Selling a townhouse

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Selling a townhouse

In 1987 I bought a townhouse 50/50 with a sister. Mortgage is paid off. We’re both
over 65. I no longer live in state where property is located. How can I sell either my
50 share, or start process for sister to sell property together?

Asked on July 24, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sell just your 50% share to a third party but it is not easy to find such a buyer; typically they will want to purchase the entire interest in the property. However, what you can do here is to force your sister to buy you out or even force a sale of the entire property. In a case such as this, the law provides the remedy of "parition". In such an action, the property will be ordered to be divided if possible. In not (as in the case of a single family dwelling), the court will instead order a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be put on the market and sold for fair market value andthe proceeds will be equitably distributed. However, before the property is offered to 3rd parties, any owner who wants to buy out the other owner out is given the chance to do so. At this point, you should consult directly with a local real estate attorney who can best advise you further.

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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