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Expert advice on what to do if you inherited a house with no mortgage - Bridgedale Home Buyers

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Expert advice on what to do if you inherited a house with no mortgage

We have heard a lot of people say, “I inherited a house and want to sell it!” or, “I inherited a house now what?” and realized that there are a lot of people in Canada who have inherited a house with no mortgage debt but have no working knowledge or the experience to decide if they must sell or rent out inherited house. 

The majority of inherited homeowners don’t know what to do when taking a call on if they want to rent or sell an inherited house. Are you in an internal battle, “yes, I inherited a house and want to sell it”, but don’t know what to do? 

Selling a house you have inherited can get very complicated if there are multiple heirs to the house, and you don’t even live in the neighborhood. Let us walk you through this subject with careful emphasis on the various fees involved. Here is everything you need to know including closing costs. Stay with us.

Inherited house – meaning:

Inherited properties are those that are passed down from a parent or a relative after their demise. Most of the time, the house owners are emotionally attached to it, and it makes it even more difficult for them to decide if they “need to retain it and rent it out” or should “sell my inherited house.”

Is selling an inherited house taxable?

Canada does not have inheritance tax per se, which means that you do not have to pay any tax simpliciter when property devolves in your name alone or with other co-heirs. You will only be liable to pay property taxes if you decide to move in after you inherit a home. In that case; the inherited house becomes your primary residence. 

In case of inherited house who is responsible for repairs?

Suppose your question revolves an inherited house and repairs, then the answer is that if a family member has decided to make it his/her primary residence, they will have to pay taxes that are related to the property tax, repair charges, mortgage payments, and insurance payments, if any, from their estate. The liability to pay capital gains tax is only when the real estate is being alienated. 

To make the point clear, when selling a house inheritance tax liability is nil:

However, if you are selling an inherited house, you will be subjected to capital gains tax on its sale value. People are perennially confused about paying capital gains taxes that needs to be calculated on a revised stepped-up rule, especially for inherited property. 

Capital gain tax exclusion – stepped-up calculation:

The basis is the basic value of the inherited house. It means its basic cost plus any improvements that have been made on it. Profit or loss on the inherited house is calculated by subtracting the sale value from the ‘basis”; if the difference when you sell the house is a positive number it means you have made a profit on the property. A negative number means that you have incurred a loss. 

When you are selling a house you have inherited, it is received on a stepped-up basis only. That means that the basis of the inherited house is not what the deceased owner paid for it, plus the improvements he made. Instead, it is now the property’s market value on the date of the owner’s date. In most cases, the value is more since there is always an appreciation in real estate value when you sell the property. 

Do I need to hire a lawyer?

This gets asked very often. It works if you can hire a lawyer to probate. However, there is no hard and fast rule regarding this.

If there is a dispute in the will, you will have to consult an estate lawyer to get credible advice. If you have decided on selling an inherited house and taxes are what is scattering your brain, you must contact an estate lawyer specializing in capital gains tax practice. Getting expert advice is the best foot forward to selling the home.

“I inherited a house with a mortgage now what?”

For any assistance on liabilities attached to the inherited estate, you must immediately seek legal advice. Many law firms in Canada will be able to provide you with a specialized practice in every area connected with estate law. It is a good thing to do your homework before you reach out to a firm. Ask friends, colleagues, and neighbours for references and reach out to the legal advisers. Alternatively, if you have doubts on how to sell an inherited house, you could hire an estate agent who will take it forward from there.  

Does selling an inherited house count as income?

The profits on the inherited house’s sale value will count as your income and attract capital gains tax. The tax is only on the fair value of the real estate in question at the actual time of inheritance and until the time that you decide, “Okay, now is the time for selling my inherited house.” The tax will be only on fifty percent of your total capital gain. 

To explain this with an example, if your father bought an inherited house for say $250,000, and it was $500,000 at the time he passed away. You inherited it, the capital gain on the inherited property is $250,000, and your tax will be calculated only on $125,000.



Selling an inherited house as is may not be a great idea as it may need a deep clean and facelift. Spending a little out of your estate will ensure that you get the best value for it by improving its curb value exponentially irrespective of whether you decide to rent or sell inherited house. Renting it out may yield great rental income. 

Whether you yet to decide on selling a house you inherited or have already made up your mind on the sale of inherited house, we can help you in myriad ways. Our complete service package includes buying your inherited home for cash as well as helping you network with estate agents who specialize in inherited house sell or rental services. Don’t forget to fill the form given at the end or call us on the direct numbers listed below. We attract the best custom for your rental property. 

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