Factors to consider when determining how best to transfer home from parent to heirs

Her house is still in her name. She was unsure for many years whether to transfer the title to all three of her children, and she now wonders whether she should do that while still living in the home. My sister and I have no interest in keeping the home after she is gone, but my brother, who lives with her, may have an interest in buying it down the road.

I’m assuming that if we leave things alone, the estate will go into probate. Or if we discuss this with her while she is alive, she can decide whether to transfer the home to us and we can then work out the details later among each other. Is it better to transfer the title of the home to us, or to leave it as it is given her age and go through probate?

Mom has her affairs in order.

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Determining the fair market value of your home

The fair market value of a home, which is based on the price a potential buyer would be willing to pay for it, is an important factor for both sellers and buyers.



a close up of a flower garden in front of a building: The front door of a home


© SondraP/Getty Images
The front door of a home

What is fair market value in real estate?

Fair market value is the price that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a home without current supply and demand conditions being present, explains Timothy Garrity, chief operating officer and broker at Copper Hill Real Estate in Philadelphia.

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In other words, both parties would have enough knowledge to proceed with the sale, but outside factors would not be relevant to the negotiation of price and terms.

“Basically, it is what the buyer audience perceives the home to be value-wise,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

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