09% of the purchase price. 

In addition to iBuyer service fees, which average 7-9%, sellers can expect closing costs between 1.3% and 2% of the purchase price. 

Cash home buyers usually provide a mandate free of service fees or closing costs.

Conclusion

In Massachusetts, selling an inherited home quickly requires clever planning, near-perfect execution and a thorough understanding of the entire process. By following the steps above, you can select the right option for you. 

Looking to take advantage of the favorable 2024 MA housing market and sell your inherited home as quickly as possible? We’re ready to buy for cash, enquire today.

Fast & Free Cash Offers. No Fees. No Commission.