Selling an Inherited Property in Maine (2024 Updates) (2024)

Home sellers in Maine spent an average of 12 to 21 months selling their inherited property.

Analyzing the current Maine real estate market, the average time to sell a house in Maine is 87 days. Factors like house location, home size, condition, etc. can increase your home’s days on the market.

For an inherited house, the probate process is necessary to legally transfer the property. It typically takes up to 11 months but can be delayed by multiple heirs and disagreements.

To Sell My Inherited House

  • How Long Does It Take to Sell? It takes an average time of 12 to 21 months to sell an inherited property, depending on the probate process.
  • Taxes to Sell an Inherited Property: You need to pay transfer tax, property tax, and capital gains tax to sell an inherited property.
  • Fastest Way to Sell: Selling to a cash buyer is the fastest way to sell your inherited property as is.

Can I Sell an Inherited House in Maine?

Yes, you can sell your inherited house in Maine. Your property must undergo a probate process before you sell it.

What Is a Probate Process?

A probate is a legal validation of a deceased person’s will. Probate helps to distribute the property amongst its heirs and beneficiaries.

You need to submit the owner’s death certificate and proof of ownership during the probate process. After the completion of probate, you have to pay for several expenses such as outstanding mortgages, taxes on the property, and other bills.

An ‘Alienation Clause’ triggers when the ownership of a mortgaged property is transferred to an inheritor. So the inheritor has to pay off the full mortgage.

Almost every inherited property in Maine must undergo a probate process. This can take up to11 months. This period varies state-wise and depends on the number of inheritors and state laws.

Properties Exempted from Undergoing Probate Process

Your property will exempt a probate under the following conditions:

  • Maine Transfer-on-Death Deeds: Transfer-on-death deed in Maine allows the ownership of a property to transfer directly to the inheritor when the owner is deceased. The owner can retain control over the property as long as he lives.
  • Receive a House in Trust in Maine: A property trust is a legal entity that allows the passing of the ownership of a property from the grantor (the owner) to the beneficiary. You can inherit a house directly without probate if the owner has placed the house in a trust.

How to Sell an Inherited House in Maine?

Selling an inherited house is similar to selling any other property. The best option to sell your house for the most profit is either sell it through a real estate agent or sell it yourself.

1. Hire a Local Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are well-versed in the market conditions. They market your property to buyers via MLS or other real estate networks to get you the most possible money for your property.

Moreover, agents can also advise you after you start receiving offers. But, agents do charge hefty commissions from 5% to 6%.


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2. Sell For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

You can save on hefty commissions by listing your house for sale by owner. But when selling FSBO, you need to handle the paperwork and closing yourself.

You have full control over your transaction to engage with the buyer and buyer’s agent. Moreover, ME For Sale By Owner sites help you get listed faster, typically within 24 to 48 hours.

Flat Fee MLS companies like Houzeo offer advanced technology to streamline your listing process. Houzeo’s mobile app helps you manage offers and showings at your fingertips.

Alternate Ways to Sell Your Inherited House in Maine

You have other alternatives to sell your inherited home:

  1. List with a Discount Real Estate Broker:Maine Discount real estate brokersoffer all the services that traditional Realtors do but at discounted rates. You can also opt for a flat rate Realtor to list your home.
  2. Sell Your Home to an iBuyer:An iBuyer can instantly make a cash offer and help you sell your house quickly. They make offers close to fair market value. However,iBuyershave strict purchase criteria.
  3. Sell Your House to Cash Buyers: Maine cash companies can help you sell faster if you have a distressed property. However, cash home buyers typically offer 50% to 70% of the property’s fair market value.
  4. Sell Your House to a Flipper: You can sell your inherited property to professional house flippers in Maine. They offer up to 70% of the fair market value.

Taxes on Selling an Inherited Property in Maine

Yeet! The Pine Tree State does not impose an inheritance tax or estate tax. However, you have to pay taxes while selling an inherited property in Maine.

  • Transfer Tax: Transfer tax is a one-time fee the inheritor pays to the local government at the time of transferring the ownership. Maine imposes 0.7% of the property’s sale price.
  • Property Tax: The average property tax in Maine is 1.09% of the total sale price of the property.
  • Capital Gains Tax: The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) authority levies the capital gains tax on a stepped-up basis.So, this tax would only apply to the property’s appreciation after it was inherited.

» Capital Gains Exemptions: Know how you can exempt capital gains tax.

Selling a House in Maine with Multiple Inheritors

Multiple inheritors can be close family members like siblings, cousins, or anyone the deceased person chooses. So, selling a house in Maine with multiple inheritors is a real curve ball.

In such cases, the first step is to come to an agreement on selling or buying the property with the other inheritors. You can also appoint a neutral party (non-beneficiary) as the head person for the sale.

The neutral party will ensure a transparent home sale process. They will ensure a fair distribution of proceeds amongst the inheritors.

What if All Inheritors Don’t Agree to Sell?

If all inheritors do not agree then the property cannot be sold. Chill! If majority of the inheritors are willing to sell the property they need to go through a probate court.

The inheritors can file a ‘partition action’ lawsuit in the probate court. In such cases, the court enforces the sale. As a result, the inheritors have to divide the proceeds among themselves as per the will.

Let’s Sell Your Inherited House

Selling your inherited house in Maine is a complex and time-consuming process. Your inherited home might remain in probate for up to 11 months. You also have to pay several taxes while selling your inherited home.

To get the best price for your property, we recommend you list your home on Maine MLS. This provides exposure to your property to buyers and real estate agents.

With an ME Flat Fee MLS company like Houzeo, you can list your property on the MLS right after the probate. An MLS listing via Houzeo will give your house maximum exposure, and you may even attract cash offers.

Selling an Inherited Property in Maine (2024 Updates) (4)

» Selling an Inherited Property with a Mortgage: Learn what to consider and what not when selling an inherited property with a mortgage.

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Does Maine have an inheritance tax?

No. The state of Maine does not impose an inheritance tax when inheriting assets.

How to avoid capital gains tax in Maine?

To avoid capital gains tax on real estate in Maine, you have to reside in an inherited house for more than two years in the last five years. You also had not used the exclusion on another property to be eligible for the exclusion.

Is there a time limit on selling inherited property in Maine?

No, there is no time limit to sell an inherited property in Maine. Once the probate process is completed and the legal inheritor is declared, you can sell your inherited property anytime.

Can you sell a house while in probate in Maine?

Yes, only if there is a power of sale clause along with the will. Then you can sell the property without attaining an order from the probate court.

How to pay-off the mortgage on inherited property in Maine?

You can pay the mortgage on an inherited asset in multiple ways:
1. You can sell the property and pay-off the debt.
2. Transfer the mortgage along with the ownership of the house in your name.
3. The Maine mortgage lender can foreclose the property if no inheritor pays the debt.


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  • Maine
  • Selling Inherited Property
Selling an Inherited Property in Maine (2024 Updates) (2024)


Is there capital gains tax on inherited property in Maine? ›

Inheritance tax doesn't apply to Maine. Capital Gains Tax: The IRS applies capital gains tax based on a stepped-up basis. This tax applies only to the property's appreciation after inheritance.

How to avoid capital gains tax when selling inherited property? ›

How to Avoid Paying Capital Gains Tax on Inheritance
  1. Sell the inherited property quickly. ...
  2. Make the inherited property your primary residence. ...
  3. Rent the inherited property. ...
  4. Disclaim the inherited property. ...
  5. Deduct selling expenses from capital gains.

How much can you inherit in Maine without paying taxes? ›

The estate tax threshold for Maine is $6.8 million in 2024. If your estate is worth less than that, Maine won't charge estate tax on it. If it is worth more than that, you'll owe a percentage of the estate to the government based on a series of progressive rates.

What is the holding period for the sale of inherited property? ›

Inheritances — Your holding period is automatically considered to be more than one year. So, when you sell the inherited stock, it's subject to long-term capital treatment. This applies regardless of the actual holding period.

Do I have to report the sale of inherited property to the IRS? ›

Report the sale on Schedule D (Form 1040), Capital Gains and Losses and on Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets: If you sell the property for more than your basis, you have a taxable gain.

How do I calculate taxes on the sale of inherited property? ›

How to Report the Sale of Inherited Property on Your Tax Return
  1. Calculate your capital gain (or loss) by subtracting your stepped up tax basis (fair market value of the home) from the purchase price.
  2. Report the sale on IRS Schedule D. ...
  3. Copy the gain or loss over to Form 1040.

What is the inherited capital gains tax loophole? ›

The Step-Up in Basis loophole is used to circumvent capital gains taxes, or to pay the least amount of this type of inheritance tax as is legally possible. This loophole can be used on inherited assets that have appreciated in value from the time they were purchased.

Is money received from the sale of inherited property considered taxable income? ›

This is because the sale price is likely to be very close to the FMV at the time of the decedent's death, which is the property's basis. However, if there is a gain—that is, if the sale price exceeds the basis of the property—this gain is considered taxable income and subject to capital gains tax.

What is the capital gains tax rate for 2024? ›

For the 2024 tax year, individual filers won't pay any capital gains tax if their total taxable income is $47,025 or less. The rate jumps to 15 percent on capital gains, if their income is $47,026 to $518,900. Above that income level the rate climbs to 20 percent.

What assets are exempt from probate in Maine? ›

Listed below are some of the non-probate assets available in Maine.
  • Any property in a living trust.
  • Life insurance policies.
  • 401(k)s, IRAs, other retirement accounts.
  • Securities in transfer-on-death accounts.
  • Pay-on-death bank accounts.
  • Joint tenancy real property.
Feb 16, 2024

How long does an executor have to settle an estate in Maine? ›

The Estate Closing (9-24 months)

Probate can conclude when all creditors are paid, taxes are filed, and assets are sold or distributed. After finalizing the executor's duties, the probate court judge then issues the final order of discharge of the personal representative. This court action officially closes the estate.

Do all wills need to be probated in Maine? ›

Does every estate have to go through probate? No. Certain kinds of property can be passed without going through probate. Property owned with a “Right of Survivorship” automatically transfers to the joint owner at death and that person owns the property fully.

How do you avoid capital gains on a house that was inherited? ›

There are four ways you can avoid capital gains tax on an inherited property. You can sell it right away, live there and make it your primary residence, rent it out to tenants, or disclaim the inherited property.

How do you determine the fair market value of inherited property? ›

Tax assessment records and local realtors can help you, but the most legally defensible estimate is from a professional appraiser. With a professional appraisal of the property, you can make sure you're being treated fairly by the executor and other heirs—and you can decide whether to sell.

Are inherited assets considered long-term capital gains? ›

If the executor files an estate tax return, they could use an alternate valuation date of up to 6 months from the date of death. When you sell an inherited asset for more than the stepped-up cost basis, it would be counted as a long-term capital gain for tax purposes.

What is the capital gains tax in Maine? ›

Maine Capital Gains Tax

Maine taxes both long- and short-term capital gains at the full income tax rates described in the income tax section above. This means that income from capital gains can face a state rate of up to 7.15% in Maine.

Do I have to pay taxes when I sell my house in Maine? ›

Note: Federally taxable gains on the sale of Maine real property are taxable by Maine, even if the total consideration is less than $100,000.

Does a will in Maine avoid probate? ›

Having a Will does not avoid probate.

These types of assets include certain jointly owned assets, assets with certain beneficiary designations, and assets owned by a trust. These assets are called “non-probate” assets and transfer to your beneficiaries by other means.

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