When a Sibling Lives in a Jointly Inherited House and You Want to Sell
How to Buy Out Your Siblings in an Inherited House
Losing a loved one or family member can be devastating. Becoming an executor of an estate can be both a blessing and a curse. Many times, the deceased was only trying to look out for everyone’s best interest when they were deciding how to divide their assets after their death. Tragically, they may not end up making the best choice for everyone involved. Having a joint property can be difficult and cause extreme tension between family members. Inheriting a home when you already have one can leave you with more burden in your life. Upkeep, maintenance and repairs on another home can seem overwhelming. This leaves many siblings that have jointly inherited homes to the decision to sell the home. When siblings co own property together, it can often lead to disaster. It happens quite often that one or more siblings want to sell the property for financial reasons or to avoid the burden and responsibility. If you find that you are the one wanting to sell the home, here are your options.
Get the Property Appraised
Getting a current appraisal on the property will be the first step in starting a discussion with other siblings involved in the home. It is important that both of you choose an appraiser together so that there is no dispute about the results of the appraisal. Regardless of what siblings feel entitled to, knowing the current value of the home will help ease negotiations. Knowing the facts about what the home is worth can help to keep decisions logical and less driven by emotions. Discussions with a stubborn sibling may not be easy and emotions run high here, so consider the sensitive nature of the situation when beginning any discussion. This will help you keep your relationship with your sibling solid.
Discuss a Buyout
Examine the will to determine how much each sibling owns and the value of the house will be the next step in determining a solution. Considering the value of the home and how much each sibling owns in the will, it allows decisions to be made that can be less emotional. If the sibling lives in the home, they may not want to sell at first. It may help to show them that they aren’t being thrown to the wolves and that they will still end up with money once the home is sold. From there, you can try to help put the other sibling’s mind at ease about the possibility of selling the home. You can also discuss the possibility of the other sibling buying you out of your portion of the ownership. There are ways to try and force the sale of the home, but court processes can be lengthy and costly. Court processes can also damage relationships beyond repair. It is usually best to come to an agreement between each other, before attempting to force a sale.
Forcing a Sale
If you and your sibling cannot come to an agreement on your own, you can file a partition. A partition action is a lawsuit that asks a judge to order that the home be sold. This process involves finding qualified lawyers to handle filing the partition to sell. Once the courts are involved, they decide if the property can be physically divided, or if one of the owners must buyout the other, or if the house is to be sold and the proceeds be split up. Keep in mind this is also a lawsuit and will likely cause permanent damage to any relationship you have with your sibling. Regardless of what they feel they are entitled to, try to make decisions based on the facts surrounding the value of the home and the amount of ownership each sibling has in the home. Taking this to court may end up leaving both of you with very little equity by the end of the process.
It is also important to consider how much equity is in the home, and how much real estate agent commissions will cost and closing costs will run you.
If you and a sibling have inherited a home that you do not want to be responsible for, We Buy Ugly Houses can help. Once you have reached an agreement, you may end up wanting to sell the home as soon as possible to avoid further damaging your relationship. Contact us to see if we can help you with your inherited home.