Can I Force My Brother To Sell Inherited House

Your parents’ passing can be challenging for a family, adding trying to find time to manage their estate or a second home can be difficult. The problem when it comes to inheriting a property shared with your siblings is that the house isn’t solely yours, so you’ll have to make decisions together. But, if you’re wondering if you can force the sale of the property to get your inheritance and move on, you definitely can. However, to do so, you will need to work through the process. Selling a part of your inheritance property will require you to go through the Massacuttes probate process, and in some instances, negotiate the sale with your sisters and brothers. Below we’ll take a look at what you can expect throughout the process. 

Inherited House With Siblings In MA and How To Sell It

Inherited property phrase on the wooden key

Can a Sibling Force Selling of an Inherited House?

The simple answer is yes, a sibling can force the sale of inherited property even if the majority opinion is not to sell. The reason being, Massachusetts law, cannot force co-owners to remain co-owners. So really, there are two ways to force selling a house, either by a partition action/lawsuit or by negotiating with siblings. Avoiding a lawsuit would be helpful and less costly, but it will take some convincing the other co-owners that selling the property is the best decision for everyone. Worst case scenario, sometimes threatening a partition lawsuit motivates everyone towards a solution. But if persuasion fails, a partition lawsuit can be entered to sell an inherited property in Massachusetts, but consider that option as the last resort. 

Going Through Probate

Probate is another element the family may have to navigate and might lead to selling the inherited property. What exactly is probate? Simply put, probate is a legal process in which the Massachusetts court requests all creditors with claims against the deceased’s estate come forward. The probate process helps settle all the outstanding debts and taxes for the deceased property owner using the remaining estate’s value. This process takes place before handing out an inheritance to the heirs and beneficiaries. To conduct probate in Massachusetts usually takes a year or so since creditors have a year (after the passing) to come forward with claims. 

However, probate is not always necessary but is usually only required if the deceased owned assets in his/her name alone, other assets can probably be transferred to the new owners without probate. 

If going through the probate process and are considering selling your house in probate, always check with your attorney and court to make sure they approve of the sale first before proceeding. 

Consider a Buy-Out Offer

If your siblings still want to keep the family home for themselves, buying out siblings is another option. To buy out a sibling from an inherited house will require the party that wishes to keep the place to purchase the other sibling’s portion. For example, the individual may secure a mortgage on the house and pay you and any other siblings the amount of the property you now own. 

Another option is to buy out siblings and then sell. If you don’t want the house remaining in possession of a sibling, you can offer to buy it outright from them. You can then fix up the place and put it on the market to sell. There is some risk here since you’ll need to make repairs, updates, hire an agent, and hope for a fast home sale. 

Ideally, you need to discuss solutions with your siblings and try to work with them on the buy-out. If you have a sibling living in a deceased parent’s home, that’s going to make things a bit more complicated, especially if they have nowhere to go. So you may need to come up with alternatives or suggestions. 

→ Does your inherited property have tenants living there? Click here to learn how to sell your house with tenants in it. 

House miniature and hand,Green turf - siblings computing partition from inheritance

File a Partition

If negotiating is out of the question and no solution can be found, you may need to move towards more serious efforts to get the home sold. In this situation, you can take legal steps to ask the Massachusetts court to intervene. In other words, you can ask the court to force the sale of the home so that you can get a fair portion of it. However, it is important to know that this is an expensive process and time-consuming option, not to mention it may affect family dynamics. It is best to avoid this situation and instead try to work something out amongst the siblings. Doing so will help to preserve the value of the property. 

If there’s just no way around it, it may be necessary to file a partition lawsuit. The Massachusetts court will decide if they find it is the best possible option. For example, the court might determine that the home needs to be divided, and one of the co-owners needs to buy out the others. If no resolution is reached, the court may require that the house is sold so that each sibling can receive their share of the inheritance equally. 

But with any type of partition lawsuit, there is going to be a time factor to consider. Furthermore, once you take this legal approach, there is no turning back. So if you were to have a sibling agree with you in a few months, for example, to sell the place. If the lawsuit is filed, there is no way to stop it from proceeding. And as the seller, you will pay all the fees associated with the process. 

In other cases, if those involved cannot agree on the buy-out during the partition action – the Masschuttes court may force the sale through an auction, which can drastically undermine the home’s value at the time of the sale. So it is possible to force the sale of the property, but it’s important to know what that means and how it could affect everyone involved. 

Final Takeaways 

If you’re going through a similar situation, dealing with siblings that don’t want to sell an inherited property in Massachusetts, but you do, first try to work something out before taking legal action. As you’ve learned, although legal action may provide the results you’re looking for, it will come at a cost and be a time-consuming process. You already have your work cut out to sell a house, especially if the home you and the siblings inherited is old or was abandoned. Besides dealing with discussions on selling the house, you’ll have to figure out how to handle repair costs, go through everything, clean, stage, and hire a real estate agent or sell by owner. 

Suppose you and your siblings are struggling to figure out how to get the house ready to sell or pick a good real estate agent. In that case, you could always work with a “We buy houses in Massachusetts” company like Ocean City Development. 

Ocean City Development is a local real estate investment company that purchases houses in as-is condition and doesn’t charge realtor commissions. Their home buying process avoids having the inherited property sit on the market for months before receiving an offer, instead, they can make you a cash offer within 24-hours and close within seven days. And because you’re working directly with them, hiring a real estate agent isn’t necessary to sell, saving you and your siblings, thousands of dollars on costly agent commissions. 

If you are interested in working with companies that buy houses in Boston or other Massachusetts cities, give Ocean City Development a call today. They have worked with several families looking to sell a home in probate as well as selling inherited properties and would be happy to help you too! Find out more about the company by visiting their website or contact them at (781) 209-6025.

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