Can a third party hold up a contract for land?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a third party hold up a contract for land?

I made an offer on land that was accepted. When the title company did a title search, they found an issue and the owners had to get the land replatted. There was 1 piece of land that has now been divided by 5 siblings that was inherited. When the replatting was complete, all 3 would have to sign. Now, the brother refuses to sign so we are at a stalemate. Is there any recourse for us to make the brother sign?

Asked on January 26, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you cannot sell the land without all of the owners signing off on it. That having been said, you can move to have a court ordered sale in a situation such as is. When owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownership matters, the law provides a remedy known as "partition". In such an action, if the property can be equally divided it will be. If it cannot be so divided (as in the case of a single family house), then the judge will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will  be listed for sale to the general public and upon sale, the proceeds will be equitably distributed. First, however, any owner who wants to keep the property will have the chance to buy out the other owner(s) for fair market value.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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