Inherited Property: Questions We Will Ask About Your Property

Inherited Property: Questions We Will Ask About Your Property
Hi, I’m Beth, with TB Properties Buys Land. Do you have inherited land that you’re ready to sell? What are some of the questions that you need answered before you can sell that property? Just yesterday I was speaking with a nice lady, who sadly lost her mother just last month. And on top of the grief that she is suffering, she’s trying to go through all of the paperwork for her mother’s estate and property. Just one of components of what she is dealing with is trying to sell her mother’s vacant land but she wasn’t sure how to begin moving forward. Her mother had received a letter in the mail from TB Properties Buys Land that offered to buy her property so she thought she would try to contact us but she still wasn’t sure how to proceed because there was no will. On top of that she wasn’t even sure if the property was in her mother’s name or if it was in her grandmother’s name.

So what I wanted to address today were some of the questions that we asked her, some of the questions that you’re going to want to ask yourself when moving forward. First of all, we asked if in her mother’s records, she has a copy of the deed to that property. Now, if she doesn’t have a deed, it’s not the end of the world. When we send this to title, title will pull up the deeds from all the past transactions for that particular property. But the reason we’re asking is we want to know who was on the deed to that property which means who legally owns the property. For example, if that was the grandmother, we need to know who all of the living heirs to the property are. If it was owned by the grandmother, how many children did she have and are any of those children alive? And if they’re not, if they’re deceased, do they have children? So the big question is how many heirs to the property are there and do you know who they are?

The bottom line is that all heirs to the property have to sign the contract in order to sell the property. And then they have to sign the closing statements. Otherwise, you cannot legally convey that property. It is important to note that even if you’ve been paying property taxes on the property forever, that doesn’t mean that it’s legally yours. Before I go any further, this isn’t legal advice and it is also important to note that every state and every county is different. Different states have different laws that make it easier or more difficult to sell inherited property. And that’s all for reasons of protecting the landowner. Back to this case study, that was one of the questions that we asked her: “who all might have a stake in this property?” And being in Texas, which is where the property is located, we knew that we could remedy the chain of title through affidavits of heirship.

We explained that process to her over the phone, and we told her that we did need to know who all might have a stake in that property. If she thinks that she’s the only surviving heir, then we can move forward. And if she’s not, we just need to make sure that everybody who has a stake in that can and is willing to sign off on the property’s sale.

This is just one example of a case study that we’re working with, regarding inherited land. If you have inherited land, and there is no will or it hasn’t been probated, it may be possible to move forward and sell that property. Not every time can we guarantee that it will it happen, but if we can walk you through the process together with you, we can most likely give you a good idea of whether you can sell it or not and we can direct you how to do it.

Regarding the case study, once we have identified that she’s the only living heir, we’re going to send out a purchase agreement to her. It’s a pretty simple one page document and we’ll send it to her first for review. If she has any questions, we’ll answer those questions. If she’s ready to sign, we make it easy by sending over an e-sign format. Or, if she wants, she can mail it in or even can print it and sign it and email it in or even drive it down to the TItle Company if she wants. To us it doesn’t matter how you sign the contract.

It goes on to the title company and the title company’s going to open up escrow and after a couple weeks they should be able to return a title commitment for everyone’s review. It depends on the area and the title company how fast they can get that out. Next we review the title commitment. That’s going to tell us anything that she needs to do to remedy the chain of title, whether she needs an affidavit of heirship, she needs to submit death certificates or anything like that. And it tells what we might need to do. And it shows any red flags about the property, if there’s any liens against it, or if it’s in a flood zone or it doesn’t have access, it tells us all those fun things.

Once all those things are remedied and approved, we say we’re ready to close. Then title company sends out the closing paperwork and she will sign her deed to the property in front of a notary and they will notarize that. Once signed and notarized, she will overnight that with the shipping label given her by the title company. At the same time we will send her funds via wire transfer to the title company. Once the title company has the funds from us that are certified, once they have her paperwork overnighted and our paperwork overnighted, they will record the sale of the transaction and she will be funded. So it’s pretty easy how it works.

Depending on how cloudy the chain of title is, it could delay how long it takes to close. So maybe we’re looking at three to four weeks for a normal close if you own the property outright. If there’s a cloud in the chain of title, could be four weeks, six weeks, a month, or two months, it could take longer. We will always try to answer your questions as straightforwardly as we can. You always have the option to talk to the title company, ask them questions directly as well. But if you have an inherited land and you’re interested in selling it, please feel free to reach out to TB Properties Buys Land. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have, and we look forward to working with you. Thanks again.

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