Selling Your Maryland Home with Two or More Owners

Inheriting a family home, purchasing a vacation property with friends, or co-investing in real estate – these scenarios can lead to joint ownership of a property.

While the joint ownership structure offers benefits, selling a house with two (or more) owners requires clear communication, careful planning, and sometimes, legal considerations during disagreements. Particularly for married couples in community property disputes.

This blog post, tailored for Maryland homeowners, guides you through the process of selling your jointly owned house smoothly and efficiently.

Disclaimer: This blog post and website provides general information on Maryland real estate. Maryland Estates, LLC, doing business as Creo Home Buyers, and its authors are not liable for the accuracy or use of this information; consult with a trusted real estate professional or attorney for guidance regarding your unique selling situation.

Understanding Ownership and Legal Aspects in Maryland

Knowing your specific ownership structure can help avoid legal complexities when selling a property with multiple owners

Maryland recognizes two primary forms of joint ownership for inherited real estate: Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common.

  • Joint Tenancy: This ownership comes with the right of survivorship, meaning if one co-owner passes away, their ownership share automatically transfers to the remaining owner(s).
  • Tenancy in Common: Each co-owner holds a specific type of ownership in the tenancy in common agreement along with an ownership percentage, and their share can be passed on to designated beneficiaries upon their passing.

You can also own property jointly with equal share of the property, such as when buying a house with your spouse, or partial ownership, such as co-owned property with a business partner.

Consulting a real estate lawyer familiar with Maryland laws is highly recommended to ensure all legal requirements are met throughout the selling process. This can help avoid potential roadblocks and protect your interests.

Communication is Key: Align Your Goals and Expectations

Before diving into selling a house with multiple owners in Maryland, open and honest communication between all parties is paramount. Discuss and reach an unanimous agreement on crucial aspects like:

  • The decision to sell: Ensure everyone is comfortable moving forward with the sale.
  • The listing price for selling your house: Consider market trends, property condition, and individual expectations to arrive at a fair and realistic price.
  • Timeline: Set a realistic timeframe for the selling process, taking into account potential repairs and market conditions.
  • Division of proceeds: Determine how the net proceeds from the sale will be divided amongst the co-owners based on the ownership percentage in the tenancy in common agreement.

Preparing Your House for Market Success

Once all property owners are on the same page when it comes time to sell, you’ll need to prepare your house for the open market. This involves:

  • Hiring a real estate agent (optional) for your home sale: An experienced agent can provide valuable guidance on market trends, pricing strategies, marketing your property, navigating negotiations, and ensuring paperwork is completed correctly.
  • Conducting necessary repairs and upgrades: Discuss and agree on any repairs or improvements needed to enhance marketability and attract potential buyers for a more successful home sale.
  • Staging the property: Consider professional or virtual staging to showcase the house’s potential and create a welcoming environment encouraging buyers to buy your home.

The Selling Process: Collaboration and Important Decisions

While the co-owners share ownership, every step of the home selling process requires joint participation and approval in a co-ownership arrangement:

  • Reviewing and approving offers: All co-owners should be involved in reviewing and thoroughly understanding offers before accepting one.
  • Negotiation and finalization of selling a co-owned property: Work with your real estate agent (if applicable) to negotiate the terms of the sale and finalize the purchase agreement with the buyer. All co-owners must sign the necessary documents to complete the transaction and ensure a smooth sale.

Alternative Solutions: Buyout or Partition Action

In situations where one party wants to sell, but the other(s) do not, exploring alternative solutions might be necessary:

  • Buyout: One owner can purchase the other owner(s) share of ownership, allowing the sale to proceed. This option requires financial resources and a fair negotiation process.
  • Partition Action (last resort): If an agreement is impossible, a co-owner can file a partition action in court forcing everyone involved to sell the property. The court can assist in forcing the sale of the property and divide the proceeds according to ownership percentages. This approach should be considered a last resort due to its time-consuming and potentially expensive nature. You’ll also want to hire a real estate attorney to help you navigate the court process.

Request a Free Home Offer for Your Jointly Owned Property in Maryland

Selling a jointly owned house requires careful planning, open communication, and sometimes, professional guidance. At Creo Home Buyers, we understand the unique challenges and considerations involved in this process. We offer a free home offer program for Maryland homeowners looking to sell their jointly owned properties, allowing you to explore various options, including selling for cash or flexible terms.

Request your free, no-obligation home offer today! Our home-buying experts can guide you through the selling process, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience for all co-owners.

We can be reached at 410-870-9228 or by filling in an offer request form. We looking forward to speaking with you about selling your jointly owned property in Maryland.

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