How to buy out a sibling on shared property | Mastering the art

What is a sibling buyout?

A sibling buyout is a process in which one sibling buys out the other sibling’s share of a property that they both own. This can happen when siblings inherit a property together or when they jointly purchase a property.

How to buy out a sibling on shared property?

Determine the value of the property

A. Hire a professional appraiser: Hiring a professional appraiser is a reliable way to determine the value of the property. An appraiser assesses the property’s condition, location, and features to calculate its value. They also consider comparable properties in the area to establish a fair market value.

B. Research the local real estate market: Researching the local real estate market involves examining recent sales of similar properties in the area. This helps you gauge the property’s market value based on real-world transactions in your vicinity.

C. Agree on a fair market value: Once you’ve gathered information from an appraiser and market research, you’ll need to negotiate and agree on a fair market value with your sibling. Negotiations may be necessary to reach a mutually acceptable price.

Here are a few good professional appraisers in the USA for buying out a sibling on shared property:

  • Appraisal Institute
  • National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers (NAIFA)
  • American Society of Appraisers (ASA)
  • International Right of Way Association (IRWA)
  • National Association of Realtors (NAR)

You can find appraisers in your area by searching the websites of these organizations. You should also ask your friends, family, and real estate agent for recommendations.

Negotiate with your Sibling

Negotiating with a sibling when buying shared property is crucial. Here are tips for effective negotiations:

  1. Discuss the buyout: Initiate a conversation, explain your intent, and listen to their perspective openly.
  2. Assess their interest: Understand their reasons for selling or keeping the property and their financial needs.
  3. Negotiate fairly: Consider property value, equity, and debts when determining a reasonable price.

Additional tips:

  • Clear communication: Maintain respectful and transparent communication throughout the process.
  • Neutral third party: Consider involving a mediator or attorney for smoother negotiations.
  • Explore alternatives: Be open to selling or renting the property as alternative solutions.
  • Mutual benefit: Strive for a mutually beneficial solution for both parties.

Create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Creating an MOU for a sibling property buyout is essential. Consider these factors:

A. Outline buyout terms: Specify property value, sale price, and any contingencies before finalizing the sale.

B. Include sale details: Specify sale price, down payment, interest rate, and loan duration to avoid misunderstandings.

C. Signatures: Ensure both parties sign the MOU to confirm agreement and commitment.

Important considerations:

  • Obligation clause: Include terms for non-compliance by either party.
  • Confidentiality: Prohibit disclosure of MOU terms to third parties.
  • Legal review: Consult an attorney to ensure legality and enforceability.

An MOU is legally binding and may be used as evidence in court, so clarity and comprehensiveness are crucial.

Download the free Template for Memorandum of Understanding by clicking the below button.

Download Memorandum of Understanding Template

Hire an Attorney

Hiring an attorney is crucial when buying out a sibling on shared property. Consider these factors:

A. Review MOU with attorney: Have the attorney review the MOU for legality and guidance on potential legal issues.

B. Draft a comprehensive contract: With the attorney’s assistance, create a detailed contract outlining sale terms, payment conditions, and contingencies.

C. Both parties sign: Ensure both parties sign the contract to confirm agreement and commitment.

Additional considerations:

  • Specialization: Seek an attorney specializing in real estate law and buyout experience.
  • Budget: Consider attorney fees within your budget.
  • Check credentials: Verify references and the attorney’s reputation.

Hiring an attorney may be costly, but it ensures a legally sound buyout process and peace of mind.

Obtain Financing

Obtaining financing for a sibling property buyout is crucial. Consider these factors:

A. Finance selection: Decide how to finance the buyout, considering options like mortgages, personal loans, or equity financing. Evaluate interest rates and terms.

B. Mortgage or personal loan: Choose between a mortgage (secured by the property) or a personal loan (unsecured) based on your situation and preferences.

C. Pre-financing: Secure financing before finalizing the buyout to ensure you have funds for ownership transfer. Understand all financing terms before signing agreements.

  • Credit check: Assess your credit score and history before applying for financing.
  • Compare rates: Shop around for the best interest rates and terms.
  • Professional guidance: Consider working with a financial advisor or mortgage broker for expert advice.
  • Documentation: Prepare necessary documents, such as tax returns and bank statements, when applying for financing.

Following these steps can help secure suitable financing and facilitate a successful buyout process.

Close the Deal

Closing the deal in a sibling property buyout is the final step. Consider these factors:

A. Transfer ownership: Sign a deed transferring property ownership, ensuring it’s legally recorded with local authorities.

B. Payment: Pay the agreed-upon price using cash, financing, or a combination, following the terms in the MOU and contract.

C. Document signing: Both parties must sign all required documents, including the deed and bill of sale, to complete the sale legally.

  • Final walk-through: Inspect the property to confirm its agreed-upon condition.
  • Closing statement review: Verify accuracy of fees and charges in the closing statement.
  • Legal review: Consider hiring a real estate attorney to ensure legal soundness of the transaction.

Following these steps ensures a smooth and successful property buyout from a sibling.

Things to consider before buying out a sibling on shared property

When considering buying out a sibling on shared property, there are several things to keep in mind:

  1. The value of the property: Determine the value of the property to determine how much you will need to pay your sibling to buy them out.
  2. Other beneficiaries: If there are other siblings or beneficiaries involved, make sure they agree to the terms of the buyout.
  3. Affordability: Determine whether you can afford to buy out your sibling’s share of the property.
  4. Financing: If you need to take out a loan to finance the buyout, find a lender who is willing to work with you.
  5. Future plans for the property: Decide whether you want to keep the property or sell it. If you decide to sell, make sure you do so at a fair market value.
  6. Agreement with your sibling: Come to an agreement with your sibling on the terms of the buyout.
  7. Legal advice: Consider involving legal advice if you cannot come to an agreement with your sibling.
  8. Dispute resolution: Include a section on how disputes will be resolved, such as through mediation or arbitration, to avoid potential conflicts in the future.
  9. Governing law: Specify the jurisdiction and laws that will govern the interpretation and enforcement of the MOU.
  10. Execution in counterparts: If the parties are signing the MOU in separate locations, include a provision stating that the document may be executed in counterparts, with each party’s signature considered as an original.

It is important to note that the exact requirements for splitting property may differ depending on the state, and if real estate is involved in an estate, you may need to go through court in probate.

Tax implications to consider when buying out a sibling’s share of inherited property

Here are the tax implications to consider when buying out a sibling’s share of inherited property:

  1. Capital gains tax: If the property has appreciated in value since the date of inheritance, you may be subject to capital gains tax on the difference between the fair market value at the time of inheritance and the sale price.
  2. Gift tax: If you pay more than the fair market value for your sibling’s share of the property, the excess amount may be considered a gift and subject to gift tax.
  3. Estate tax: If the total value of the estate exceeds the federal estate tax exemption, the estate may be subject to estate tax. However, this is unlikely to apply to most estates.

It is important to consult a tax professional to understand the specific tax implications of buying out a sibling’s share of inherited property and to ensure that you comply with relevant tax laws and regulations. Tax laws can be complex and may vary depending on your jurisdiction, so professional advice is crucial in such transactions.

Documents needed After closing a deal to buy out a sibling on shared property

After closing a deal to buy out a sibling on shared property, several essential documents may be required:

  • Deed: Transfers ownership from your sibling to you.
  • Bill of sale: Documents cash transactions for the property share.
  • Mortgage documents: If financing was involved, you’ll sign mortgage papers and provide insurance proof.
  • Title insurance: Protects against potential legal claims after the sale.
  • Closing statement: Outlines financial transaction details, including purchase price and fees.
  • Release of liability: If your sibling was associated with property loans, they may need to sign a liability release.

Consult a legal professional to ensure proper acquisition and execution of these documents.

Timeline for finalizing a sibling buyout of inherited property

Finalizing a sibling buyout of inherited property involves several steps with varying timeframes:

  • Probate process (6 to 24 months): Validates the will and distributes property among heirs.
  • Negotiating the buyout (timeline varies): Depends on cooperation and complexity.
  • Obtaining financing (timeline varies): Affected by lender processes and financial complexity.
  • Preparing and signing documents (timeline varies): Efficiency of legal processes impacts the timeline.
  • Transferring utilities, insurance, and titles (timeline varies): Relies on service providers’ responsiveness and government agencies.

The overall timeline can span several months to over a year, depending on circumstances. Be patient and prepared for potential delays.

Expedite the process of finalizing a buyout of inherited property

To expedite the process of finalizing a buyout of inherited property among siblings, consider these strategies:

  • Engage a real estate agent: When selling the property, a reputable real estate agent can speed up the process and ensure a fair market value.
  • Define buyout terms early: If buying out a sibling, establish buyout terms early in the trust or estate administration to avoid delays.
  • Consult a real estate attorney: Seek advice from a specialized real estate attorney to navigate legal and financial complexities.
  • Professional appraisal: Determine the property’s fair price through professional appraisal for tax and capital gains considerations.
  • Cash-out refinance: Consider this option for financing the buyout.
  • Negotiate in good faith: Cooperate and compromise to expedite negotiations.
  • Consider selling: If no agreement is reached, selling the property and dividing proceeds among siblings may be a solution.

Implementing these steps can streamline the process and promote a quicker resolution.


In conclusion, buying out a sibling on shared property is a complex process that demands careful planning, negotiation, and adherence to legal and financial considerations. From determining property value to navigating tax implications and drafting comprehensive agreements, the journey can be intricate and time-consuming. However, with clear communication, expert guidance, and a willingness to explore alternative solutions, siblings can successfully navigate this challenging terrain and achieve a fair and mutually beneficial resolution. Patience and cooperation are key, and professional support, whether from real estate agents, attorneys, or appraisers, can expedite the process, ultimately ensuring a smooth transition of property ownership.

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