Tenancy in common occurs when multiple people have ownership rights to the same home or property. This designation varies from joint tenancy in that instead of having equally divided shares in the property, owners who are tenants in common can own different percentages in the property. Because each person owns their percentage outright, they have the legal right to sell their percentage at any time. However, the original contract often dictates certain limitations regarding the sale.
Notify the other co-owners that you want to sell your share of the property to give them the opportunity to buy it from you. This is called the "right of first refusal" and is typically part of a contract between tenants in common.
Have the property appraised so that you will know the current value. Multiply that number by the percentage of the property that you own to arrive at an appropriate sales price.
Hire a real estate agent who specialises in agreements between tenants in common. You can also choose to forgo the agent and attempt to find a buyer yourself. It is important to specify the percentage of your ownership in the property in any sales listings. You must also be clear about any specific stipulations in the original deed, such as the number of other owners, that may impact the property.
Arrive at an acceptable selling price with the new buyer.
Present the new offer to the remaining owners of the property, if required by your original contract. You can examine your original sales contract to see if approval by the remaining owners is required in order to proceed with the sale. If approval is not required, you can skip this step.
Proceed with the sale just as you would any other sale. If the person is acquiring a mortgage, you will need to make the property available for inspection. You may also be required to provide copies of termite inspection reports.
Write up a new deed and sign it in the presence of a notary public. The notary will then seal it with the official stamp.
Make copies of the new deed and provide one to each current owner. Deliver another copy to the new owner.
File the new deed at the courthouse in the recorder of deeds' office. Pay the deed transfer fee, which varies by state and county.
If all owners of the house agree to sell, then the entire house can be sold to one new buyer.
Tips and warnings
- If all owners of the house agree to sell, then the entire house can be sold to one new buyer.