Can I Sell My House to My Son for $1 Dollar?


You want to sell your house to your son for 1 dollar. This means you are the best dad in the world! Having the opportunity to buy a house for $1.00 is unprecedented! You are setting your son up for future financial success. 

Or are you?

You can sell your house to your son for one dollar, but you should consider some critical factors. Before we dive in too deep, let me ask you a few questions to make you think.

  1. Are you trying to avoid capital gains taxes?
  2. Are you trying to sell your house without spending any money?
  3. OR Are you just a perfect dad?



If you are a perfect dad, then I wish I was your son because it would be great to buy my Dad’s house for 1 dollar. And if you have a house you want to sell your son for $1.00, and he doesn’t want to buy it, be sure to let me know! I’ll buy it in cash today! 


If you are trying to avoid taxes you might want to think again. Selling your property to your son for 1 dollar isn’t the way to go about it. In fact, it could become a huge mistake.


Just because you sell your house to your son doesn’t mean you won’t have to spend money. I’m a son, and I know! If my Dad was going to sell his house to me for a dollar, I might ask for some upgrades. If you want to learn more about selling a Colorado house without spending money, click this link. 

How To Sell My House To My Son For $1.00

Below are the 4 steps to sell your house to your son for a dollar. 

But first, I want to reassure you. You have the right to sell any property to anyone you want. You also have the right to sell it for any price you want. Selling your house for a dollar is the same as any other real estate transaction. 

To sell your house for a dollar to your son, you will do the following:

  1. Money is exchanged. In this case, one dollar.
  2. You will transfer the ownership of the house to your son.
  3. Changing the ownership from you to your son is commonly referred to as transferring a Real Estate Title and is done on a deed. 
  4. This must be witnessed/notarized.
  5. Record the deed with the county court. 

Follow those simple 5 steps, and you just sold your house to your son for one dollar!

Additional Common Questions About Selling To Your Son

It is that simple, but if you haven’t done it before, I bet you still have many questions. Some questions that come to mind include the following:

  1. Where can I find the forms to transfer ownership?
  2. Am I going to get hit with a big tax bill? OR
  3. Can I gift my house to my son?
  4. Can I sell my house to him without the stove, microwave, refrigerator, or any of the appliances? 

These are all great questions you must answer before selling your home for a buck to your son. And have you honestly thought this through? Do you have other children? What will they think? How would you feel if your son turned around and sold the house tomorrow?

Those are things you must think about. If you are sure to push forward with the sale, you must know this advice that could help you avoid costly mistakes! It’s right after the Table of Contents. 

Table of Contents

You Have To Read This Before Selling Your House for $1 To Your Son

Before you read the next piece of advice promise me you will read the explanation also. OK? Do you promise? After you read the explanation I am sure you will agree with me. 


If you want to sell your house for $1.00 to your son, you should work with a real estate attorney or a real estate tax professional. 

Please don’t walk away after reading that. Let me explain. It will save you many sleepless nights in the future – I guarantee!

Real Estate Attorney Or Real Estate Tax Professional

If you want to sell your house for $1.00 to your son, you should work with a real estate attorney or a real estate tax professional. If you hire an attorney or accountant, they will make sure the sale is made correctly. Selling your house correctly means avoiding huge mistakes (a couple of massive ones listed below).

Please don’t walk away after reading that. Let me explain. It will save you many sleepless nights in the future – I guarantee!

How An Attorney Or Accountant Can Help You Sell Your House For $1

Selling any real estate is complicated. The cost can be pretty high too.

What is the house worth that you want to pass on to your son? 300? 400? 500 thousand dollars? 

There are a few essential things that could go wrong. A couple of obvious mistakes that could happen when selling your house to your son could be:

  1. The title is not transferred correctly.
  2. You put your son in a situation where he has to pay a massive tax bill.
Those are 2 costly mistakes you must avoid when selling a house to anyone!

Do you want to create a situation where the house is lost (title not recorded), or your son owes the IRS (capital gains) a bunch of money?  I know if it were me, I wouldn’t.

A real estate attorney and accountant tell you precisely what to do. They will advise you during your house sale to your son. Of course, this is going to cost some money. But trust me when I say this. 

You might spend $1000 hiring a lawyer or accountant to help sell your home to your son for a dollar. But a tax bill could be in the 10’s of thousands of dollars. If the title is transferred to someone other than your son, you’ve lost it all.

Other things you might miss that a real estate pro would catch.

There are plenty of other issues that come up when selling real estate. A couple of examples of items that may need to be addressed include:

  1. Property encroachment – if you let it go on, you could lose your right to that property.
  2. Open insurance claims – who gets the money? 
  3. Ongoing local government assessments – should you pay or leave it for your son?

Because of all these reasons, if you sell your house to your son for one dollar, you should seriously consider talking to an attorney or accountant.


If you don’t have one, look for people with expertise on Facebook. Look for real estate groups. Ask around. You might be surprised at how helpful people can be. 



Costs Involved If I Sell My House for $1

Just like any other house sale, there are some costs that you will need to pay, and you cannot avoid them. You need to be aware of what the whole process entails so that you do not find yourself stuck halfway through the process. These costs include:


If you are still paying for the mortgage, you will have problems selling your house below the market value. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, it could complicate the situation further when you sell your house. 

You must go back through your finances to make the mortgage payment. However, if you do not have a mortgage loan you are paying on, you are fine. All you have to do is clear the balance before selling the house.

Capital Gains Tax

If the house you sell is not your primary home, you may be required to pay capital gain tax. The rates used to calculate capital gain tax depends on your income tax status. Those with basic rates pay 18%, while those with higher rates pay 28%.

Legal Fees

You have to pay for legal registration when changing the name in the deed from your name to that of your son. A solicitor will have to witness the exchange and sign off on it. You also have to pay for this service.

Gift Tax and Estate Tax

Selling your house to your son for $1 will not help you avoid paying estate tax later on in the future when you die—the federal and gift taxes complement each other. The tax you pay determines the time you choose to make the transfer. You can pay the gift tax now or the estate tax later. Exemptions offered for both these taxes are the same. Your assets and generosity will be factored in when determining if you will pay any taxes on the real estate property.

Can You Buy Your Dads House For $1 If He Has Dementia

I am sincere in this section when I say anyone wanting to sell their house for a dollar must be crazy! In all seriousness, though, the question has to be asked if your father has dementia. If your father has dementia, somebody could contest the sale when you buy the house for 1 dollar. 

If your Dad has dementia, I hope that you would let other members of the family know that he is trying to sell his house to you – way under market value. Plus, remember, he is your Dad. You need to look out for him. He gave you life!

For more information on navigating the complexities of selling a loved one’s house if they have dementia, I would invite you to read this article called Can A Person With Dementia Sell Their House?


buyers are taking home keys from sellers

What Happens If You Do Not Use the Property After the Sale?

Suppose you sold your $150,000 home to your son or another family member for $1, so it is no longer your primary residence. The difference of $149,999 will be categorized as a gift and qualifies for federal taxation.

You get a $16,000 gift tax that can be excluded annually as of 2022 ( increased from $15,000 in 2021) provided by the tax code per individual each year. Therefore, the gift of $149,999 will be reduced to $133,999. You are exempted from paying tax for the first $16,000, but there is a decision you will have to make.

You need to choose between paying the gift tax that particular year or using the $149,999 as an exemption for your lifetime. The exemption was increased to $12.06 million in 2022 from $ 11.7 million in 2021. You can give out all that without attracting any of the above-mentioned taxes.

Don’t let the property fall apart!

It’s easy to forget about the upkeep of a property when you are not using it. If you are not using it, make sure somebody is. Or, at the very least, you have a trusted person checking in on the house. A house is a valuable asset with many smaller assets on site. You don’t want the air conditioner to go missing or have squatters move into the property. 

If this happens now, you will wonder if you can sell the house without air conditioning or what to do about settlers in Colorado. Trust me, as a real estate investor, I have had to deal with both situations, and both can be a real pain in the “you know what!”

Squatters have rights in Colorado, and believe me, you want to prevent squatters instead of having to remove them because it is much cheaper!



What Happens When Your Son Decides to Sell the Property?

Your son will also inherit your tax basis (your purchasing price) when you decide to transfer the property to them as a gift. If your son decides to sell the property by applying the current market value of $150,000 and you purchased it for $50,000, they have to report the $100,000 capital gain, which consists of the selling price minus your basis.

You can increase your basis if you decide to keep the property and later transfer it to a beneficiary as a section of your estate. In this instance, your son’s basis will become the property’s new date on which its value died. Your son can sell the property for $150,000 without getting any capital gain and attracting capital gain tax because that is the property’s present market value.

What Happens If You Continue Using the Property?

If you decide to keep using the property after making the 1 dollar sale, you will completely change the situation. The property will be included in your gross estate and attract an estate tax due to the continued occupancy of the residence.

The revenue authority assumes that it was part of your deal to continue occupying the residence after the sale. However, this may not be a bad situation because the $12.06 million exemption is still waiting for you.

What if the House Is Rented?

The law believes that if the property is transferred while you are still alive and you continue making money out of it or continue living on it, it will be considered part of your estate.

If the house you sell for 1 dollar to your son is rented, you should do a thorough inspection of the house before selling. Make sure the rental is being cared for by the tenants. If they are messy and leave trash and food lying around, there could be a pest or rodent problem.

If I were passing a rental house to my children, I would want the place to be in tip-top rental condition: no pests, mice, cockroaches, or rats. What about ghosts? Can bad tenants attract ghosts? Could the house be haunted? Are there trashy neighbors?


You Can I Sell My House for 1 Dollar?

No law will stop you from selling your property for the amount that you feel is appropriate. You will only be required to meet all the costs associated with the sale. It is also necessary to ensure that the property is completely solely registered under your name.


You should also ensure that the mortgage attached to that property is cleared first. You should also settle any tax obligations you may have that are attached to the property.

Different states have a tax law that may slightly differ. It is better to seek advice from an experienced person familiar with that particular state’s requirements, like a financial advisor or someone from the Internal Revenue Service.

Can I sell my house to my son for 1 dollar? Yes, you can. However, it is improper if you intend to sell your property for 1 dollar to evade paying taxes as a property owner. It will not be possible because the government has all its bases covered in its tax law.

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