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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    2

    Default Options for Co-Owner in Forced Sale

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina

    My father and my uncle inherited a property together in 2001. My father has no money, but the property is very important to him on a sentimental level. My uncle has been eager to sell this entire time, but has withheld any actions to do so while the home was rented for a long period of time. During this time, my uncle has managed the income portion, as my father is terrible with money and acquiesces easily to his brother, and actually kept a lot more than 50% (by his own admission, $13,000 extra). Now the tenant has moved out, and my uncle is again talking of forcing a sale. A few questions:

    1) My understanding is that my uncle can force a sale, is this correct?
    1a)Would that be an auction type situation or something else?
    1b) How much trouble would it be for him?

    2) If the house were to go to auction, would my father need to produce the entire selling price, or only half, since he is co-owner?

    We may be able to scrape together half. Then you may ask, why not just buy him out? The answer is that my uncle is very fickle, and likes to play games. I think this whole thing has been more about exerting power over my father than money itself. He has offered to sell for 25% of the appraisal value, as he was planning on leaving 1/2 of his 1/2 to my father in his will. However my fear is that when we actually make an offer and try to make things happen that he will backtrack, change the deal, stonewall, etc. I want to know worse case scenario (he forces a sale) what our options would be for keeping the house in the family, so that we can feel secure even in that situation, and take his power away so he has to negotiate like an adult.

    I know this sounds pretty dramatic, but this is the most accurately I can describe things, so thank you for barring with me and any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Options for Co-Owner in Forced Sale

    Quote Quoting jaxrich
    View Post
    1) My understanding is that my uncle can force a sale, is this correct?
    Yes, he can sue you for partition and sale.
    Quote Quoting jaxrich
    1a)Would that be an auction type situation or something else?
    You could buy him out. He could buy you out. You could agree to an appraisal and sale. You could litigate and see what the judge decides.... Lots of possibilities.
    Quote Quoting jaxrich
    1b) How much trouble would it be for him?
    How much money are you willing to spend to oppose the sale, and to slow down the litigation? Put in five figures and it should be a done deal within a year. Put in six figures and I expect you can make it drag out beyond the year.
    Quote Quoting jaxrich
    2) If the house were to go to auction, would my father need to produce the entire selling price, or only half, since he is co-owner?
    When you agree to an auction, you can agree to the terms upon which one or the other of you might buy the property at auction. Frankly, it would be foolish to go to auction if you believe the end result will be his buying you out as half of the cost of the auction will come out of your pocket.
    Quote Quoting jaxrich
    However my fear is that when we actually make an offer and try to make things happen that he will backtrack, change the deal, stonewall, etc.
    Nobody here can promise that he'll be reasonable.
    Quote Quoting jaxrich
    I want to know worse case scenario
    The worst case? You both spend so much on lawyers and the cost of sale that you end up barely covering your costs. That's not quite accurate. The worst case has you litigating the case and spending so much money that you go into the hole.

    If your uncle wants to sell, discuss with him how you can buy him out. If he consults a lawyer about the cost of an action for partition and sale, he's going to find that the easiest and best way to keep his money in his pocket is to negotiate with you and not force things into court.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Options for Co-Owner in Forced Sale

    Thank you so much for you're detailed response! It is very helpful.

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