Inheriting a house with siblings can be both an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. Most often, this means your parents have both passed away, so in addition to figuring out the logistics of how to move forward with the home, you’re also all grieving.

Often, one or more siblings want to sell the home, while others don’t. How do you approach dealing with the sticky situations that can arise from trying to sell an inherited house with siblings? Let’s talk out a few of the major questions owning a house with siblings will present: 

1. Who Gets to Live There?

Say you inherit a home with your brother and sister. You technically own one-third of the house, but how do you take advantage of that if you can’t all live in it at once?

If one of the siblings in question was already living in the home—perhaps taking care of their elderly parent—then naturally, they may feel they have a stronger claim to the ownership and occupation of the house. If that sibling is able to live in the home, do they take on all the responsibility for it? Otherwise, what value does it present to the remaining two siblings who aren’t living there?

2. Can a Resistant Sibling Be Forced to Sell?

If everyone is in agreement but you have one sibling holding out, whether for emotional or financial reasons, you may be wondering if you can override them. Unfortunately, there are very few avenues to do that.

This is especially true if the will is not clear on the owner’s wishes for the property. If the will directs that the house be sold and the profits be split, that’s one thing. But if mom or dad was leaving it up to the kids to make the decision that worked best for them, you’re stuck with having to convince everyone to get on the same page.

3. Will We Have to Get the Courts Involved?

If there is division among the siblings about selling versus not selling, and an accord can’t be reached, there is legal recourse. But beware that it comes with a steep price.

You can file an inheritance partition, where the courts force the sale of the home and divide the profits into chunks that are proportionate to each heir’s designated interest in the estate. This often means that the home sells for significantly less than it would have on the market, making everyone’s portions smaller, not to mention the havoc it will wreak on personal relationships. Frankly, this should be your last-ditch option in a worst-case scenario.

4. How Can We Push for the Sale?  

Finding an amicable way forward with your sibling(s) while also unloading the property won’t be easy, but it is doable. Consider discussing adjustments to the percentages each sibling receives.

If one sibling is hesitant to sell because they need to be able to live in the home, consider allocating a larger portion of the final sale price to them in order to help with relocation. You’ll find that it’s usually worth a reduction in your personal share to keep the peace in your family and get the property off your plate.

Meridian Trust has worked with a number of clients to sell an inherited house with siblings. We work exclusively with individuals and can close in 30 days. If you’re stressed out about inheriting a house with siblings and want more information on selling it for cash, please call us today.

Messy house with bags of trash and clutter.

Hoarding is a complex disorder that affects upwards of five percent of the population. It can range wildly in severity.

The mildest version includes “pack rats,” or people who may save lots of small tchotchkes. They might have 30 years of back issues of their favorite magazine just lying around the house. On the more severe end of the spectrum are those who take in dozens of stray animals they can’t care for or refuse to throw out rotten food.

As you can imagine, the home of a hoarder can end up in a truly deplorable condition after years of ownership. So what can you do if you find yourself in this predicament?

Perhaps you or someone in your family suffers from hoarding disorder and you need to sell your home. Or maybe you’re dealing with an inherited hoarder house from a family member. We know it can be an overwhelmingly emotional situation full of challenges, but you do have options.

Problems When Trying to Sell a Hoarder House

1. Photos

Homebuyers these days are almost universally house hunting online. The importance of having photos with your listing cannot be overstated. But as you can imagine, taking photos of the interior of a hoarder’s home is no easy task.

Even if you can navigate the space well enough to take pictures, what you’ll capture is unlikely to entice potential buyers. You’ll most likely end up taking only external home photos, which won’t do you much good.

2. Open Houses

Hosting an open house can be an extremely stressful experience in the home of a hoarder. In addition to the anxiety it’s likely to cause for the homeowner, if they are present, it also presents problems for potential buyers. It can be incredibly difficult to look beyond that level of mess to see the potential in a home.

Beyond aesthetic issues, though, that level of clutter can be a serious safety concern. If your prospective buyers are spending more time watching where they step than looking at the home, your chances of selling aren’t going to be very good. Many open houses also fall on weekends, so the chance that children might accompany their parents is high, which increases the safety concerns exponentially.

3. Time Constraints

For many people trying to sell a hoarder house, time is of the essence. Undertaking the massive task of clearing out, cleaning, and properly staging a home in a dire condition isn’t something that can happen overnight, though.

The owner may be over a barrel due to mounting mortgage debt. Or they may be under orders from city officials to remediate or vacate the property prior to condemnation. Regardless, rarely will you have the luxury of taking your time when selling the home of a hoarder.

Your Options for a Solution

1. Bring in a Professional

Unless you’re very well-versed in home repairs and have a ton of time on your hands, remediating the issues that exist with a hoarder house is probably out of reach for you. This is so much more than a “weekend” project. You’ll need to bring in the big guns.

If money and time aren’t concerns, hiring a professional who deals specifically with hoarders may be your best bet. They’ll be able to help sort and dispose of all the clutter and get the house clean. Be aware though, that you may discover much-needed repairs once all the mess is cleared, and that means the added cost of contractors.

2. Sell As-Is for Cash

If you’re not up for a big cleanup of an inherited hoarder house or you’re crunched for time, your easiest and fastest option is to work with a cash home buyer. As long as you work with a reputable company, there is no risk to you, and you can walk away with cash in your pocket in a matter of days.

Once you meet with a rep, you can simply sign the papers and walk away. The mess, and any resulting repairs, will no longer be your concern.

It is hard to imagine anyone walking into a hoarded home and making an offer to buy it. That’s where we come in.

We pay cash for houses in any condition, and we know how to make the process painless. We gladly purchase homes that are in poor condition or, for one reason or another, might not be attractive to all buyers.

Because you’re not paying to repair or renovate your home in order to get the retail price or to cover closing costs and commissions, we can offer you a fair cash price that’s slightly below market value. Call us today, and get a cash offer in under 10 minutes.

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