Selling Jointly Owned Property When The Other Owner Is Reluctant

There are many situations that may arise that could necessitate selling a jointly owned home. Whether you own the home with a partner, a family member, or a friend, there are certain things you can do if the other owner is reluctant to sell. It's always best to consult with a real estate lawyer about all options available.


For all involved, it's best if lawsuits can be avoided and the sale of the home can be settled with the help of a mediator. As a joint owner, you have every right to sell your interest in the property, whether that be to the other owner, or to an outside buyer.

Many joint owners think the property cannot be sold without their express approval, but this is absolutely wrong. No one can be forced to own property they no longer want to own. A mediator may be able to help both owners come to an agreeable decision that will save on legal fees and hurt feelings.  

Partition By Kind

While this would be impractical for a single-family home, a partition by kind is a lawsuit that allows property to be divided into separate portions. This is best if one owner wishes to sell while the other would like to keep it.

This works best for apartments and duplexes as well as plots of land, but it may not always be the best solution, especially if this would severely reduce the fair market value of the property. If you're the joint owner of a single family, or don't think a partition by kind is the best option, consider a partition by sale.  

Partition By Sale

As a joint owner, you're not legally obligated to remain as such. Even if the other owner is against selling, you can file a partition by sale lawsuit. This is best for properties that can't be divided as easily, such as a single-family home.

A partition by sale lawsuit means the home will be sold, and the proceeds of the sale will be split evenly amount the joint-owners (or, by percentage of ownership). If the other owner is unwilling to sell, the courts will give them the chance to buy out your piece of the property at fair market value.

Whether you're splitting from a partner, dissolving a friendship, or walking away from a home inherited from your parents, selling a jointly owned property can be difficult. Aside from the emotional aspects, finances and legal rights can also make this a costly decision. If you own a jointly owned home and would like to sell, speak with a real estate lawyer. They can inform you of your rights and help you to proceed in the best way possible.