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Selling a property as part of an inheritance

Inheriting a property can be a complex situation to manage, especially during the difficult time of dealing with the loss of a loved one.

It is essential to surround yourself with the right professionals to make the process smoother and avoid unnecessary delays. In this article, we will outline the essential steps for selling an inherited property so that you have all the necessary resources to handle it effectively.

1. Acceptance of the inheritance

After the passing of a loved one, it is advisable to contact a notary to determine the legal procedures to be followed if no one has been designated by the deceased beforehand. The notary can provide clear and precise information about the inheritance you may potentially accept. This is an important step as accepting an inheritance may involve receiving assets but also, potentially, debts. Additionally, it may lead to considerable inheritance taxes depending on the properties received. Therefore, discussing with a notary before accepting an inheritance is crucial.

2. Inheritance Taxes

Inheritance taxes are the taxes you will have to pay to the state if you accept the inheritance. These taxes are calculated based on various factors:

  • The number of properties the deceased person leaves in the inheritance
  • The region in which the deceased was domiciled
  • Your relationship with the deceased

As mentioned earlier, it is advisable to inform yourself about the amounts of these taxes before accepting the inheritance or proceeding with the sale of the property, as they can be significant.

3. Property in Co-Ownership?

If you are not the sole heir of a property and are, therefore, in “co-ownership,” you will need the consent of the other heirs to sell it. Without their agreement, you cannot proceed with any transaction. It is also possible that one of the heirs wishes to buy your share to live in the property. In this case, a discussion among the heirs is necessary to agree on the fate of each property. Reaching an amicable agreement will help avoid a judicial liquidation of the estate, which occurs in the event of disagreement among the heirs. If all heirs agree to sell or if you are the sole legatee, the next step is to assess the property.

4. Property Valuation

This is the most critical step when selling an inherited property. If the property is not accurately valued and you sell it for a higher price, you will have to pay a penalty for insufficient taxation and additional inheritance taxes.

  • You may wish to self-assess the property by using an expert on your side or by calculating the value based on the real estate market prices. If you underestimate the property and sell it for a higher price, you will have to reimburse the state, as mentioned earlier. On the other hand, if you overestimate the property and it is sold for a lower price, you will not be able to recover the difference in taxes paid.

  • You can opt for a preliminary expertise that takes place before the declaration of inheritance. An expert accredited by the tax authorities is appointed to assess the inherited properties. The resulting estimate must be included in the inheritance declaration and has a significant advantage: if the property is sold for a higher price than the estimated value, you will not have to pay additional taxes.

    This solution is particularly interesting if you want to have a standard estimation for everyone without risking additional tax payments or a penalty for insufficient taxation. However, this procedure is not always the most appropriate, especially if your inheritance is not heavily taxed. Additionally, it comes with a cost and may potentially slow down the inheritance process. You can discuss this option with your notary for more information and advice.

5. Selling the property

Once the expert has made the estimate, and you have declared the inheritance, you can finally proceed with the sale of your property, usually within 2 years after the inheritance declaration.

Several possibilities are available to you:

  • This avoids agency fees but can lead to significant time loss, especially if you are not the only heir and if another family member also wishes to find buyers independently. This can quickly become complicated, especially concerning viewing schedules and the necessary documentation.

  • A notary may be aware of nearby sales and can assist with all legal procedures. However, they may not have as extensive a network as a real estate professional.

  • The simplest option is to jointly choose a real estate agency with other heirs to avoid any issues. Once the agency is selected, they will handle all the necessary steps to sell your property, including taking photos, creating plans, measurements, advertisements, and conducting visits. A real estate agency possesses the legal and administrative knowledge required for this particular type of sale. It saves valuable time and is reassuring to entrust your property to professionals who have a significant database of potential buyers.


As you can see, selling a property within the context of an inheritance is not a straightforward task, especially if you don’t surround yourself with the right professionals to help you through this challenging period. Having professionals on your side, such as a notary and a real estate agent, will considerably facilitate the inheritance and sales process. As real estate experts for 43 years, our Trevi teams can support and guide you through this process.

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