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Richard Hellerman
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Can I Sell the Half of the House That I Own?

In recent years the real estate market has been hot. Houses in the greater Chicago area have sold for record amounts. If you own property in Chicago such as a house, condo, or townhouse, you may be eager to sell. Owners have the right to sell their property any time you want. However, if you own a house with another person, you can only sell the property with the consent of your co-owner. Co-ownership can result from two or more individuals inheriting property from a parent or another relative based on terms of a will or intestate succession. At some point the co-owners may realize that they have different visions for the property. One may want to sell it and cash out during a favorable real estate market, while the other owner may want to hold on to the property and live in it. If the two of you cannot not agree on the future of the property, contact an experienced Chicago estate lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With decades of experience representing clients in complicated estate matters, we are here to help.

Co-Owner Buyout

One option for selling your interest in a co-owned house is of the other co-owner to put it from you. This is an ideal solution because you want to sell and the other co-owner wants to hold on to the property. If they buy you out, it should be a win-win for both of you. However, this will only work if both parties agree upon a sale price and the buying party has the money or financing to buy you out. Of course, you could also offer to buy out your co-owner. You would then have ownership of the property and could sell it to someone else.

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Selling to Non-Owner

If your co-owner declines to buy you out, another option would be to sell your interest in the house to a nonowner. The option is only likely to work if you sell to another family member or someone who the buyer knows and trusts. A stranger is not likely to want to co-own a house.

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Forcing a Sale

Because of the challengers presented with a buyout or selling to a nonowner, you might have to take the matter to court and let the court resolve the dispute. This type of litigation is a partition action. In a partition action, the court determines whether how to dispose of the property. One reason that partition actions exist is because the state of Illinois is not interested in making someone hold on to property that they do not want. A partition action helps to facilitate the process of disposing of property. If you would like to file a partition action, it is a good idea to involve an experienced Chicago estate lawyer.

A partition action generally will have one of two outcomes: a division or a sale.

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The preferred outcome of a partition action is that the court divides the property into individual parcels. Each co-owner of the property will be allocated one of the individual parcels. Each person ends up with 100% ownership of their assigned parcel. They are free to manage that property as they choose. If they choose to sell it, they can do so.

Division is not automatic. The court will divide property only if by its nature it can be divided equitably. For example, a piece of unimproved land is likely to be easily divided between two co-owners, while a single family ranch home would not be easy to be divide between two co-owners. To learn more about what types of property could not be divided, contact an experienced estate attorney serving Chicago.

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. If division is not possible, the property will be sold. The court will determine the property’s value and sell it at public sale. The proceeds will be distributed to the co-owners based on their share of ownership of the co-owned property.

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Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are a co-owner of a house, unimproved land, or any other type of residential or commercial real estate and want to sell your interest, contact an experienced estate attorney in Chicago at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. While the process can be complicated, we will help ensure that your interests are protected. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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