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How to Sell a House Held in a Trust

When you’ve recently inherited a home that’s been placed in a revocable trust, how can you begin the process of selling it, and is it complicated? Selling a house in a trust is similar to selling a home you own — however, you need to understand a few nuances before placing the home on the market. If you are the trustee, then you can manage the property as if the title were in your name. If you are not a trustee, then you will have to work with the trust’s appointed executor to sell the house.

Guy holding a house while filling out paper work

What Is a Revocable Trust?

A standard trust is a document where a trustee agrees to hold and merge assets of a beneficiary. In a revocable trust, the materials can be changed after the initial terms have been set by using a trust amendment to modify the terms. In a revocable trust, the assets placed in the trust are considered your personal items for credit or estate tax purposes, so you have no protection if you’re ever sued.

However, revocable trusts are suitable for allowing assets to be personally managed by the stated trustee, avoiding probate and protecting the privacy of the property and any beneficiaries.

Selling a House in a Trust

When selling a house in a trust, you have two options — you can either have the trustee perform the sale of the home, and the proceeds will become part of the trust, or the trustee can transfer the title of the property to your name, and you can sell the property as you would your own home. Most details of selling a home in a revocable trust — like listing the house, setting and negotiating a price and closing — are the same.

When it’s time to sell a house in a trust, you’ll follow these steps:

  • Review Trust DocumentationTo ensure everything is in order before placing the house on the market, carefully review the trust documents to verify the trustee can sell the property. If you are not the trustee, you’ll have to work with that person at this time to check the trust documents and make sure there are no restrictions in place that would prevent the trustee from transferring the title of the home to your name. If no provisions exist, then work with the trustee to have the title changed with your name and transferred using a deed form filed with local property offices.
  • List Home for Sale: Find a motivated and experienced real estate agent to list the home for sale — the agent will ask to review the trust documents and check that the trustee is allowed to sell the house.
  • Consult Title Company: To quickly sell the home, also consult with your title company and provide them with copies of the trust documents — they will ensure the trust is valid, has a verified title and that the trustee has the power to sell the property. At this time, your title company may also request a Certification of Trust signed by the trust’s attorney, a tax identification number and a valid death certificate of the trust’s creator.
  • Complete Purchase Agreement: At closing, you’ll sign the deed, which transfers the ownership of the home to the new buyer, signing the documents with your name and stating you’re the trustee. In every state, you’ll have to sign a deed saying you’re selling the property to a buyer, but some states will want the grantee — or buyer — also to sign the deed in the presence of witnesses.

Contact CENTURY 21 Core Partners Today

When you need assistance selling a house in a trust, look no further than the experienced and knowledgeable professionals at CENTURY 21 Core Partners. We have several years of experience working with buyers and sellers throughout the central Pennsylvania area, and we’ll work with you to determine the value of your house and sell it quickly and efficiently, providing guidance throughout the entire process so you feel comfortable and confident that your needs are met.

Call us today at 717-718-0748 or contact us online to learn more about our services.

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