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8 min read Nov 07, 2023

Selling an Inherited Property in Delaware (2023 Updates)

Home sellers in Delaware spent an average of 15 months selling their inherited property.

Analyzing the current Delaware real estate market, the average time to sell a house in Delaware is 80 days. Factors like house location, home size, condition, etc. can increase your home’s days on the market.

For an inherited house, the probate process is necessary to transfer the property legally. It typically takes up to 11 months but can be delayed by multiple heirs and disagreements.

To Sell My Inherited House

  • How Long Does It Takes to Sell? It takes an average time of 15 months to sell an inherited property, depending on the probate process.
  • Taxes to Sell an Inherited Property: You need to pay transfer tax, property tax, and capital gains tax to sell an inherited property.
  • Fastest Way to Sell: Selling to a cash buyer is the fastest way to sell your inherited property as is.

Can I Sell an Inherited House in Delaware?

Yes, you can sell your inherited house in Delaware. Your property must undergo a probate process before you sell it.

What Is a Probate Process?

A probate is a legal validation of a deceased person’s will. Probate helps to distribute the property amongst its heirs and beneficiaries.

You need to submit the owner’s death certificate and proof of ownership during the probate process. After the completion of probate, you have to pay for several expenses, such as outstanding mortgages, taxes on the property, and other bills.

An ‘Alienation Clause’ triggers when the ownership of a mortgaged property is transferred to an inheritor. So the inheritor has to pay off the full mortgage.

Almost every inherited property in Delaware must undergo a probate process. This can take up to 11 months. This period varies state-wise and depends on the number of inheritors and state laws.

Properties Exempted from Undergoing Probate Process

Your property will exempt a probate under the following conditions:

  • Delaware Transfer-on-Death Deeds: The owner can prepare a property deed to transfer the property’s ownership automatically after their death. This deed prevents the property from going under the probate. However, Delaware does not allow transfer-on-death deeds for real estate.
  • Receive a House in Trust in Delaware: As a legal heir, you can inherit a house directly without probate if the owner has placed the home in trust.

How to Sell an Inherited House in Delaware?

Selling an inherited house is similar to selling any other property. The best option to sell your house for the most profit is either sell it through a real estate agent or sell it yourself.

1. Hire a Local Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are well-versed in the market conditions. They market your property to buyers via MLS or other real estate networks to get you the most possible money for your property.

Moreover, agents can also advise you after you start receiving offers. But, agents do charge hefty commissions from 5% to 6%.

2. Sell For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

You can save on hefty commissions by listing your house for sale by owner. But when selling FSBO, you need to handle the paperwork and closing yourself.

You have full control over your transaction to engage with the buyer and buyer’s agent. Moreover, DE For Sale By Owner sites help you get listed faster, typically within 24 to 48 hours.

Flat Fee MLS companies like Houzeo offer advanced technology to streamline your listing process. Houzeo’s mobile app helps you manage offers and showings at your fingertips.

Alternate Ways to Sell Your Inherited House in Delaware

You have other alternatives to sell your inherited home:

  1. List with a Discount Real Estate Broker: Delaware discount real estate brokers offer all the services that traditional Realtors do but at discounted rates. You can also opt for a flat rate Realtor to list your home.
  2. Sell Your Home to an iBuyer: An iBuyer can instantly make a cash offer and help you sell your house quickly. They make offers close to fair market value. However, iBuyers have strict purchase criteria.
  3. Sell Your House to Cash Buyers: Delaware cash companies can help you sell faster if you have a distressed property. However, cash home buyers typically offer 50% to 70% of the property’s fair market value.
  4. Sell Your House to a Flipper: You can sell your inherited property to professional house flippers in Delaware. They offer up to 70% of the fair market value.

Taxes on Selling an Inherited Property in Delaware

The Prairie State does not impose an inheritance tax or estate tax. However, you have to pay taxes while selling an inherited property in Delaware.

  • Transfer Tax: Transfer tax is a one-time fee (generally less than 1%) that the inheritor pays at the time of transferring ownership. This tax is paid to the local government.
  • Property Tax: The average property tax in Delaware is 0.53% of the total sale price of the property.
  • Capital Gains Tax: The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) authority levies the capital gains tax on a stepped-up basis. So, this tax would only apply to the property’s appreciation after it was inherited.

» Capital Gains Exemptions: Know how you can exempt capital gains tax.

Selling a House in Delaware With Multiple Inheritors

Multiple inheritors can be close family members like siblings, cousins, or anyone the deceased chooses. So, selling a house in Delaware with multiple inheritors is a real curve ball.

In such cases, the first step is to come to an agreement on selling or buying the property with the other inheritors. You can appoint a neutral party (non-beneficiary) as the head person for the sale.

The neutral party will ensure a transparent home sale process. Consequently, there will be a fair distribution of proceeds amongst the inheritors.

What if All Inheritors Don’t Agree to Sell?

If all inheritors do not agree then the property cannot be sold. Chill! If majority of the inheritors are willing to sell the property they need to go through a probate court.

The inheritors can file a ‘partition action’ lawsuit in probate court. In such cases, the court enforces the sale. As a result, the inheritors have to divide the proceeds among themselves as per the will.

Let’s Sell Your Inherited House

Selling your inherited house in Delaware is a complex and time-consuming process. Your inherited home might remain in probate for up to 11 months. You also have to pay several taxes while selling your inherited home.

To get the best price for your property, we recommend you list your home on Delaware MLS. This provides exposure to your property to buyers and real estate agents.

With an DE Flat Fee MLS company like Houzeo, you can list your property on the MLS right after the probate. An MLS listing via Houzeo will give your house maximum exposure, and you may even attract cash offers.

Eager to Know More About Houzeo?

Check out our exclusive video that explains everything you need to know about the platform.

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» Need More Clarity? Watch exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why it is one of the best FSBO sites in America.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Delaware have an inheritance tax?

No. The state of Delaware does not impose an inheritance tax when inheriting assets.

How to avoid capital gains tax in Delaware?

To avoid capital gains tax on real estate in Delaware, you have to reside in an inherited house for more than two years in the last five years.

How to pay-off the mortgage on inherited property in Delaware?

You can pay the mortgage on an inherited asset in multiple ways:
1. You can sell the property and pay off the debt.
2. Transfer the mortgage along with the ownership of the house in your name.
3. An Delaware mortgage lender can foreclose the property if no inheritor pays the debt.

Can you sell a house while in probate in Delaware?

Yes, only if there is a power of sale clause along with the will. Then you can sell the property without attaining an order from the probate court.


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