How to force a real estate sale with multiple owners?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


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

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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