You entered into a California Residential Purchase Agreement with only yourself as buyer. Near the end of the transaction, can you add my wife now?

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 (SUNNYVALE, CA) - (408) 893-2410

Hi Mr. Doe,
You shouldn't have a problem, especially since it's your wife you are adding.  In fact, since you are in California, a community property state, if you buy real property when you are married and your spouse is NOT on title, your spouse would have to sign a document stating she is aware that she will not be on title and she is ok with that.  This might require a notorized document, needing the original, not a scan or photocopy. 

That means it's actually easier to add her than to leaver her off.  You can either add her right now with an addendum or outside of contract just after closing (or anytime you are ready) with a Quit Claim Deed. 

If you choose to add her right now with an addendum, make it clear on the addendum that the person whose name is being added is the spouse, not a stranger.  When you add a spouse, you have no issues.  If you were to completely change the buyer to an unrelated stranger that would be scrutinized as a straw (fake) buyer being replaced by a real buyer.

For example, the addendum could read something like:
"Wife Jane Doe to be added to contract and will sign all future documents.  Vesting will be "John and Jane Doe as Community Property"

If it's an REO you are buying, then ask the title rep or listing agent what the bank wants.  Different banks may want different wording.  For example, one bank asks for something like "Wife Jane Doe to be added as buyer to purchase agreement CAL HFA contract dated x/x/2011.

If you prefer to do this outside of contract after close of escrow (perhaps a day later), then you can either do it yourself working with the county or ask escrow to help you.

Posted by

Robert Lei

Real Estate Professional

Century 21 M&M and Associates

Sunnyvale, CA 94087

(408) 893-2410

Abe Andrade

What should the wording be if I am adding a person's mother to the contract?

May 12, 2011 02:46 PM