General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

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Oilcans
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General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by Oilcans » Tue May 22, 2018 1:56 pm

:oops: My friend is separated from his wife, both living in different states. They also have jointly owned property in another state which was purchased during their marriage. The wife is trying to sell this property and is using a realtor from that state. However husband has not signed a listing agreement with the realtor and not sure if wife has signed a listing. But in wife's emails to husband, she indicates the realtor is calling and/or emailing with offers to which wife has been making counter offers. Kind of like husband is being left out!

The question is: can a realtor be involved in selling or soliciting offers for a property if the realtor doesn't have a listing signed by both owners?

Thanks.

Gill
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Re: General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by Gill » Tue May 22, 2018 2:08 pm

I suppose a listing agent can solicit offers for anything, but any buyer won't be able to acquire good title without the consent of both joint owners.
Gill

The Wizard
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Re: General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by The Wizard » Tue May 22, 2018 2:17 pm

Gill wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:08 pm
I suppose a listing agent can solicit offers for anything, but any buyer won't be able to acquire good title without the consent of both joint owners.
Gill
If one spouse is opposed to selling the property, there could be a problem when the RE agent delivers a buyer who is ready, willing, and able to purchase the property.
Depending on the listing contract language, the spouse who listed the property could owe a commission to that agent even though the sale didn't go through...
Attempted new signature...

Gill
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Re: General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by Gill » Tue May 22, 2018 2:23 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:17 pm
Gill wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:08 pm
I suppose a listing agent can solicit offers for anything, but any buyer won't be able to acquire good title without the consent of both joint owners.
Gill
If one spouse is opposed to selling the property, there could be a problem when the RE agent delivers a buyer who is ready, willing, and able to purchase the property.
Depending on the listing contract language, the spouse who listed the property could owe a commission to that agent even though the sale didn't go through...
Wouldn't it be the listing agent's responsibility to determine who holds title to the property and to assure all appropriate parties sign the listing agreement?
Gill

Oilcans
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Re: General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by Oilcans » Tue May 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Thanks for the replies.

To make this a little more complicated. The realtor has sent husband listing which was received today but husband is leery of signing until language added to listing that both husband and wife receive separate checks. The wife also knows the prospective buyer who is ready to pay cash for the property and the buyer has insisted he go through a realtor because he wants to make sure everything is legal. Not sure why he couldn't just hire a real estate attorney for the transaction. So in a sense it would seem to me that the buyer has hired the realtor and should be paying the realtor's commission.

Bottom line I think husband should consult a real estate attorney on this matter before signing a listing. Anyone in agreement?

Carefreeap
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Re: General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by Carefreeap » Tue May 22, 2018 3:00 pm

Gill wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:23 pm
The Wizard wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:17 pm
Gill wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:08 pm
I suppose a listing agent can solicit offers for anything, but any buyer won't be able to acquire good title without the consent of both joint owners.
Gill
If one spouse is opposed to selling the property, there could be a problem when the RE agent delivers a buyer who is ready, willing, and able to purchase the property.
Depending on the listing contract language, the spouse who listed the property could owe a commission to that agent even though the sale didn't go through...
Wouldn't it be the listing agent's responsibility to determine who holds title to the property and to assure all appropriate parties sign the listing agreement?
Gill
It's going to depend on the specific state law.

Smart real estate agents will get a preliminary title report to see who is on title. In my state, CA, back when I was selling in the early 80s an agent could list with one signature but any sales contract had to be signed by both parties. The law could have changed since then.

I think the agent is buying him/herself trouble by excluding the STBX. If nothing else some serious resentment.

With the DocuSign Program I don't understand why both parties couldn't participate unless they chose to so beforehand. Even if it's not illegal, it just seems like a bad practice.

Carefreeap
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by Carefreeap » Tue May 22, 2018 3:06 pm

Oilcans wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:58 pm
Thanks for the replies.

To make this a little more complicated. The realtor has sent husband listing which was received today but husband is leery of signing until language added to listing that both husband and wife receive separate checks. The wife also knows the prospective buyer who is ready to pay cash for the property and the buyer has insisted he go through a realtor because he wants to make sure everything is legal. Not sure why he couldn't just hire a real estate attorney for the transaction. So in a sense it would seem to me that the buyer has hired the realtor and should be paying the realtor's commission.

Bottom line I think husband should consult a real estate attorney on this matter before signing a listing. Anyone in agreement?
Adding the additional language shouldn't be a problem. The "separate checks" can be handled by escrow or the settlement service.

Presumably the agent added some value with marketing the property and other services. If the agent "procured" the buyer than a commission would be owed. I think this is where the OP needs to keep his nose out of their business. If the price is fair and it's a quick sale to both than it's worth it to do the deal without making a mountain out of a molehill. The OP's friend could cause more pain and cost himself more money through attorney's fees than he'll save on cheapening out on the commission.

junior
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Re: General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by junior » Tue May 22, 2018 10:20 pm

I would think the separate checks legal language would be added at the sales contract stage when the buyer and seller agree on the sales contract. I dont know that it matters if it's in the realtor agreement since that doesnt control the actual sale of the house.

123
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Re: General question for someone with knowledge of real estate law

Post by 123 » Tue May 22, 2018 10:30 pm

Perhaps the out-of-area husband should do his own due diligence on ascertaining the current value of the property before he signs any paperwork in connection with its sale. He may also have differing ideas and opinions about settlement expenses should be paid by the buyer and the seller, which are generally negoitable. From the description it seems like the sale may be slanted to serve the needs of the buyer instead of the seller. If I were the husband I would refuse to deal with the agent since there is no indication he/she is serving my interests.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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