What is the name of your state? PA
My brother & I own property as Tenants in Common. I am the majority owner, he owns a minority stake. He wants to sell his share. I want to keep the property. We have not been able to agree on a price for me to buy his share. Each of us got appraisals doen by licensed, professional appraisers. Of course, his appraisal came in much higher than mine, and he wants 100% of his appraised value. I offered to split the difference on the two appraisals but he refused.
He has now filed a partition lawsuit. I am continuing to try to negotiate a settlement, offering more money each time, but he has rejected every offer so it looks like we are headed to trial. Yes I have a lawyer, so does he.
My questions are, what are the mechanics of the sale, if this thing goes to court? My lawyer's answers have been vague and hard to understand. I am beginning to suspect that my lawyer has never actually taken a partition case to court.
1) Does the judge have any options, other than simply ordering the public sale of the property? i.e. can the judge order my brother to accept the average of the two appraisals? Or can the judge order a new, unbiased, 3rd party appraisal and force my brother to accept an offer from me at that price? Or can the judge review the evidence and decide upon a fair price?
2) My attorney said "the judge will have to dissolve the Tenancy-in-Common before he can order a sale, and it's unlikely that he would do that." I understand Tenants in Common, but I don't understand the legal meaning of "dissolving" the Tenancy in Common. What does it mean, and is it truly unlikely?
3) If the judge orders a sale, what procedure is used for the sale? An open, public auction (list it in paper, specific date & time, whoever shows up can bid, high bid gets property?) If so, I could just attend the auction and buy it myself, if I'm willing to out-bid the other buyers. OR -- would it be a closed, sealed-bid auction? That would be troublesome for me. OR -- would the judge order it to be listed with a realtor?
4) If judge orders it to be listed with a realtor, who makes the decisions like asking price, whether to accept a lower offer, whether to lower the asking price if property doesn't sell quickly, etc etc? Does the court make those decisions? Or does the court appoint some sort of Trustee to do that? It surely would not work to order my brother & I to make these decisions jointly.
Any advice greatly appreciated ...