How do I sell or get rid of my share of an inherited house?

My brother, sister and I inherited a house after our mother passed. My sister is refusing to sell her share of the home, however also does not want to buy my share out. I do not want to just give up my share, but I don’t want to be in a co-ownership situation any longer. What are my legal rights?

Asked on May 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that the property has now been transferred into your names, in a situation in which co-owners of property cannot agree as to ownership matters, the law provides the remedy of "partition". This is a legal tool designed to resolve disputes in such matters. In an action for patition, a court will order the division of the property, if practical. However, if it not, as in the case of a single family house, then the court will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Pursuant to this, the property will be placed for sale at fair market value. Once sold, the proceeds will equitably distributed to each co-owner. That having been said, before the property is offered to 3rd parties, any owner(s) who wish(es) to retain it can offer to buy out the other owner(s) (again for fair market value).


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