Inherited Land: Is it Really Yours to Sell?

Inherited Land: Is it Really Yours to Sell?
Hi, I’m Beth with TB Properties Buys Land. Today, we’re going to talk about heirship issues. Yes, I know that I’ve talked about heirship issues quite a bit. But we at TB Properties Buys Land, we do a lot of business with people who have issues with inherited property. Just earlier today, we had a question that came up and I wanted to answer that question because I know a lot of people probably are in similar situations.

A lady called in after finding us on the website. She ended up speaking with Tim today and her story is that she’s got land that was left to her and her siblings by her father. Her father’s passed away. It had always been understood between her and her siblings that she owned the property. She’d been paying property taxes on it for, I believe, close to 20 years now. It was understood, in a verbal arrangement, that it was her property.

Now the situation she’s in right now is that her siblings are deceased. They passed away recently and she’s been calling this her property and she’s ready to sell it to us. She told Tim: “I like that you guys close through a title company, you pay in cash. I’ve looked at your videos and done some research. I feel comfortable working with you. I’m ready to sell.” Unfortunately, what Tim is having to tell her is that legally, that’s not her property to sell. Even though there was a verbal arrangement, that property is still not hers because it’s not legally in her name. This means she cannot go to a realtor and list that property. The Realtor’s not going to want to work with her if that’s not in her name. She’s got substantial title issues that need to be cleared up and that costs money.

Now, before I go any further, I wanted to make sure that I tell you that I am not a real estate attorney and none of what I’m offering is legal advice. If you are in a similar situation, it’s not going to hurt to go and talk to an attorney. This is not legal advice but I’m going to let you know what we’ve done in the past and what’s been able to work for us. The first thing that she might want to do is to make sure she knows all the heirs that may have a right to that property. If she and her siblings are on that will from her father, she will need to understand that if her deceased siblings have children, or if they have a spouse or if those children have children, they all have a legal right to the property. Are you following? It might be as easy as her talking to the existing heirs and perhaps they’re all fine with the arrangement. They might say, “Yes, we’ll sign off on that. That’s your property. You’ve been paying property taxes.”

And that would be great. They would need to sign the purchase and sale agreement and at close, they would need to sign the closing documents. By working with a title company as we do, they would be able to clear the chain of title so that we can move that property from her father, to the three of them, to the siblings, and on to her, so that she can legally sell that to us.

Now, if they don’t agree to that and they want a part of that property, she’s got to come to an arrangement with them in order to sell the property. If her siblings have children, they’re going to be a part of the deal, like it or not. There are other legal ways. It depends on what state you’re in. She’s in Texas and it’s important to note that some states are more protective of the owner of the property and some make it easier to fight. Sometimes you can do a lawsuit but that takes a certain period of time and it also takes some money.

In Texas, it’s not as easy. Just because she’s been paying property taxes for two decades, that doesn’t make her the owner. And it doesn’t make it much easier for her to be able to prove that she’s the owner and sell of that property. So it’s got to be done the right way. Here at TB Properties Buys Land, we purchase property the right way through the right channels, always through a title company. That’s for your protection as well as ours. And we pay cash that we can close quickly and you get paid right away.

But if you’ve got inherited issues, you’ve got inherited land, you’ve got title issues, this is something that we work with from time to time. We can walk you through step by step. But the very first thing we’re going to ask you is, who has a right to this property? We need to know everyone who has a right to the land. If you don’t know that, chances are we may not be able to move forward with that. You could have 10 other people who have a right to your land and we’ve done that before. It’s a little bit more complicated, it takes a little bit longer, but it is doable if you know all the heirs and if they are all willing to go along.

So if you’ve got inherited land, you have questions, feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. And we look forward to working with you. Thanks again.
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