If you have recently inherited a home from a relative or friend, you've probably put some thought into what you should do with the property. Many inherited homes are completely paid for, and it often makes good sense to hold onto them rather than selling them right away. This is particularly true in areas currently undergoing the process of gentrification — property values can go up in a relatively short period of time when this scenario is a part of the picture, so you stand to gain financially if you decide to hold into the home for the time being.
If living in the home yourself while waiting for property values to rise isn't possible for you, you can rent it out to generate some income. However, there are three major things you should do before placing the property on the rental market:
Have an Estate Liquidation Sale
Inherited homes generally come with furnishings, appliances, household items, and personal possessions. Some of this is quite valuable, so consider having an estate liquidation sale in order to prepare it to be occupied by tenants. This is generally a huge job, especially if the deceased lived in the home for decades and amassed a lifetime of possessions. The services of a good estate liquidation company are invaluable in this situation — they can assess the value of the various items, organize the sale, and even advise you on which items you're better off simply donating to charity rather than trying to sell.
Give the Home a Safety Facelift
After the home has been cleared out as a result of the estate liquidation sale, you should give it a thorough safety facelift before putting it on the local rental market. All parts of the home should be gone over with a fine-toothed comb to identify any potential safety issues -- not only does this help ensure the safety of your future tenants, it helps you hedge your bets against personal injury lawsuits. Loose floorboards and railings should be repaired, slippery floor surfaces should be replaced, and any other possible safety hazards should be addressed.
Find a Good Property Management Company
Many people who inherit homes and decide to use them as rentals quickly find themselves struggling with the duties of being a landlord. If you're employed or not living in the same area as your inherited home, it won't be convenient for you to perform repairs, show the home to prospective tenants, collect rent, and deal with evictions. A good property management can take these burdens off your shoulders.