What are my options as far as selling an inherited house and land if my sibling does not want to?

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What are my options as far as selling an inherited house and land if my sibling does not want to?

My father passed away 16 months ago and my 21 year old brother, my mother, and myself (23 years of age) each own 1/3 of the property consisting of a house and 200 acres (outright; no mortgage). My brother and mother are currently living at the house, but my mother is considering moving out. My brother is making it very difficult for us to sell the property because he is adamant about living there. He is currently in college with no income (or means to buy my share) and living there rent free. I have no interest in the home.

Asked on June 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In a case where joint property owners cannot agree on the disposition of property, a "partition" action can be filed.  If possible the land will be equally divided and then each co-owner can do as they wish with their share. However, in the case where division is impractical (such as with a single family dwelling) the court can order a sale of the entire property and have the proceeds equally split. First however, any co-owner will have the right to buy-out the other co-owner(s) for fair market value.

However, your case is unique in that there is a house but also substantial acreage. Possibly there is some way to convey the house and some minimal property to your brother and have you and your mother each split the remaining land. Of course, it all depends on the value of the house and land; all co-owners are entitled to an equal monetary amount (an appraisal will be needed). At this point, you should consult directly with a real estate attorney in the area. They can best advise as to your full rights and remedies.


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