Want To Sell Your Inherited Property But Your Siblings Don’t – Now What?

Here is a Common Scenario:

My mother passed away a year ago. She did not have a Will. My two siblings and I each inherited shares of my mother’s property. My cousin has been living in the property rent-free ever since. We are all paying the property taxes while my cousin is living in the property. My brother and I want to sell the home but my cousin does not.  What are the options when three people own property and only two want to sell?

You are going through a delicate situation and must handle it intelligently, hopefully without “burning any bridges”. With bills to pay and other life expenses adding up, disputes with co-owners only add on to the stress so who can blame you for looking for an exit?

You mentioned that you are all paying the property taxes – unless you are helping your cousin out while she is going through a rough patch in life, she is the only one benefiting from the property and should be paying the taxes and upkeep of the property. It is commendable that you are helping out your cousin but make sure that she does not start depending on you to pay her bills.

If property taxes are NOT being paid, the best option is to put the property on the market. While your cousin does not want to sell, you need to get it through her head that it is much better to sell the house for profit than lose it at auction for unpaid taxes.

Now back to your situation….

Since your cousin wants to keep the house but you and your brother do not, try to settle it peacefully. Hire an appraiser to determine your inherited property value. Once you get the appraised value, you should have an idea how much equity you have in the property based on the percentage of the property you inherited.

For example, if three siblings inherited a property equally and the property is appraised at $300,000, your equity is about $100,000. If your cousin has the cash available, she should buy you out at around your percentage of the appraised value. So in the above scenario, close to $100,000 minus the closing costs and transfer tax. You may even be kind enough to give your cousin a “friendly discount” for being your cousin.  

Since most people do not have a few hundred thousand dollars laying around, the next best option is for your cousin to pull out some money and get a refinance on the property. She can then buy out the ownership interest from you and your brother. After she does this, she will be the only one on the deed and can handle the property as she pleases.

After getting the appraised value and coming to an agreement on the price, the ownership interest transfer is the next step.

Many proceed with a quit claim deed at this point but the appropriate deed transfer may vary per state – consult with your attorney on the proper way to proceed with the transaction. This will transfer all responsibility of the property to your cousin.

If the above option is not possible and your cousin does not want to refinance and buy you out, you may find someone willing to take a gamble with an unwilling co-owner and purchase your property share.

Inheritance Cash Out (ICO) purchases property shares nationwide and will give you a FREE Quote. Since every inheritance situation is complex and unique, ICO will work with you and come up with a solution to help fit your needs. 

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