Q: My sister and I own a property together as tenants-in-common (our recently deceased brother’s home). I am planning on buying her out. She is asking for an amount that would equal to the house selling for $565,000, but saying that it’s really only $535,000 on grounds that she refuses to pay the portion of value that would go toward broker’s fees in a regular sale. However, after I buy her out, and I sell it down the road, I will have to pay broker’s fees on the portion that she used to own. Is there a law governing this or would an attorney know which is ethical?
My sister is also accusing my appraiser of appraising the property at an amount lower than its true value, as well as accusing my real estate agent and even other family members of wrongdoing. She has told me that the fair way would be if we sold the property, but when I suggest that we just sell it, she makes a lower buyout proposal.
My wife and I feel like we are being held hostage and are going to give her what she wants just to get her out of the partnership. I just want to get out of this situation even if it costs me a little more money. –Thomas
A: I’m sorry to hear that you are going through this family tumult in the wake of your brother’s passing. The breakdown of the relationship between your sister and yourself and the larger-scale familial upset is by far the biggest tragedy of this situation.
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