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How to Force a Sale When Other People Share Ownership of the House

Co-owning a house in Chicago with others can result from an inheritance. For example, a parent may leave the family home to their 5 children. Leaving what might be the most valuable asset in the estate to all children in equal shares seems like the most fair way to handle the property. However, the unintended consequence may be disputes among the children over what to do with the property. Some of the new co-owners may want to keep the house, while others may want to sell it. There may be disputes over who would live in it. There may even be disputes over proposed renovations. As a result, one or more of the co-owners may want out. They may want to sell the house, while others don’t. This leads to the question of how to force a sale when other people share ownership of the house. If you would like to sell your interest in a house or other real estate and your co-owners do not, contact the experienced Chicago estate lawyers at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over two decades of experience representing clients in complex estate matters, we can help you dispose of your interest in the property you co-own.

Negotiating a Buyout

Before considering forcing a sale when other people share ownership of a house, consider the less contentious alternative of negotiating a buyout. Ask the owner to buy you out. That way they can own the property alone. In the alternative, you can offer to buyout your co-owner so that you have control over the house and can dispose of it has you please. However, a buyout will only work if both of you agree on a fair price and the buying party has the funds to make the purchase.

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Selling to a Third Party

If the buyout option does not work, you can consider selling your interest it the house to a third party. As an experienced Chicago estate lawyer will explain, this option is tricky because the market for part ownership of a house is very limited. Strangers generally would likely want to purchase the full interest in the house or none at all. If the property is a family home, another family member may be interested in purchasing your interest.

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Getting the Court to Force a Sale

Another option for how to force a sale when other people share ownership of a house is to file an action for partition with the court. 735 ILCS 5/17-101. With an action for partition, the court can either force a sale of the house at public auction or partition the house. To initiate a partition action, contact an experienced estate attorney serving Chicago who can file the complaint with the appropriate court and represent you during the proceedings.

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The court could issue an order to divide the property. This would mean that the single piece of real estate that is jointly owned, would be divided into roughly equal parcels. Each co-owner would own of the parcels. If the property cannot be divided equitably, the court has 2 options. The court could require the owner with the more valuable parcel to give cash to the owner with the less value parcel to make up for the difference. See Harris v. Johnson, 42 Ill.App.3d 751, 754 (3rd Dist. 1976). Once the parties have their separate parcels, they can sell it if they choose to.

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Forcing a Sale

Forcing a sale through a partition action is the only way to actually force a sale when other people share ownership of a house. If a division of the property is not feasible, the court will determine the value of the property and order it to be sold. The court will only sell it if it can get at least 2/3 of its value. Otherwise, the court will revalue the property. The proceeds less expenses will be distributed to the former co-owners.

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Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are a co-owner of a house in the Chicagoland area and would like to understand how to force a sale when other people share ownership of the house, contact an experienced estate attorney in Chicago at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Note that an action for partition can be brought with respect to commercial property as well as residential property. 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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