Can you sell a house that was inherited by multiple siblings when one or some do not want to sell?

This is more common than one would expect and we see this somewhat regularly. We just had this happen with a REALTOR® client of ours who had a situation where one sibling lived in the home, with the parent, and took care of them until they died. Then, after the parent had passed, when the siblings wanted to sell the home to divide up the equity, the one who played caretaker wanted to live in the house and refused to sign an RPA.

In short, until all siblings are willing to sign the RPA or they have a court ordered partition by sale you can not sell the property. Instead, advise the siblings to file a partition lawsuit which, in many cases, is a two-step process. 1) a trial, and 2) an evidentiary hearing.

You can help by referencing them to an Estate Planning Attorney who specializes in partition law while you research the local area for alternative housing options for the sibling who wants to stay in the house. Sometimes, they don’t know their options and they just want to stay where they are comfortable. Having options gives them something to think about and finding the right option just might help them sign the RPA and move.

Keep in touch with as many of the siblings as you can throughout the process so when it’s time to list you’re top of mind. If you need a reference to an Estate Planning Attorney who specializes in partition law please fill out the form below as we have to go through this process before we can issue clear title.


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