Selling a Home to a Family Member

Could anyone give me their opinion please. My mother is selling her house to my brother. When the sale is completed she is giving us an equal cash amount. So far so good. However she is dropping the price of the property by 20,000 pounds to help him get on to the property ladder.

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Now I am more than happy for him to have every assistance, but am I wrong in thinking that he has been handed a 20,000 pound lump sum when the property is eventually sold. Does anyone see it the same way? Or am I being harsh?

By sharktea from England

August 5, 20090 found this helpful

Under normal circumstances, you have a legitimate point. However, UK is having similar housing issues as the US, right? If you were to offer it on market to the public at the price plus the 20 K extra, would it really sell at that price? You might suggest to your Mum that you contact a few realtors and ask them how houses in that area, comparable to your Mother's house are selling (if at all), and for what prices. Ask at least 2 realtors from different firms for sales the last 6 weeks or so. See if it would have sold for anywhere near the higher price, and work out a slightly different amount for yourself based on that. You might be very glad to get what you are getting or might need a bit more to feel fairness was reached.

All realtors have access to all sales in an area so you should be able to get some idea. My guess is what people are asking is not what they are getting, or they are not selling at all. I was in real estate once long ago for a short time, but watch what's going on, and houses have been completely overpriced.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

I can see what you mean but please all try and sort it out beforehand. If not, this could be the start of a real family grudge from one side or another. Have you told your Mum how you feel? Pikka has a good idea.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

It is not important what you get from your mom. Be thankful you have a mom that can give you anything at all. You can actually take your part and do whatever you want with it. Your brother on the other hand may be stuck with a home he can't move and I know from experience owning a home means forking out lots of money in upkeep. Tell your mom you love her while you still can. Good Luck

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

I believe it's best for children to not compare the value of gifts given to siblings by parents. Your brother may seem to have been given more in this instance, but overall, maybe what your mom has given in gifts, time, herself, is more to you which would equal what she's done for your brother. However, it really doesn't matter. Comparing gifts can break a family - it's just not worth it. As a parent, if I had to keep track my entire children's lives of the value of everything I give them and keep the tally even just so they are happy, it would be ridiculous.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

Sorry to sound stroppy here but if the house belongs to your mum, she can dispose of it as she wishes. She is under no obligation to give equal amounts to her children. It's completely up to her to do as she wishes with her property. My daughter is married to a well-off man and my son has nothing. It's always been assumed that my home (which I own) will be left for my son so he will have a roof over his head, if nothing else. That's the way its going to be because that's the way I wish it!

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

We don't know all your circumstances but the people who are being sympothetic towards your brother don't know all the circumstances either. This all sounds like some of the previous things going on with my family and sometimes parents play favorites and feel sorry for a specific sibling when that specific sibling has made all the wrong, choises to the expense of the other siblings. You don't sound too harse to me but there again I don't know the circumstances. BUT don't beat yourself up or feel guilty on what others are saying here.

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Anonymous Flag
August 6, 20090 found this helpful

Your brother is taking on a huge responsibility in purchasing the home and, for whatever reason he's getting a reduced price, what difference does it make? In our current economy you can bet your booties that your brother is most likely going to be paying more than a stranger would agree to pay (hence lining your pockets with more money than stranger purchased) and the family home will be remaining in the family.

Be thankful and grateful your mom is still with you and that she is able to give you a bequeath before her passing in the first place because many people aren't in the position where they can even leave something to their loved ones after they pass away.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

There are so many elements left out of this situation. Does your brother live with your mother because she is elderly or infirm? Do you? Does he offer financial support through the month? Do you? Do you both share the responsibility of taking her where she needs to go, doing maintenance/upkeep on the house, offering yourselves when she needs a physical presence? Has your brother sacrificed forward movement in his life to support your mother? Have you?

We faced this same situation and when my brother realized how much my husband and I had to let pass to stay with my mother and father, the financial aspect was not as important to him any more. Given his life, he could not have stayed with our parents; my life was much more flexible and I could. That's the only reason it happened that way - it wasn't martyrdom or in the hopes of benefitting financially from being there. It was a matter of giving what we could.

So, we agreed things would come out even somehow when Mom goes to heaven...it might take a while, but it will be done. I'd rather my family got along than I got the better end of the deal.

And to be honest, if all you are worried about is your mother's money, then maybe, you should rethink her value and your priorities. How will you feel when she is gone and all you have left of her is her bank account? I wouldn't pass up the time I had with my parents for anything - even if my brother received the whole kit and kaboodle - and neither would he. That's a lesson my family finally figured out. Life with your family is really so much better without all the grief and guilt.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

He is getting the advantage of a reduced offer which would mean a higher share for you if sold to an outsider.

However, this is your Mother's house and you must abide by her wishes, she doesn't after all, have to give you anything.

Could be that other family members are already on the housing ladder and without her help, your brother would not be able to manage to purchase property. Either way, do not look a gift horse in the mouth. These things always happen in families, just accept it.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

Well, I see it the same way you do. Your brother is getting the better deal. However, there may be extenuating circumstances, and you don't know what your mom is thinking. I am an only child, and so I don't have this type of situation, but my mom has been divying up some of her property and belongings amongst my 3 sons, and it is causing some problems. This sort of stuff is very difficult to deal with, and sometimes parents play favorites. I also think that Pikka might have a very good point regarding the price of the house. There is also the convenience factor of selling to a family member. They are not likely to need all the concessions that someone else might demand on a house sale.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

To answer your main question is that he might be getting a little bit more because of the drop in house price. Like the others have answered we don't know anything else about the family. My husband has a medical issue that means his income will never equal what his brother and sister get so he'll always be the "poor" brother. His family says split everything equally. My family says look at circumstances and gives me a higher percentage. We live frugally and almost within our means. Is this really a concern about the money or is because you equate it with love? You know "She loves him more...". Accept it and don't hold any ill will about it as she's your mom...if you have more that you want to share about this please do as I want to make sure you don't let it fester. OK? Life is too short as it is!

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August 7, 20090 found this helpful

My younger brother was always favored by my mother. And myself and my older brother just do not get along with him. I think my mother has brought these feelings about among us by doing this. It's not my younger brother's fault by any means but it sure makes it harder for everyone. But I love my Mother more than anyone on this whole planet and cannot imagine a life without her. She will be 80 in a year and time is running out for us. And when she dies, I will be lucky to receive 2,000.00. But even if I stood to gain 100,000.00 I wouldn't trade her for any of it. But I am bitter about my feelings toward her and my younger brother. I know. It makes no sense. I just hope you don't end up bitter. It's a horrible feeling.

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August 9, 20090 found this helpful

I have to agree with you, it should be equally done

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