How to force a real estate sale with multiple owners?

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How to force a real estate sale with multiple owners?

My 4 sisters and I have ownership in some real estate that we inherited from our parents. 4 of us want to sell our property but one of my sisters refuses to sell. She refuses to buy our shares out. Can we force a sale, even with her refusal?

Asked on August 16, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can force a sale of the property without your sister's consent. In a situation where co-owner's of property cannot agree as to ownership matters, then the law provides a remedy. it is called "partition". In such an action, if a property can be equally divided, then the court will so instruct. However, if division is impractical (as in the case of a house), then the court will order a "sale in lieu of partition" with the proceeds to be distributed equitably. First, however, any owner who wants to keep the property will be given the chance to buy out the other owner(s) for fair market value. If not, it will be offered for sale to the general public.


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