Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas

Q: Two siblings each inherit a 50% undivided interest in a ranch.

One wants money now and is willing to sell at a low price.

The other wants to hold out for a higher price.

Neither has the money to buy out the other.

Can they sell their interests to a buyer at different prices?

Short of partition of the land (which does not lend itself to partition) or a forced sale,

what other remedies are available?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Where the land cannot be partitioned, the partition happens by sale of the property, with each owner taking their share. The shares are computed taking into account any income received from the property, and expenses incurred, both of which are shared by all the owners.

I suppose the two brothers could theoretically agree to sell to a third person, and agree that they would accept unequal portions, but that seems extremely unlikely.

What's most likely to happen is that one of them will get stuck paying the taxes and maintenance on the property while the other gets a free ride until the property is sold. Then, in the absence of a court order, the one that's been paying all the expenses probably won't even get reimbursed. Otherwise, the property will be lost to a tax sale, and neither of them will get anything.

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