What rights do brothers who inherit a house have if one wants to buy out the other brothers but the others want to put it in the market? 6 Answers as of December 02, 2014

Four brothers inherit a house. One sells his 25% to another brother so one of them now has 50% ownership. The other two want to sell and the one with 50% wants to buy the others share. The two other brothers don't want to sell their share to the 50% holder brother. They want to put it on the market. What rights do the brothers have?

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WFB Legal Consulting, Inc.
WFB Legal Consulting, Inc. | William F. Bernard
Property may be owned by more than one person either as joint tenants or tenants in common in CA. A forced sale is an action taken in a civil court forcing the owners of a piece of real property to sell their property and to divide the profits. A forced sale is generally the result of a petition to partition action. Forced sales generally occur because tenants are unable to agree upon certain aspects of the ownership. The owners may disagree on how to use the property, on the amount of money to invest into the property, or on their right to occupy and use the whole of the property. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the case moves to court through a petition to partition action. As the number of co-habitants increases in the United States, the petition to partition action has become more common as a remedy to divide real and personal property. Partitioning is a legal right and is commenced by filing a petition to partition with the court. Specific partition law varies from state to state; however, the premise can be generalized according to the type of deed. Owners of Tenants in Common (TIC) and Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS) deeds can file for partition. When partitioning a JTWROS deed, all proceeds are split equally among co-owners as JTWROS deeds grant all owners equal shares. No credits would be given for any excess contribution to purchase price; however, credits may be given for utilities and maintenance. Credit may also be given for improvements if the improvements resulted in an increase in the property value. When partitioning a TIC deed, owner shares are considered. For example, if owners A, B and C own property as tenants in common, where A owns 50%, B owns 25% and C owns 25%, a sale of $100,000 would be split $50,000 to A and 25,000 to B and C. However, after the initial determination of shares, the court may consider other contributions by the owners. For example, if A made reasonable and necessary renovations and was never reimbursed, the court may reimburse A from the awards to B and/or C. Generally, frivolous improvements to the property are not reimbursed as they would not substantially increase the value of the property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
In general, the other bros have the right to sue to force a sale (this is called a partition action). You should offer to buy them out at an appraised price, less costs of the broker, if you are able to swing it financially. If necessary, you can make the offer subject to financing, which you can handle as part of the sale escrow. You won't need a broker; any experienced escrow officer can handle it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/1/2014
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
This depends in part on how title is held. Is it still in n estate or trust? Assuming A owns 50% and B and C each own 50%, with no other documents governing the relationship, B and C can force a partition sale. Once they set their price, they probably cannot prevent A from buying it for that or more.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/1/2014
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
They all have the same rights. None can force the others to do anything. They will probably have to file a costly [$15,000 plus] partition action to get an order from the court to sell the house and divide the profits. They should find out what will save the most in taxes and how they can best resolve the matter [get a real estate broker to determine the likely sales price and let the 50% brother buy them out]; I personally do not think a real estate appraiser will be as accurate in determining what what the house would really sell for].
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/26/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
The brothers who want to sell, could file a petition to partition in the probate court and obtain an order to sell the property at appraised value on the open market, at which time, the brother who wants to buy you out, can make a bid for the property owned by the two minority owners. If you are a minority, don't let the brother with the largest interest buffalo you by playing deduction cost games in the offer he makes to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/26/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    If the 50% shareholder is willing to pay fair market value for the property, the brothers have no right to block that, and quite frankly it will cost them more in the long run with realtor fees, attorney fees for partition, etc. I encourage the 3 to come to an agreement to save time and money.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/26/2014
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