This article is the third in a series to assist when you have inherited a home. As stated in article #1, you have already taken the initial actions required for property possession. The second article directs you to Realtors and legal professionals to establish the change in authority of ownership. A crucial and necessary action will now be to assess the home’s structure, condition and contents before listing the property.


To some degree, we know our own home’s deficits and benefits. If you have not recently resided in the inherited property or were not involved with the routine maintenance, this property is a mystery. To complicate matters, if the inherited property is not local to your network, you may be starting from scratch for reliable professionals to assist with general assessment and repairs.


Inherited property processes
Content liquidation allows a complete view of the home and any needs it may have before listing it for sale.

Immediate distribution, according to estate documents, of contents will clear the home for a realistic view of what will need accomplished for listing the property. After the inherited contents have been distributed, there most likely will be items remaining. Household items can be donated or sold. To do this yourself will necessitate time, patience and tenacity. If you choose to utilize a company specializing in estate sales, be prepared to forfeit a high percentage of value through their fees. Research and references of the company’s business practices is highly advised. This Realtor® has witnessed lifetime estates practically given away for a fraction of total worth through estate sales. Eliminating emotion and living with regret require sound decision making.


If you choose to do content liquidation yourself, contacting a local real estate professional or someone who has the specific experience will offer information to expedite the process. It saves a lot of dead end telephone calls and wasted miles for research. A short list to start this project is:


  • Donate pantry goods to the local food pantry/bank.
  • Set up a garage sale – checking local ordinances if a permit is required. Advertise through garage sale websites such as com,, or
  • Construction materials, tools and building materials can be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
  • Ebay may be an option for selling specialty items.
  • Donate highly specific items to universities – such as high end telescopes or tools to a student at a technical school.
  • Local consignment shops may be a source for selling furniture and antiques. Check the policy and contract for fees, tenure, pick up and delivery.
  • Shelters and furniture banks are a source for household item donations.


After the property has been cleared, inspect for structural deficits, electrical and plumbing needs. Selling a property “as is” may be accomplished for a cash buyer. A buyer applying for a mortgage may have to meet specific code or structural requirements for loan approval. Insurance companies may also require certain repairs before policy approval. This assessment goes beyond paint and flooring. A pre-inspection by a professional will provide the information necessary before listing a home for sale. A local real estate agent may be able to offer a list of referenced and accredited professionals available to assess and complete repairs. Utilize their expertise instead of reinventing the wheel.


If circumstances prevent you from repairing structural infractions, there are real estate companies that purchase homes in disrepair. The offer you receive will most likely be lower than market. If there is an outstanding mortgage on the home, the offer made by these companies may not be enough to cover the outstanding payoff. Be aware of the market value of the house. Contacting an experienced real estate agent with knowledge of the local market will be able to provide a CMA, Comparative Market Analysis. This will give you insight to the value of your asset.


A sound structure, a bright and light clean home will yield the highest return. Curb appeal and inviting entrance will attract buyers.




Follow me on twitter: Andi Peto-Selby@bdrealtyadvisors
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