Selling an Inherited House Baltimore
"Can I Sell My House While in Probate?"
What is a Probate Property in Maryland?
Probate real estate in Maryland is a property that’s part of a deceased individual’s estate. This type of estate goes through the probate court system, undergoing legal processes to adequately handle the deceased’s debts and distribute their assets to the appropriate parties.
Usually, these properties come under the authority of the probate court if the property owner dies intestate—that is, without a will—or if the existing will doesn’t specify an heir. In such cases, the probate court steps in to oversee the distribution of the property.
Also, it’s worth noting that not all properties go through probate. Some assets are jointly owned or have designated beneficiaries, like a living trust. These assets avoid the potentially lengthy and costly probate process.
The Probate Process in Maryland
The roles of the probate court: One primary role of the probate court is to legally distribute the decedent’s property and take the necessary steps to pay off any outstanding debts they might have left. The court oversees and authorizes the sale of the property in probate.
The duties of the executor: The executor of the will has the responsibility of identifying and inventorying the deceased’s property, paying debts and taxes, and then distributing the remaining estate to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries. If named by the decedent in their will, the executor should adhere to the decedent’s wishes about how the estate is settled.
Probate fees/costs: In Maryland, the probate process can be accompanied by a fee. These costs could include court filing fees, publication costs, and other related charges. It’s crucial to factor these costs into your financial considerations when going through the probate process.
Can a House Be Sold While in Probate in MD?
Yes, it is indeed possible to sell a house while it is still in probate in Maryland. The property cannot be sold at the discretion of the executor, though—they’ll need to obtain the court’s permission first. The probate property sale involves some specific steps:
- Step 1: Seek the probate court’s permission to sell the property.
- Step 2: Conduct a property valuation to establish a fair market price.
- Step 3: List the property for sale, bearing in mind the court-appraised value.
- Step 4: Accept a buyer’s offer, but bear in mind, the sale is not final until the court approves it.
- Step 5: Attend a confirmation hearing where interested buyers can place competing offers.
- Step 6: If all goes according to plan, the court will confirm the sale to the highest bidder, completing the selling process.
Ways to Sell a House in Probate in Maryland
Selling a house in probate involves a somewhat complex process. However, understanding the standard methods—Formal Probate Sale and Informal Probate Sale—can make the process slightly less daunting.
Formal Probate Sale
- Appoint an executor: This individual nominated in the will assumes responsibility for dealing with the decedent’s property.
- Have the property appraised: Enlist licensed appraisers to gauge the property’s current market value.
- Petition to begin the sale and listing: Apply to the Orphans’ Court for permission to sell the property.
- Court hearing and approval of sale: The court must agree to the sale. If approved, the house can be listed on the market.
Informal Probate Sale
- Appoint an executor: Same as in formal probate sale, the executor handles the responsibility for real estate transactions.
- File proper probate forms: These forms notify the court of your intent to manage the deceased’s property.
- Issuance of Letters: The court provides letters testamentary (for named executors in the will) or letters of administration (for an appointed administrator if there’s no will) making the process official.
- List the house for sale: Once the formalities have been sorted, the property can be put on the market.
How Can I Avoid Probate in Maryland?
Probate can be an overwhelming process for many property inheritors. Given that, many property owners often wish to set up their estates in ways that can avoid probate in Maryland:
- Joint Ownership: Property that is held jointly with rights of survivorship will not pass through probate; upon the owner’s death, it will pass directly to the joint owner.
- Revocable Living Trusts: Assets placed in a living trust can avoid probate since they are owned by the trust, and not by the deceased. After death, the successor trustee can distribute the assets to beneficiaries outside of probate.
- Gifts: If you don’t own it when you die, it doesn’t have to be probated. So, giving those assets away before you die will help to avoid probate.
Options for Selling Your Probate Property in MD
Are you looking to sell your probate property in MD? Here are some viable options:
- List With a Probate Real Estate Agent: Working with a probate-savvy agent can provide valuable insight into the legal processes involved.
- For Sale By Owner (FSBO): This option asks you to manage most of the selling process, from marketing to handling the closing details.
- Cash Home Buyer: Selling to cash buyers can simplify matters and offer quicker closings.
Who Buys Inherited Houses in Maryland?
There’s a spectrum of buyers who may be interested in purchasing inherited houses. Some of them are:
- Traditional Home Buyers Looking for a Bargain: Often, these buyers aim to buy the house at a lower price than the market offers, looking for a great deal on a home.
- House Flippers: These investors often buy properties “as is”, fix them up, and sell them for a profit.
- Buy and Hold Real Estate Investors: These buyers purchase properties to hold onto for longer periods, usually to rent out for a steady income.
Sell Your Inherited House in MD For Cash!
At Yes I Pay Cash, we pride ourselves on conducting fair and stress-free transactions. By selling your inherited house to us, you’ll enjoy the simplicity and convenience of a cash purchase, without contingencies or inspections. Plus, we will handle all necessary repairs and handle all paperwork for you. As a cash home buyer, we primarily aim to make the selling process more manageable for you.
SELLING MY INHERITED HOUSE IN MD - FAQ'S
What happens if the executor does not follow the will?
If the executor does not follow the provisions as stated in the will, they may be held legally liable for their actions. Beneficiaries may take legal action against the executor to sue for potential losses.
How long does the probate process take in Maryland?
The duration of the probate process may vary wildly, depending on a variety of factors including the size and complexity of the estate, the existence of a valid will, and the efficiency of the court system. On average, it can take approximately 24 months for a standard probate process.
How much can I sell my inherited house for?
To determine the selling price of an inherited property, it’s advisable to get a professional appraisal. This helps you understand the fair market value of the property.
Will I have to pay taxes on a house I inherited?
Inheritance taxes will depend on the state laws of Maryland, where they do have an inheritance tax. It would be prudent to consult with a tax professional to get a clear understanding of potential obligations.
Can multiple people inherit a house?
Not exactly. While a clean, clutter-free house certainly attracts more buyers, you can also opt to sell it ‘as-is’ to cash buying companies. They buy the house in its current condition, saving you from the grueling cleanup process.
BOTTOM LINE: SELLING AN INHERITED HOUSE IN MARYLAND
Selling a house in probate in Maryland can be an overwhelming task. However, with appropriate knowledge and the right team in place, it can become simpler and less confusing. Whether you decide to sell the property through probate, opt for a cash purchase, list it under the guidance of a realtor, or sell it yourself, be sure to make the choice that best fits your needs and capabilities.
At Yes I Pay Cash, we buy houses in probate in Maryland, including Baltimore and the surround counties. You can sell your inherited house in the Baltimore area for cash today!
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. Please consult with professionals for advice specific to your situation.
Helpful Maryland Estate, Probate and Inheritance Resources
Anne Arundel County
We Buy Houses In Probate
Tariq Thomas, has been a full-time real estate investor since 2002 and has personally flipped over 500 properties to date. He is the founder and owner of Yes I Pay Cash - We Buy Houses. Tariq's goal is to help home sellers find the best solution for their real estate needs, whether that's selling their home quickly, getting top dollar, or avoiding the hassle of a traditional home sale.
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