Bargaining & Bereavement Property

Bargaining & Bereavement Property


‘Should I keep or sell my inherited property?’

When you inherit a property it usually comes at a time of deep emotion.  This means it’s hard to make difficult decisions in a clear frame of mind.  Asking yourself, ‘Should I keep or sell my inherited property?’ may seem a difficult decision in the best of times.  Bereavement puts a whole new perspective on the question.  In my blog today, I’m looking at bargaining and bereavement property.

When grieving, most people go through a process of five stages that were first documented by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance are all emotions that might seem unlikely to anyone who hasn’t had to deal with the death of someone close to them.  For anyone who has, or is dealing with the situation for the first time, it might well seem all too familiar.

You are likely to find it draining, looking after all the practical and legal arrangements that are involved.  This is even more true when an inherited property is part of the equation.

Emotional bargaining

When someone mentions the word ‘bargaining’ in terms of property they would usually think of the part of the process where a potential buyer puts an offer in and a seller decides to accept or reject it.

However, when it comes to a property that is now owned through bereavement there are many other aspects to take into consideration.  There are choices to be made that might not have been thought about or considered before.

This applies to sole and shared ownership situations, both of which will have their own conundrums and confusions when it comes to making clear cut choices during a time of emotional stress.

So what are the pitfalls and the possible benefits that need to be considered?

Keep or Sell the property?

The first question many people will ask themselves is whether to sell the property or keep it. Today owning a house or flat that isn’t your main residence can be a great source of income, which is why ‘buy to let’ has boomed in recent years. This is particularly true if there is no outstanding mortgage or other charge on the property.

However, when it comes to renting out a place that a loved one previously called their own home, a multitude of emotions may come into play along the line. For some people, the idea of strangers renting what was previously their family home could prove to be difficult.  In this case, the best option might be to sell and put the proceeds towards buying another property to rent out.


Of course on many occasions inherited properties end up being jointly owned by siblings or other relatives.  This can present a unique set of problems if each have different ideas on what should happen.

One party might want to sell, the other keep and rent as above. In another common scenario, someone might want to live in the property themselves.  This may lead to the need of ‘buying out’ others in order to do so.

This is where things can become complicated and the best answer is to talk to a professional.

In my career as an estate agent I’ve come across almost every situation you can imagine.  When it comes to helping recently bereaved people deal with the practical matters surrounding inherited property, understanding is paramount. The first thing I learned was that the last thing anyone needs at this point in their lives is a hard sell of any kind.  For this reason, I pride myself on making listening to what you have to say my priority.

If you’d like advice I’m here to give you any help you might need.  Bargaining and bereavement property can be tricky in a highly emotional state. Decisions need to suit everyone involved.  Drop me an email or give me a call for an informal confidential chat whenever you feel ready.