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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30306
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 29 years dealing in real estate
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My 3 siblings and I inherited some real estate after my mother

Resolved Question:

My 3 siblings and I inherited some real estate after my mother recently died. Many years ago, she invested some money in some residential homes my brother built.
She owned 25% of 2 x two-family homes. My brother currently owns 50% of those 2 homes and a third party (not family member) owns the other 25%. Three of us don't want any ownership in the property, so we want my brother who already owns 50% of the property to buy us out. He has agreed, but we are not convinced he that his net property value is accurate. He has deduced from today's value of the property the following: 5% broker commission and closing costs (for whenever he sells the property) and approx. $10,000 for septic inspections, engineering repair plan and repairs which is required whenever one sells their house in the state where the property is located, Massachusetts. I am not in agreement with these deductions as he is not planning on selling the property any time soon, yet he feels that we should deduct those expenses from the selling cost when he buys us out. Please advise if he is doing this right.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.My sympathy here for your dilemma and situation.

RayAnswers :

To me your only real option here to get a fair return on your ownership is to file a suit for partition.In this situation the court orders a sale of the property.All expenses here including your legal costs and costs of sale are split proportionally.I would agree with you here that he is exaggerating the expenses he is trying to get the net down to the point that you don't get your fair share.

RayAnswers :

It is possible in such situations to obtain a local lawyer and seek court ordered partition.If he will not budge here and negotiate reasonably you may have to go through the courts.

RayAnswers :

This would be a partition by sale since it is not possible here to divide them in kind.

RayAnswers :

Reference to such a suit.

RayAnswers :

Here the court appraises the property and sets the terms of sale.All costs are fairly divided by the ownership percentages and you know that you are getting a fair return here rather than what your brother is offering.

RayAnswers :

Here are the MA laws on such a partition suit.

Customer:

Hi.....We don't want to incur legal fees, or go through the court system....it may cost more than we are in disagreement about. We need to work this our amongst the 4 of us. How would you fairly determine the value of the property? What factors, if any, are taken into consideration other than a formal appraisal?

RayAnswers :

Your state bar can help you locate a real estate litigation lawyer for such a partition suit.

RayAnswers :

You would look at current tax assessor assessed values, they are assessing these at current values using similar properties nearby.

RayAnswers :

Also here it is is impossible to know what the commissions might be, you can often get it sold at a reduced commission.

RayAnswers :

And you really should get some real dollar estimate of the septic costs these seem a sort of ball park estimate.

RayAnswers :

Why not contact a local realtor telling him /her you are considering listing it and see what they estimate it at using comparables.

RayAnswers :

Contact information for the state of MA tax appraisers.

RayAnswers :

This would be a great free place to start.

RayAnswers :

The days of underappraised property are pretty much gone.You can see what they say it is worth in current market conditions and go from there.I mean if there are known defects you would get estimate of repairs, etc.

RayAnswers :

Your other option is a real estate appraisal here and a septic one.The septic may not need the amount he is projecting as far as repairs.

RayAnswers :

And everything here is negotiable you always can threaten to partition it through the courts.

RayAnswers :

These are the kinds of problems you run into when you do not sell it as part of probate.

Customer:

OK, so if we obtained a formal proposal for the septic repairs and agree that 5% is a fair realtor commission, are you in agreement that it would be fair to deduct for those expenses even though he may not fix the septic or sell the home for years down the road? I can't threaten my brother....haha! We really do not want to start a family feud over this!

RayAnswers :

The probate court would have had it appraised and set terms of sale fair to all.

Customer:

The property was in an irrevocable trust

RayAnswers :

And yes this would be more like what it is worth here

RayAnswers :

Having a good figure for the septic would really give you a fair basis.

RayAnswers :

The real estate commission seems in the ball park.

RayAnswers :

And I understand that you do not want to sue the brother but the law gives you options.

RayAnswers :

I hope you are able to resolve this with some more information and a tax value, septic costs, etc.

RayAnswers :

Remember this is all negotiable just like a house sale which it is.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for letting me chat with you tonight.

RayAnswers :

I think you have some good ideas to get more information and make a counter offer.It doesn't hurt to mention that if you cannot agree that a partition suit is possible under the law of MA.

RayAnswers :

You could also use a lawyer to negotiate if necessary.Here is referral just in case.

Customer:

OK , so to confirm, your professional opinion, is that if we can agree on the costs of these things, then it is fair to deduct for those future expenses? Yes?

Customer:

there cannot be any lawyers, threats, courts, etc......can't happen

RayAnswers :

Yes it is fair here to negotiate some reduction for these costs and resolve it.

RayAnswers :

A court here would do so in a partition suit as costs of sale.

Customer:

OK, that's why I need to find out.....thank you!

RayAnswers :

I do hope you can reach resolution.I know this can be hard with family involved.

RayAnswers :

You are welcome here.

Customer:

family is family.....can't break that bond!!! Even though we don't always agree!

RayAnswers :

Yes I know it makes it delicate.

RayAnswers :

Good luck to you.I know you just want a fair outcome here.

RayAnswers :

I hope that you will be so kind as to leave a positive rating. If you do have any additional questions about my answer please click the "Continue Conversation Link" so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. Please be aware that any rating of 1 or 2 is reflected as a negative rating and I receive no credit for my answers.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


This communication does not establish an attorney client relationship here.Information provided is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.

Customer:

Yep, thanks again.

RayAnswers :

Take care.

Customer:

u2

Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30306
Experience: Texas Attorney for 29 years dealing in real estate
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