How Do We Determine A Fair Price To Sell Or Keep Inherited Property?

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When siblings jointly inherit a property, often one wishes to live there long-term while the other would prefer to cash in their share. This can create family tensions around determining a fair price for the occupying sibling to buy out the other’s equity. Here are some tips to help siblings in this situation agree on pricing and sell fairly.

Get Professional Valuations

The first step should always be getting the property professionally valued to gauge current market value. Specialist inheritance tax valuers are best, as they will provide an accurate estimate of the sale price on the open market. This gives an objective benchmark that both parties can refer to when negotiating. Two or three separate valuations will help ensure accuracy.

Compare Recent Nearby Sales

In addition to formal valuations, researching prices fetched by comparable local properties sold recently gives further market pricing insight. Online portals like Rightmove provide this sales data, searchable by area, property type, bedrooms etc. Seeing what similar houses have sold for recently helps support or challenge the valuations.

Account for Required Work

If the inherited property needs renovations, repairs or modernisation work to bring it to an appealing standard for sale or habitation, get quotes for this from builders to factor into the valuation and negotiated price. Costs for upgrades required before selling or moving in need accounting for when pricing the property.

Consider Sentimental Attachment

The sibling wishing to retain the home often has a greater emotional attachment that can bias their perception of value higher. The departing sibling simply sees it as a financial asset. Aim to base pricing primarily on objective data, not emotions. Professional valuations help provide neutral clarity.

Assess Local Market Conditions

Research sales activity, prices and competition in the area. A buyer’s market will make achieving top valuations harder, while high demand favours sellers. Current trajectories, whether rising, falling or flatlining, also impact fair pricing. Local insight assists in negotiating suitable asking prices.

Gauge Potential Inheritance Tax

When inheriting high-value properties, inheritance tax can take a sizeable cut, so seek expert advice here. If selling between siblings, tax liabilities may be lower using particular transfer methods. Understand tax repercussions when costing a buyout.

Calculate Ownership Equity Share

If the property was jointly inherited, calculate each sibling’s ownership equity based on your inherited shares, excluding any outstanding mortgages held. This provides a logical starting point for valuing each’s stake. One may also contribute more to upkeep costs or capital gains.

Assess the Impact of Sale Versus Retention

Selling on the open market incurs fees like estate agents and legal costs that would not apply for an internal family transfer. However, the retained sibling loses potential rental income and capital gains if not selling. Factor wider financial implications into the equation.

Get Proposals in Writing

To avoid confusion, the occupying sibling should submit their proposed buyout offer and payment schedule in writing. The selling sibling can then respond in writing with their price expectations, based on preparatory research. Documenting everything clarifies details for consideration.

Aim To Split the Difference

If initial buyout proposals diverge greatly, work incrementally towards finding a middle ground through calm discussion, sharing research supporting your pricing and being willing to compromise. Neither should expect to receive their ideal preference.

Agree on Dispute Resolution Procedures

In case disagreements do arise during price negotiations, agree on mutually acceptable options like mediation or appointing an independent value assessor to provide a final recommendation you both commit to accepting. This prevents stalemates.

Consider Alternative Sale Options

If negotiations stall, alternatives like putting the property on the open market, listing only with local agents or auction may get a sale completed, but often at a lower price. Weigh these against the benefits of keeping the transfer within the family.

Take Time Reaching Alignment

Finding a mutually agreeable middle ground requires patience and willingness to see the other’s perspective. It may take several open discussions over weeks or months to land on a price you both consider fair. Avoid rushing the process.

Prioritise Maintaining Family Bonds

Above all, remember securing the maximum possible financial value should not come at the expense of irrevocably damaging sibling relationships. Seek win-win compromises that unite you in the transition, not divide you.

Reaching alignment on fair terms for an inherited property buyout requires balancing objective valuations with sentimentality, and market data with family dynamics. With time, flexibility and impartial advisors, siblings can find financially equitable solutions while preserving lifelong relationships.

Professional Guidance Provides Clarity

Navigating the legal, financial and emotional complexities of valuing an inherited home for a family buyout can often benefit from specialist professional guidance. Legal advisors, property valuers and tax experts can all help objectively establish fair pricing and terms. Though adding initial costs, the clarity and structure often save money long-term by cementing an amicable deal.

For example, an experienced solicitor can advise on legalities around transferring deeds, tied in with tax and mortgage considerations. Their insight carries weight when justifying independent objective valuations.

A reminder of the unavoidable costs of selling through an estate agent can focus minds on compromising instead. Tax advisors prevent an IHT bill from consuming equity if structured correctly.

While professionals charge fees, their impartial expertise lends validity when negotiating highly emotive transactions between family members at cross purposes. Securing win-win outcomes requires some investment.

Managing Family Relationship Dynamics

Separate from pricing, navigating the interpersonal family relationship dynamics also factors when a sibling buyout is proposed. Handled sensitively, it can bring a family closer together, but if done callously risks permanent damage.

Some guidance on maintaining familial bonds includes:

  • Discuss in person, not just through lawyers. Emotions get lost via third parties. Meet face-to-face.
  • Listen patiently to understand all perspectives, not just waiting to respond.
  • Express willingness to compromise, not just aiming to maximise your share.
  • Accommodate personal circumstances in timeframes and payments.
  • Be transparent in sharing all information to prevent perceptions of dishonesty.
  • Involve partners/parents respectfully if desired, not coercively.
  • Reframe it as a family asset staying within the family.
  • Promise to still cherish shared memories from the property.

With empathy, integrity and flexibility, sibling buyouts of inherited properties can enrich relationships as well as provide equitable financial outcomes.

Alternatives to Outright Sale

Siblings jointly inheriting a home they both wish to retain a partial stake in have alternatives to forcing a sole owner buyout. Shared enjoyment and asset ownership are also feasible options.

For example:

  • Jointly renting the property out to generate rental income benefiting both.
  • Splitting usage and ownership rights by area, e.g. duplexing.
  • Rotating occupancy over different periods.
  • Reinvesting equal shares into a new co-owned property.
  • Sale and leaseback arrangements.

While ultimately less clean than a complete buyout, partial shared retention can enable both siblings to continue enjoying an inherited home. Compromise and communication are key to ensuring arrangements work harmoniously long-term.

Inheriting a cherished family home together often follows the sadness of losing the parents who raised you in it. Handled sensitively, agreeing sisterly solutions will help grieving siblings value their shared memories.


In conclusion, determining a fair arrangement for a sibling interested in buying out the other’s share of an inherited property involves evaluating objective valuations, sale data, and necessary costings. It’s crucial to consider family dynamics, fostering constructive dialogue over legal disputes to maintain lifelong relationships. Exploring creative solutions, such as shared ongoing ownership, rather than an immediate single-owner buyout, can lead to win-win outcomes. Open communication, patience, and professional support pave the way for an equitable resolution that benefits all heirs and positions families for future success. For more information on this process, you can also explore the cost to sell a house to better understand the financial aspects involved.

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