Can I Sell an Inherited House with All Its Unpaid Utilities?
Have you decided to sell your inherited home in Georgia, and you’re worried about whether it’s legal to do so even with so many unpaid balances? This is one of the disadvantages of inheriting a property. That’s why some people would just resort to selling their inherited property immediately, even if the house has good investment potential.
We understand how you may be scared about selling your house. But don’t worry; if it’s outstanding payables you’re worried about, we’re here to say you don’t have to think about that any longer because the good news is that you can sell your house in Georgia even with plenty of outstanding bills.
Responsibilities That You Inherit Along with the House
When your loved one dies, and you inherit the property, the inheritance includes all the legal and financial responsibilities associated with the house. This means that once your name appears on the title, you now have to handle all concerns about the property, including its protection and maintenance.
Bills can come from different sources. Not to scare you more, but you might have more on your shoulders than you think. So, let’s look at the most common responsibilities that property heirs are often caught off-guard with and see which ones apply to you.
Whether the house is old or new, proper and timely maintenance is highly advised so you can preserve (or even increase) the home’s value. While it’s expected that home values increase through time, this isn’t always true for houses that have been abandoned or houses that have slowly sunk into disrepair. On the brighter side, though, maintenance is rarely the biggest concern unless the house needs some major reconstruction and you’re thinking of selling it on the market soon.
Utilities are the basic services that a house needs for people to live comfortably. These include electricity, water supply, gas supply, waste disposal, phone services, internet, cable, and the like. If a loved one has defaulted on any of the utility bills, the duty of paying them off falls on the official heir. In case the service has been cut off due to unpaid balances, the company will continue to ask for payment (most likely with interest); in most cases, through their legal team, who can sue you in court if you still refuse to pay.
When the home has insurance, it’s important to transfer the policy to your name as soon as you can. This is because if the original policyholder dies, the insurance company will not recognize any other claimant. Fortunately, some property insurance companies allow a continuance. Meaning, you won’t have to reset the policy’s current status and value just for a change of name. The best thing to do would be to contact the insurance company as soon as possible.
This is the biggest concern of all for a lot of house heirs. Mortgages in the United States aren’t all that friendly; that’s why the home affordability stats in the country continue to be considerably low. Unless the mortgage is a government-backed loan, you can expect that the outstanding mortgage payments will have higher interest rates.
So, how much responsibility do you have now with the inherited property?
Property taxes in Georgia are an important source of revenue for local governments. The property tax rate in Georgia is determined by the county and is based on the assessed value of the property. Here are a few key points about property taxes in Georgia:
- Assessment Rate: All property in Georgia is taxed at an assessment rate of 40% of its full market value. This means that only 40% of the property’s value is subject to taxation.
- Homestead Exemption: Georgia offers a homestead exemption, which reduces the taxable value of a property. Homeowners can apply for this exemption to lower their property tax burden.
- Payment Deadline: Property taxes in Georgia are typically due each year by December 20th. It is essential to pay property taxes on time to avoid penalties.
- Revenue Source: Property taxes are the primary source of revenue for local governments in Georgia. These funds help support various public services, including schools, infrastructure, and emergency services.
- State Levy: As of January 1, 2016, there is no state levy for ad valorem taxation in Georgia. Municipalities also assess property taxes based on county-assessed values and rates.
- Tax Calculator: If you want to estimate your property tax in Georgia, you can use the Georgia Property Tax Calculator, which calculates the average effective property tax rate in the state.
Transfer on Death Deed
This deed immediately grants you ownership of the house after your loved one dies without going through probate. If you inherited the house through this, and there are no other joint or multiple heirs, then you can sell the house as soon as you like. The biggest hurdle with this deed is when other people are named to inherit the property. In such a case, the decision to sell the house will depend on the decision of others.
A Living Trust legally permits a trustee to do whatever they can with the house following certain conditions. There are two (2) types of Living Trust: a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust. Whether you’re the trustee of a revocable or an irrevocable trust, you’re entitled to sell the house right after the grantor passes and obligated to distribute the net assets to the grantor’s beneficiaries. This rarely requires going into probate, especially when the grantor has identified specifically who gets a portion of the sale.
Probate is the process when the court decides who gets to benefit from the property or who gets to own the property. This typically happens when the deceased person doesn’t leave any will. Probate can take weeks to months depending on the status of the home, how many liens it has, how many family members are there to consider, and so on. So if you’re loved one didn’t leave a will, you’ll have to sit back and wait if the court grants you ownership. Only then will you be able to sell the home?
Selling a Property with Unpaid Utilities and Other Payables
Once you’ve confirmed you have the right to sell the home now, the fastest way to do it is to sell to a professional home buyer, also known as a cash home buyer. Cash home buyers in Georgia like Spire Property Solutions buy houses as they are and in cash. You won’t have any obligations when you sell your inherited home to us, and we’ll buy it even with all the outstanding balances — mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc.
Tell us about your Georgia home, and we’ll give you an offer in as fast as 24 hours. You won’t have to worry about the requirements of selling on the market and with a real estate agent — we’ll buy your home right then and there!
Call us at (678) 318 – 1801.