June 6, 2024

Guide to Selling Inherited Property With Multiple Owners in Missouri

Inheriting a property with multiple owners can be a complex process, especially when it comes to selling the property. In Missouri, there are specific probate laws and ownership structures that you need to understand to navigate this process smoothly.

Missouri Probate Laws for Multiple Home Owners

Missouri has specific probate laws that govern the transfer of ownership and the sale of inherited properties with multiple owners. Here are some key points to consider:

  • If the deceased had a valid will, the property will be distributed according to the instructions outlined in the will.
  • In the absence of a will, Missouri's intestate succession laws determine how the property is divided among the heirs.
  • The probate process typically takes around 11 months, but it can be prolonged if there are disagreements among the inheritors.
  • If the majority of inheritors want to sell the property but some disagree, they can file a "partition action" lawsuit in the probate court, which may enforce the sale.

What Are Ownership Structures During Probate?

The ownership structure of the inherited property can significantly impact the decision-making process and the selling process during probate:

  • Tenancy in Common: Each co-owner has an undivided interest in the property, and they can sell or transfer their share independently.
  • Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship: When one co-owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the remaining co-owners.
  • Community Property: In Missouri, property acquired during marriage is considered community property, and each spouse owns an equal share.
  • Trust Ownership: If the property was held in a trust, the terms of the trust will dictate the ownership and distribution.
  • Sole Ownership: If there is only one inheritor, they have full ownership and decision-making power over the property.

Establish Clear Communication Between All Parties

Open communication among co-owners is crucial when selling an inherited property. Establish effective communication methods and decision-making processes from the outset to avoid potential conflicts or disagreements.

Set up regular meetings or conference calls to discuss the selling process, address concerns, and make joint decisions. Maintain transparency and keep all co-owners informed about any developments or decisions made.

Agree on Selling Objectives and Timelines

Before listing the property for sale, it's essential to align your goals and expectations with the other co-owners. Discuss and agree on the desired selling price, the timeline for selling, and any specific requirements or preferences.

Set realistic timelines for the selling process, taking into account the probate timeline and any potential delays. Here's an example timeline:

  • Month 1-3: Complete probate process
  • Month 4-6: Prepare the property for sale (repairs, staging, etc.)
  • Month 7-9: List the property and market it
  • Month 10-12: Negotiate offers and close the sale

Obtain Legal Counsel and Professional Advice

Navigating complex ownership issues and the probate process can be challenging. Seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney to ensure compliance with Missouri laws and to protect your interests.

If disagreements arise among co-owners, consider hiring a mediator or facilitator to help resolve conflicts and reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Explore Home Selling Options During Probate

There are several options to consider when selling an inherited property during probate:

Cash home sale: Selling to a cash buyer can be a faster and more straightforward process, but you may receive a lower sale price.

  • Traditional home sale: Listing the property with a real estate agent can potentially yield a higher sale price, but the process may take longer.
  • Cash Home Sale: A cash home sale allows you to sell your house as-is for cash directly to a local home buyer. The sale is a direct transaction between the buyer and you. So, don’t hire a real estate agent.
  • For Sale by Owner (FSBO): Selling the property without an agent can save on commission fees, but you'll need to handle all aspects of the sale yourself.
  • Closing the Sale and Distribution of Proceeds
  • Once the sale is finalized, the closing process will involve distributing the sale proceeds among the co-owners as per the agreed-upon terms or the probate court's ruling.
  • It's essential to address any outstanding legal or financial obligations, such as leftover debts or taxes, before distributing the proceeds.

Handling Potential Disagreements or Challenges

Despite your best efforts, disagreements or challenges may arise during the selling process. It's crucial to address these issues promptly and professionally. If a co-owner becomes uncooperative or refuses to participate in the selling process, you may need to seek legal intervention through the probate court.

Maintain open communication and be willing to compromise when possible to find a mutually acceptable solution.

Selling an inherited property with multiple owners in Missouri can be a complex process, but with proper planning, communication, and professional guidance, it can be navigated successfully. By understanding the relevant laws, establishing clear objectives, and addressing potential conflicts early on, you can ensure a smooth and efficient selling process.

Sell Your House Fast in Missouri and Kansas

If you need to sell your house fast but don’t want the hassle of a traditional home sale, contact Brittco. We buy houses as-is. No repairs are needed. Avoid closing costs and realtor commissions. Close in as little as seven days. Call 913-219-5583 for a fast cash offer from our local home buyers in Missouri and Kansas.