What Documents are Required When Selling an Inherited Home?

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Real estate transactions can already be complicated, but when it comes to selling an inherited home, additional challenges may arise. This blog post explores into the specific documents required when selling an inherited home and the potential challenges associated with this process. By understanding the necessary paperwork and the potential hurdles, you can better navigate the complexities of this unique real estate situation.

Transfer on Death Deed

When inheriting a home, one of the best documents that can streamline the selling process is the Transfer on Death Deed. Ideally, this document should be in place before the original homeowner’s passing.

This deed ensures that once a death certificate is received, the heir or heirs can legally sell the home, eliminating the need for a lengthy probate process. With this deed in hand, the selling timeline becomes significantly shorter.


In situations where a Transfer on Death Deed isn’t available, the inherited home might have to undergo the probate process. Probate can be a lengthy ordeal, often taking anywhere from six to nine months.

It involves legal proceedings to validate the deceased’s will (if one exists) and determine the rightful heirs to the estate. While this option provides a legal route to selling an inherited home, it can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

Determination of Descent

In cases where an individual has not left behind a clear will or the line of inheritance is uncertain, the courts may need to perform a determination of descent. In such scenarios, if someone feels they are the rightful next of kin, they can approach the court.

A hearing will be held to establish the legitimate heir to the property. It’s another route, but like probate, it’s not as straightforward as having a Transfer on Death Deed.

Challenges When Selling an Inherited Home

Coordinating with Multiple Heirs

One of the most significant challenges that sellers face is getting all the involved parties on the same page. Often, an inherited home might belong to multiple next-of-kins or siblings. The logistics become more complex, especially when some of these heirs reside out-of-state.

Moreover, agreeing on the selling price or even deciding whether to sell can become contentious, leading to potential legal battles and unnecessary expenses.

Dealing with the Contents of the Home

Another challenge is deciding the fate of the contents within the inherited house. Some heirs might want certain items, while others might not. The question then arises: what to do with unwanted items? This issue can be emotionally charged, given the sentimental value of many belongings.

Contract Issues and Repairs

Upon inspecting the home, heirs may find that it needs repairs. Deciding who will foot the bill can be a contentious issue. It’s essential to discuss and agree upon such matters upfront to prevent disputes down the road.


Selling an inherited home is a multifaceted process, requiring specific documents and careful consideration of potential challenges. While a Transfer on Death Deed is the ideal document to have in place, there are alternative routes like probate or determination of descent.

It’s crucial to be prepared and aware of the challenges that might arise, from coordinating with multiple heirs to dealing with home contents and repairs. If you have more questions or need guidance on this topic, feel free to contact us¬†for assistance.