What are the costs of buying out someone’s share of a property?

What are the costs of buying out someone's share of a property

How much does it cost to buy out someone else’s share of a property you own together?

Joining forces with a friend or family member to buy a property together can be a great way to break into the property market, but things can get difficult when it’s no longer suitable for both of you to own a share in the property. From losing your job to getting married, people’s personal circumstances change frequently and there may come a time when joint ownership is no longer a viable solution.

So how much does it cost to buy out someone else’s share of a property, and what can you do to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible?

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How much does it cost?

There’s a wide range of factors to consider when buying someone’s share of a property. You and your co-owner will need to agree on a fair price for that person’s share, considering factors such as:

  • How much you both contributed to the deposit
  • How much stamp duty each party paid for the purchase
  • How much each person has contributed in mortgage repayments
  • How much each person has paid for ongoing maintenance of the property

It’s worth pointing out that not all ownership structures are as simple as a 50:50 split. For example, one party buying the property may have a large deposit saved but earn a low income, while the other may not have any deposit to call on but has an excellent income-earning capacity, resulting in an ownership split such as 60:40 or 70:30. If both parties obtain independent legal advice, you will be able to work out how one person can be bought out in a deal that’s fair to both parties.

Next, you’ll need to calculate how much the property is currently worth; a property purchased for $500,000 a couple of years ago may now be valued at $650,000, so the property share purchase will need to be based on the home’s current value. You and your co-owner will need to work out the property’s value – examining recent sale prices, independent valuation etc – but obtaining independent legal advice is once again the best way to ensure that neither party is short-changed.

Other fees and charges

It’s important to remember that changing property ownership will often incur stamp duty, which is usually a charge of around 3.5–5% of the property’s value. However, stamp duty can be waived in certain circumstances, for example if you’re getting divorced and you and your partner have a formal separation agreement.

You will also need to remember to factor costs such as home loan refinancing fees and legal expenses into your calculations, and remember that the person selling their share may also have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) if the home is an investment property.

Last but not least, make sure you’ll be able to handle the ongoing financial commitment of paying off a mortgage by yourself before you go through with the deal.

What happens if I’m getting divorced?

There’s a common misconception that if you’re getting divorced and you’re taking ownership of the family home, you can simply take over your ex’s share of the mortgage. This is not possible in Australia; you will instead have to refinance to a new home loan that is in your name only.

Your solicitor will help you draw up a formal separation agreement to outline the rights and responsibilities of you and your ex and how your assets will be split. Having a separation agreement in place will also help you avoid paying thousands of dollars in stamp duty.

You can find out more information about dividing property after divorce in our handy guide.

Before you buy

The process of buying someone’s share of a property can be made a whole lot easier if you plan for the future before you even buy the property. Each party who will own a share of the house should seek independent legal advice to determine their rights and responsibilities and the right ownership structure for the arrangement.

There are two options to choose from: joint tenants and tenants in common. Joint tenants own a property collectively but individually don’t own anything, and if one party passes away their property share can be automatically transferred to the other owner.

If you’re a tenant in common, you own a portion of the property – a share – which can be determined before you buy the house. If you pass away, that share is passed on to a beneficiary you nominate rather than to another owner.

Tenants in common is the more popular ownership option but it’s essential that you get a co-ownership agreement drawn up before you buy a property. This agreement will outline the financial contribution and ownership share of each party, specify who will be looking after maintenance costs and, importantly, also detail the exit strategy if someone wants to sell their share of the property or buy the other(s) out.

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    TedMay 17, 2018

    When buying the other parts of a property I already part own, should I have to pay stamp duty on the part I own?

    • Staff
      NikkiMay 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Ted,
      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      Regarding stamp duty, It’s important to remember that changing property ownership will often incur stamp duty, which is usually a charge of around 3.5–5% of the property’s value. However, stamp duty can be waived in certain circumstances, for example, if you’re getting divorced and you and your partner have a formal separation agreement.

      You and your co-owner will need to agree on a fair price for that person’s share and how much stamp duty each party paid for the purchase.

      Hope this clarifies! Feel free to message us again if you have following questions.


  2. Default Gravatar
    johnnyMarch 22, 2018

    i have a 50% interest in my daughters home but am not on the deed.
    she wants to sell and move on.
    i’d like to take over the ownership and lease out the property
    am i liable for stamp duty on a transfer? if so would it be for the whole cost of the property or just the 50% i would be buying?

    • Staff
      MayMarch 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Johnny,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Basically, the stamp duty is charged when changing property ownership, which is usually a charge of around 3.5–5% of the property’s value. I would suggest that you contact your local revenue office as to how much you would play for the stamp duty as that varies based on the property value, its location and type. Please refer to this page to learn more about stamp duty.


  3. Default Gravatar
    LizMarch 9, 2018

    Is it possible to use the equity in the family home to purchase a second home so both parents have a home base.

    • Staff
      JoshuaMarch 19, 2018Staff

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      Yes, it is possible to use the equity in your family home. There are three basic ways on how you can access your home’s equity: redraw, refinancing, and line of credit loan.

      You can learn more about home equity loans through this page. On the same page, you will see a table comparing brands that offer home equity loans.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  4. Default Gravatar
    August 25, 2017

    Would like information on how to take my name off a property and or where do I go to get information and forms, and if you know the cost approximately.

    • Staff
      LiezlAugust 25, 2017Staff

      Hi Myra,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      The exact process you need to follow to remove a name from a title differs slightly in each Australian state and territory. You may check out our guide on this page for the general steps on how to remove one’s name from the title and this guide on changing property ownership.

      Better still, engage the services of a property lawyer or a licensed conveyancer to carry out the work. You may fill in the form on this page to speak to a conveyancer.

      I hope this helps.


  5. Default Gravatar
    MargaretAugust 2, 2017

    My husband died of cancer and i want my son to inherit when i die and feel that it is safer to put him on the title my husband and i were joint tenants how much will it cost in stamp duty etc the valuation for this year is 375000?

    • Staff
      ArnoldAugust 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Stamp Duty may vary from state to state. In order to find out how stamp duty is calculated on your state, you may check our Stamp Duty Guide. You may also calculate how much stamp duty you will pay by using our Stamp Duty Calculator.

      Hope this information helped.


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