How to sell a house to my son

Written by tara dooley
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How to sell a house to my son
You may use a quitclaim deed to sell your house to your son. (house image by Earl Robbins from

If you have a house that you want to sell to your son, it doesn't have to be a complicated process. It may be as simple as transferring ownership of the home to a family member and setting up a purchase or payment plan. There is no need to share the sale with a real estate agent or have a mountain of paperwork drawn up. In most cases, selling your home to your son may take just a few hours to settle.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Appraisal
  • Quitclaim deed or warranty deed

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  1. 1

    Determine a fair market price for your house, if you want to treat the sale as any other. Have an appraiser value the property or do research on your own to come up with the value. Sale prices of other homes in the area that are similar to yours will give you a good idea of its worth. Take into consideration any immediate repairs that need to be done and reduce the house price for the cost of the repairs. Make sure the sale of the home will cover any loans that you have on the property. If you are going to sell it to your son for a nominal fee, be aware that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may charge you a gift tax if the price is too low, according to

  2. 2

    Contact a lawyer to draw up a simple sales agreement with stipulations such as "sold as is" or a commitment to have certain items fixed before your son moves in. The contract should represent the agreement that you and your son have discussed already.

  3. 3

    Receive the funds from your son in the way that you have arranged, such as a cashier's check, bank transfer, loan or cash. Send a payment to your bank for any money owed on the house.

  4. 4

    Contact the bank after a few days, if you sent the payment electronically, or up to a week later if you sent the payment by mail. Make sure that the money was received and request that the deed, or title, showing the loan payoff be sent to you.

  5. 5

    Take the title or ownership paperwork to the property tax assessor's office, city clerk or other government entity that handles deed records in your area. Call the number on your property tax bill to be certain of the correct office. Take your picture identification and your son when you go.

  6. 6

    Show the office where deeds are filed the paperwork that you received from the bank, and have it recorded and filed. If your home was paid off in the past, this is not an issue because ownership of the house is already on file in your name.

  7. 7

    Request a quitclaim deed or warranty deed form. If the office in your jurisdiction does not provide one, you may be able to purchase it at an office supply store or online. The quitclaim deed is a short form that changes ownership of the property. The warranty deed is for a house that is paid off and guarantees that there are no other claims on the title of the property. The form you use must be notarised in order to have it properly filed.

Tips and warnings

  • If your son needs to make payments to you, have a lawyer set up a simple contract with or without interest depending on your preference. Don't transfer the deed until the house is paid off or have the contract state that ownership switches back to you if he defaults. You also may add his name to your deed with a quitclaim where you do not remove your name from the title or relinquish ownership.
  • Prior to selling your house to your son, or any family member, talk to an attorney for advice.

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