One to Buy, Two to Sell
Often conversation with homesellers can become awkward when the topic of marriage arises, as in, "Have you been married at any time while you have owned this home?"
When I am talking to ONE Seller, things can become quickly complicated when they say something like, "Yes, but we are separated/divorced." Or, "I owned the house before we were married, and he/she didn't help pay for it. He/she has nothing to say about the sale."
Well.... It depends. In North Carolina, we are a "One to buy, Two to sell," meaning that a long-lost spouse or ex-spouse may have a financial interest in the property.
Horror stories of shock and surprise abound.....
One of the responsibilities of a Listing agent is to attempt within reason to ensure that the Seller can actually legally SELL the property. No one wants to list a home for sale, and find that there is another Seller who is not on the listing agreement, and then have an irate Buyer and Buyers Agent.
And, it is important to note, I am not an attorney, and cannot offer legal advice. But, often it is necessary to access a legal opinion as to who must approve the sale. I have spoken with divorce attorneys, and have received "Free Trader" agreement copies, and either way has put my mind at ease that I can market a property with confidence that it can be conveyed.
And sometimes, the former spouses have to bury the hatchet long enough to consummate a real estate transaction. That process can be unnerving to all involved.
The topic seemed worthy of a 60 Seconds in Real Estate vlog: