If 3 siblings own property, can 2 of them force the third to sell?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If 3 siblings own property, can 2 of them force the third to sell?

A house and property was deeded to 3 siblings in equal shares; 2 have given the third frivolous conditions to

buy their shares with a higher price than the appraisal, all taxes, fees and closing costs to be paid by the 3rd sibling. Also, the sale must include a clause with a 1 year buy back by the 2 siblings who are selling their shares, at the same price they sold for. Sibling 3 states that he wants to buy the property but the conditions are ridiculous. Siblings 1 and 2 now want to bully Sibling 3 into sellling. They claim that the majority rules and

Sibling 3 must sell to whatever deal they wish to accept. Sibling 1 and 2 will not ask the same conditions of an outside buyer as they did of Sibling 3. Is it true that Sibling 1 and 2 can force Sibling 3 to sell or accept an offer that Sibling 3 doesn’t agree with or is more favorable to the outside party than what Sibling 3 was offered. Also, is it true that any sibling buying another siblings share must buy out all 100%. Sibling 3 offered to buy sibling 2’s share when it was mentioned that sibling 2 wished to sell. Unfortunately, Sibling 2 said Sibling 3 must buy both Sibling 1 and 2’s shares, that Sibling 3 could not own 2 of the 3 shares. What, if any part of this, is law and what can Sibling 3 do about this situation? All siblings are aware of a Petition to Partition, however none want this to go in this direction.

Asked on February 11, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) It's not "majority rules," but any propety owner who wants to sell when other co-owners do not want to can bring a kind of legal action traditionally called an action "for partition" (as you evidently already know) to get a court order requiring the sale. That is the law's remedy--it's only remedy--when property owners cannot agree as to what to do with. So a sale to third parties can be forced through the courts, but's the only way to compel a sale.
2) No, there is no law requiring that you purchase both of their shares: if one wants to sell to you and you want to buy from just one, you may do that.

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