What to Do With Your Parents’ Home When They Pass

For sale sign at house

By Stanley Zajdel, Mortgage Loan Officer

The passing of one’s parents is a difficult time. The most important thing you can do is take time to grieve. Try not to make any important decisions about your parents’ home until you are in the right state of mind. Once you are ready, make sure the estate has been through probate and has passed on to the proper heirs and beneficiaries according to their will. Consult with an attorney to handle probate. It can be a complicated process, but doing it right the first time will save you unwanted frustration and money in the long run.

Now that you own the home, the three main options for the property is to sell, rent or move into it.


If you decide to put the home on the market, you can try to sell it yourself, or employ the services of a real estate agent to list the home. We can assist you with the “for sale by owner” route by putting you in contact with a good title company for the paperwork. Listing the property on the other hand, will take the experience of a realtor. A good realtor will help you with pricing and marketing, along with the paperwork to make the sale.


There are many advantages and disadvantages to renting the home. Advantages include retaining the home, receiving rental income and having potential gain of property value. Disadvantages may include increased property taxes and insurance, loss of value, vacancy, tracking down rent payments and home maintenance. This is another area where an experienced realtor comes in handy. They will be able to do a market analysis and let you know typical rental pricing for the area and help you find a tenant.


If you choose to move into the house, keep in mind that you may need money for repairs and upgrades, or funds to pay-off other heirs. If the home needs updates, our loan officers will explain the process and let you know if your best option is a cash-out refinance or a home equity line of credit.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult and everyone handles it differently. Start the conversation with family members early. It will make things a little easier when the time comes to figure out what to do with your parents’ home when they pass.