When one person inherits a home, the decision-making process can be an easy one. Either that person wants to sell the house or they don’t. But when you have multiple siblings that inherit a property, that opens up all kinds of potential concerns and issues. While, in an ideal world, siblings would come together to make the same decision, we all know that it doesn’t always work that way. And sometimes, siblings can find themselves on opposite sides of the decision whether or not to sell the inherited house.
What if one of you wants to live in the house? What if one of you wants to sell one way and the other wants to sell a different way? What if one of you wants to sell but the other one wants to rent it out to generate income? There are plenty of scenarios that might pop up and require a delicate balance between financial sense and emotional awareness.
If you and your sibling or siblings have inherited a house but find yourselves in disagreement, you have some options in order to force the sale of the home. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to force the sale of an inherited property in Orlando, Florida.
What Are Your Options Selling An Inherited Property With Siblings?
You’ll Have to Go Through Probate
When selling an inherited property, the most important legal requirement is that the sale goes through probate. Depending on the value of the house, you may be able to apply for summary probate or you might have to go through a full version that involves courts and fees.
Assets that don’t have to go through probate include any property held in joint tenancy by more than one person, assets for which a person has been designated as a beneficiary, and assets held in a living trust.
Disposition without administration, otherwise known as transactions that do not require probate, only happens when certain expenses are greater than the value of the property in question. This includes funeral expenses or medical expenses. This usually only happens when the decedent did not leave any real estate or their assets are exempt from creditors’ claims and don’t exceed overall expenses.
Summary administration is a probate shortcut that many Florida estates have used. This option can be used when the death of the decedent happened over two years ago or all of the property that must be through probate equals less than $75,000.
If the estate can’t meet any of those criteria, formal probate may be necessary. Under this situation, you will need the permission of the court as well as the permission of any siblings who also own the property in order to sell it. When everyone is on the same page, that makes it easy. But if siblings disagree on what to do with the house, you’re going to need to take things to a less genial level. You’ll likely have to hire lawyers and negotiators in order to find a solution and reach an agreement. There are a few ways that all of this could play out.
One thing to remember about probate is that you’ll have to pay lawyers’ fees. Florida has statutes in place to determine the fee based on the value of the assets that go through probate. The fee is also based on any income earned during the probate process, not counting homestead property. While this fee is based on “ordinary” services, a lawyer can also justify a larger fee if they do work above and beyond what is considered normal. If you go into probate, consider hiring an attorney willing to work on a flat fee or hourly rate, so you know where you stand.
You Can Buy Out the House
If the house has been inherited by you and one another sibling, it’s likely that you both own 50 percent of it unless the decedent made a special arrangement in their will, which is unlikely. If you find yourself in a situation where one of you wants to sell but the other wants to keep the property, the most logical and easiest solution might be for one of you to buy the other one out.
You’d simply have to finance half the value of the property and then transfer full ownership. You can give your sibling cash for their share and they’ll transfer the deed into your name, which means you can do whatever you want with the property. At that point, any profits would also go directly into your pocket as your sibling as given over any legal right to ownership.
There are likely to be some costs involved in this. You’d have to handle closing costs and an appraisal in order to figure out the house’s value.
You Can Make a Private Arrangement
If neither you or your sibling are able to qualify for a mortgage with a lender, you can make the decision for one of you to finance the transaction themselves. Likely this would be the sibling who doesn’t want to keep the house. This way you wouldn’t have to put up any cash or qualify for a loan or mortgage.
Basically, if you decided you wanted to sell the house, your sibling would record a promissory note to you for their 50 percent share of the appraised value. Then, they would pay you in monthly installments with interest in order to buy out your share over the course of months or years. It would provide you with some extra income over that time and absolve you of the requirements of owning the property.
An added wrinkle to this arrangement would be if the sibling who wanted to keep the house recorded a deed of trust. That would give you the power to foreclose on the house if they default on any payments. While you may or may not want to go down that road with your sibling, it certainly makes the deal more enticing as an option. You know that you’ll get money either way.
You Could Rent Out the House
Even if you and your sibling aren’t 100 percent in agreement about selling or keeping the inherited house, you might be able to convince them to rent the house out in order to generate extra income. This helps to soften the blow of not being able to sell the house without souring the relationship between the two of you.
As co-owners, you could rent out the property and split the monthly payment as a way to generate passive income. You might decide that one of you is the manager and therefore gets a higher cut as they’ll have to deal with certain situations and concerns the other one won’t.
Whatever you decide, make sure that you are clear with one another legally and put it down in a document. While you might be on the same page, you still want to try to minimize or avoid legal entanglements or frustrations down the line.
You Can Sue for Partition
If you and your sibling simply cannot come to terms over whether or not to sell or keep the inherited house in Orlando, you will likely have to involve the courts in order to settle things. Something you can do is file a lawsuit for partition, which means asking a judge to order the sale of the house and effectively terminate you and your sibling’s co-ownership of it.
As you might imagine, this can be a complicated and costly procedure. You’ll have to hire a lawyer and legal representation. The first thing a judge is likely to do is to assign a referee of the court to prepare the property for sale. Since you and your siblings are not on the same page, neither of you will be allowed to take part in that process. You will also have to pay this referee for their services and you’ll have to pay a broker to list and manage the sale of the house. You might also have to pay an accountant to solve any dispute over who should receive what percentage of the home sale profits.
All of which is to say that you’re going to have to sink a lot of money into this, which cuts down on the amount of money you’ll make from any sale. In the end, you’re likely to have wished you’d just listed the house for sale on the open market, to begin with.
Try to Talk It Out
If the house you and your siblings grew up in is the one you’ve inherited, that can lead to a lot of uncomfortable emotions. Even if they don’t find themselves in an ideal position to keep it, some siblings may want to hold onto the house strictly for sentimental reasons. While understandable, that can make it very hard to sell the house and get any kind of return on it. That can also lead to a lot of frustration for you if you want to sell the house.
What’s important to remember is that, at the end of the day, your siblings are your family. It’s always tricky to mix business and family and unfortunately, you didn’t get to choose to do so in this instance. Whatever the thought process and conversations, try to remember to balance those high emotions against the realization that you’ve known one another your entire lives and will continue to be family for years ahead. As much as possible, it is in both your best interests to work together and find an amicable solution.
The last thing you want is for the sale or non-sale of an inherited house to be the reason there is a rift between siblings. It’s likely not what the person who left you the house intended either. An argument about money can quickly spiral out of control and you want to avoid that at all costs.
Try to remember and remind one another that you’re both on the same team in the end. Work through your problems as though your parents are watching, or with the realization that you’re going to have many family interactions in the future. If you aren’t in agreement at first, talk it out. Find out what the emotions are that are blocking them from wanting to sell. See if you can speak to them in a way that isn’t entirely about self-interest. Try to push past emotion and steer everyone towards the reality of the situation, especially if no one is in a financial position to maintain ownership of the house.
Sell As-Is to a Real Estate Investor
When you and your sibling inherit a home in Orlando, FL, it can lead to some fairly stressful situations. That’s especially true if you’re not on the same page about what to do next. The stress and fighting that can come out of this situation can ruin relationships and cause siblings to stop speaking to one another.
One way to prevent all of the hassles and headaches would be to sell the house as-is to a cash buyer like Florida Cash Home Buyers. We’ve been buying inherited homes and properties in the Orlando, Florida area for years. We know that some homes need to go through probate and some don’t. If your house is going through probate, we can help handle that process and even pay for it. We have dedicated probate attorneys on call that have worked with us for years and know how to get our probate cases finished fast, reliably, and for a low price.
That also means we can close the process quickly and move on to buy your inherited house from you for cash. If the house is in need of repairs, you don’t have to worry about it because we’ll buy the house as-is. No repairs or renovations are necessary. If you or your sibling don’t want to keep making payments, we can close the sale within days and put cash in your pockets. And if you and your sibling live elsewhere, we can work with you easily without the hassle of hopping flights and costly travel. We can make the entire process simple and easy with the added bonus of being able to pay you in cash for your inherited house.