Selling the Family Home That You Inherited in The Myrtle Beach - Pawleys Island Area

The passing of a loved one brings a myriad of emotions as well as changes to the lives of their living relatives. Death is confusing by itself, and adding the inheritance of a family home that may have been in the family for generations only complicates the issue. Many family homes are in the family for generations, and the heir to the home is responsible for deciding the future of the family home following an inheritance. Whether the home was in the family for decades or it’s a new home parents or grandparents recently acquired, many heirs haven’t the desire or ability to maintain a second home. This is why so many heirs choose to list and sell the homes they inherit when a loved one passes.

How Inheritance Works

When a loved one passes and leaves a home to someone in the family, it’s fairly straightforward. If there is no Will or trust set up, an estate is created. The estate is handled by the next living relative, whether it’s a spouse or the children or living grandchildren of the deceased. If there is more than one child of the deceased, they all become equally responsible for the home. Belongings are sold, donated, distributed to the remaining family members or churches or charities the deceased was close to, and the house is either listed or rented. 


Since most loved ones have no interest in becoming a landlord to a home filled with so many memories, a realtor ( Jake Lee ) is called and the home is listed. If there is more than one heir to the home, they must agree on a list price, the minimum offer they’re all willing to accept, and the other minor details assumed when listing a home.

Click here for a list of recent sales in Myrtle Beach

Call Emma Lawrimore at 843-359-9590 if you are looking for someone to conduct a tag sale or estate sale of the contents of your home. Emma, will also help clean-out any unwanted items.

Selling a Home Inherited Through Death

Before a home is listed, the new heirs must make several decisions. The home can be sold as-is for a lower price if it requires updates or repairs. It can be fixed up a bit and then sold, too. The first major decision is to hire a real estate agent and an estate attorney to find out the answers to several questions.

- What is the home worth?
- Is there a mortgage on the home?
- Does the home need any updates or repairs?
- If the heirs do any upgrades or updates to the home, will it sell for more?

Most heirs are required to pay any debts the deceased has incurred if they sell the home, which might include creditor claims and the like. An estate attorney is here to help with this information, to provide personal financial aspects from the deceased, and to help with the legal sale of the home. The real estate agent is there to guide the heirs on the best course of action when it comes to selling.

Making upgrades or changes to the home takes time, and it must be paid for somehow. Heirs must decide if they can afford those changes, or if they’d rather just take the sale at a lower price and sell as-is. The Probate Estate handles the legal aspect of a home sale, but it’s up to the heirs to handle the listing and other minor details of the sale.

Quick online valuation of your house in Myrtle Beach - CLICK HERE

Call Terrence Real at The Floyd Law Firm in Surfside Beach at 843-353-1760 to handle your South Carolina Estate

The Emotional Process

When heirs inherit a home after the death of a loved one, emotions run high. Those who are usually level-headed and mature can become emotional and unwilling to work together to make decisions. If this is the case, a Probate or Estate attorney is required to handle the process legally. Once the final decisions in the legal process have been made, the house is listed for sale at a price everyone can agree upon. If there is a mortgage, the price must cover the cost of that. If the mortgage balance is higher than the value, please consult your Myrtle Beach Real Estate Expert, Jake Lee, for your options. 

During this process, there is a lot of emotional upheaval, and it can take a toll on the relationships of surviving heirs. If any unsettling information is found by the Probate or Estate attorneys or the real estate agent, it can become even more emotional.

- Title issues
- Easement issues
- Land issues

If any of these issues should arise, it becomes imperative they are handled by the court prior to the sale of the home. Once all issues are handled, which usually occurs within six months of the date of death since insurance agencies aren’t happy to insure vacant homes, sale may commence.

One of Jake's preferred real estate attorneys is The Janes Law Firm. The contact person at Janes Law Firm is Elizabeth Pitcher at 843-238-8836. Elizabeth is also a Pawleys Island, SC native.

The Sales Process

Once a price is agreed upon, the heirs must agree to let the realtor show the house and begin considering offers. This can become complicated if one heir is finding it difficult to let go of the home. It’s crucial at this point to let the realtor take over the process to make it easier on everyone. The realtor is an impartial party who is willing to show the house to anyone, rather than declining offers because the sellers want a specific type of person or family to buy the home. This sometimes happens when an heir simply doesn’t want to sell a home and will find any reason to deny an offer, such as the house is too big for a single person or couple without kids or an older couple might not love the house as much as their own family.

The realtor is the voice of reason in this process. When the house finally sells, the profit is used to pay off any mortgage on the home, it’s used to pay any debts filed against the deceased, and the remaining money is then paid out in equal parts to all heirs. Once it’s been paid and the house is sold, many heirs find it becomes easier to move on and recover more adequately from the death of their loved one.

Death is devastating to families, and the sale of an inherited house often helps living loved ones on their path to closure. The emotions found in the house of a deceased loved one are often overwhelming and scary, and many people find it difficult to go through the sales process with so many memories so prevalent in their lives.

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