How do I sale my half of a house?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I sale my half of a house?

I own a home with my sister. There is no mortgage it was fully bought and paid for with our grandfather’s money. I no longer want to share with her and I want to sale my half of the house. Is that possible and, if so, how? Does she have to refund me or do I have to find someone to buy my half?

Asked on January 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Assuing that the house is now in both of your names, you can pursue what is known as an action in "partition". This is a legal remedy that is employed when owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownership matters. With a partition, if a property can be equally divided, then the court will so instruct. In the event that the property cannot be divided (as in the case of a single family house), then the court will order a "sale in lieu of partition". This means that the property will be sold and the prceeds equitably distributed among the owners. However, since a partition can be time consuming and costly, it is advisable for the owners to try an work out an amicable agreement.
Note: Before a sale would be ordered, a co-owner(s) would be given the right to try and negotiate a buy out of the other co-owner(s).
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