Virginia Beach, VA asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Virginia

Q: Property (land) 2 parcels assessment approx. $5,400 part of estate, now delinquent in taxes. Estate closed.

Heirs will not come together to do anything. Received notice for delinquent real estate ad. Please advise

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
  • Salem, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: You have given almost no facts on which a good answer can be based. Even if you had, however, I'd probably refer you to a real estate lawyer to help walk you through the law affecting the property. This forum is designed and good for simple, general questions that will get you to the 'next step' for legal situations. Sometimes all people need is a simple answer. From the facts you’ve given, it seems that you need a lot more than an internet answer. Find and sit down with an experienced attorney in your area – there is a ‘search’ feature that can help you.

Assuming you're a co-owner you do have the right to file a partition suit. They're horribly expensive and could cost more than the property is worth.

Three people – A, B, & C - own property, A wants their 1/3 share. (note: this procedure works no matter how many people own a share of the property; for this example I’m using only three owners. The reader can ‘do the math’ as to multiple owners)

A is entitled to get it. If B & C don’t cooperate, A can file a partition suit and ask the court to sell the property and - after a LOT of attorneys fees, divide what is left.

If B & C agree to sell and divide the proceeds, they can agree on a real estate agent to market the property and find a buyer. The closing agent does the math and each gets a check for their 1/3 of the net proceeds after closing costs.

If B or C, (or both) want to buy out A's share, after getting a lawyer to help through the process and make sure that A's title is clear they make an offer and either write a check or get a loan. Deciding on the value of the property is the fun part – assume the property is assessed (what the government thinks it's worth for taxes) for $210,000. (The property could be worth more or less than that number - an appraiser can give a more accurate value) Then, since there won't be most of the costs of a sale (commissions, point concessions, etc) through a real estate agent, you can adjust the price to reflect the savings. I recommend to my clients buying out another's part that they reduce the 'value' of the property by 10% and then apply the math. In this example 10% of $210,000 is 21,000; leaving $189,000; divide that by three leaves a price of $63,000 for A's share of the property.

If there is no agreement, then any one of the co-owners can file suit to force a sale – this is called a Partition Suit. Partition suits are horribly expensive and take a lot of time and money

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.