Home Selling in Phoenix>Question Details

Lucy, Home Seller in Phoenix, AZ

Is a contract binding with a forged signiture?

Asked by Lucy, Phoenix, AZ Sat Oct 30, 2010

My husband and I are separating & selling our home. The house is in both of our names.
My husband verbally accepted an offer that I was not in agreement with. Our real estate agent told us that his verbal agreement was binding. Against my will, he signed my name to the sales contract.

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Verbal agreements are not binding in real estate. They never have been and never will. Based solely on what you’ve written, the listing agent has exhibited a level of incompetence and ignorance that should not be forgiven. I would write a letter to the Broker in Charge of the agency as well as your State Real Estate Commission. If the agency is attempting to move forward with this contract both, you and the Buyers have grounds for a lawsuit.

Forging your signature is a criminal offense. Your husband was ill advised to do so, and what you choose to do about is up to you.

Lastly, given how bad the market is in Arizona, I would strongly advise that bend over backwards to make any offer you receive work if at all possible. I understand that the situation between your husband and yourself may not be ideal at this time, but unless your prepared to lose the property or be stuck with a jointly owned property for years to come, you would be wise to put aside your differences when it comes to getting your home sold.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
WOW. That's just wrong on so many levels. I would consult an attorney. you can talk to an attorney through the Maricopa County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service. It's $35 per 30 minutes.

602-257-4434
http://Www.maricopalawyers.org
Web Reference: http://www.mytitleguy.net
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 30, 2010
First and foremost, it takes one signature to buy and two to sell, you have to sign it. If the agent allowed it to be forged, there are some violations and I would pursue that. In addition, a forged contract is not a valid one. You need to get an attorney involved asap. Your husband could even be looking at some crimes. This is unbelievable and ridiculous behavior.
Web Reference: http://www.SearchAZmls.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Talk with an attorney.
Sounds like forgery to me.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Grab an attorney ASAP, and make sure it is a Real Estate Attorney. Also contact the real estate agent's broker to just make sure they are aware of what is happening. What a mess, hopefully you are able to get it all straightened out.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Dear Lucy,

Contact an attorney. Also, I often ask people to contact and file a complaint with the Arizona Department of Real Estate when they get poor representation by a licensed real estate agent.

If an agent knowingly let your soon-to-be ex-husband sign your signature.... well let us say that is a significant violation of fiduciary responsibility. If an agent let that happen, in my opinion they should no longer be an agent and only ADRE has the power to make that happen
Web Reference: http://www.urbanteamaz.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Lucy

You are correct in your thoughts. The house is in both names so it does require both parties to agree to sell.

Verbal agreements are typically not enforceable, consult an attorney to determine your exact situation.

Each party typically needs to sign for themselves unless other arrangements have been made. You should have the ability to challenge the signature and contract. Potential parties to contact: attorney, the agent, the agents broker etc.

The agents broker may desire to get involved in this sooner than later and may resolve the situation quickly for you also. Your choices vary depending on the your resources, intent etc. This could involve fraud by a number of individuals or could be resolved quickly with the broker. Does the agent know about or witness your husband signing your name?
Web Reference: http://www.McVinua.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
If your signature has been forged, there is no legal contract. Consult an attorney to get this matter resolved as soon as possible.

Best of luck to you!
Web Reference: http://www.DesariJabbar.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
GET AN ATTORNEY ASAP.
Call if you need a name.

While a forged signature is not legally binding, you may have granted a power of attorney to your husband in the past. Alternatively, your actions from this point on, may actually ratify the contract, unless you (your attorney) contracts the agent's Broker and Escrow Title company and Buyers (both call and send certified letters).

WAIT, It may or may not be in your best interest to repudiate the contract. If you got a fair price and it covers the loans, this might be a good deal. In this state you remain liable for your husband's debts and he yours. You need to get with your divorce/real estate attorney to consider what is best. This should not be an emotional decision. It is a financial and legal decision.

RUN TO THE ATTORNEY, DO NOT WALK.

Loren
623-239-6919
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Stephen Garner's answer seems to be the best advice. Consultation with an attorney is a MUST! Stephen's recommendation offers a low cost solution.
Web Reference: http://www.gergurroz.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Lucy,

You are correct in questioning this.........

The best avenue for you to take is to consult an attorney ASAP.

Good luck,

Bill
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Absolutely NOT. No contract is binding unless both parties agree and sign. Just becasue your husband agreed to it does not make it binding verbally anyway. You never agreed to accept the offer. I would inform the agent that you did not sign the papers and your husband forged your signature. that alone makes the contract null and void. Contact an attorney if the realtor pushes you on this.
Web Reference: http://www.davedicecco.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Yes, get an attorney. I would write a letter to the agent and send it by Certified US Mail Return Receipt Requested to let the agent know that you did not agree and did not sign the sales contract. Save a copy of the letter and attach the Certified mail receipt to your copy. I would send a copy the County Attorney and the broker who runs the office. This should protect you in the short run.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
No! the contract becomes null and void at the point of discovery because forged documents are frudulent,
and in that case you need to contact an attorney.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Hi Lucy,

Attorney. Attorney. Attorney. Everything in real estate has to be in writing. The contract is law. If you did not sign... sounds like someone committed a federal offence. If you need to talk with a good real estate attorney I can refer a few to you. Please feel freeto call me anytime.

Matthew Remus
480.233.5002
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 30, 2010
A verbal agreement is not binding. Everything must be in writing. You may need to talk to your attorney.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 30, 2010
Lucy, it's not binding, and you need to be consulting with your attorney.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 30, 2010
Nothing verbal is binding.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 11, 2015
It's unfortunate to be in this situation, but you want to cover all your bases. Contractual agreements - verbal and otherwise - can vary from state-to-state. But you should put all parties on written notice and "dispute" the transaction. Make calls and follow up immediately by sending registered and certified notices explaining that you do not approve the sale of the property as the contracts were not signed by you and documentation is considered "fraudulent" and they may be responsible for any damages incurred as a result. Send these letters registred mail or certified mail and regular mail to list agent and the broker. That shows you mean business and should slow them down. Keep good records and organize all your documentation so you can follow up with a real estate attorney to find out what else you need to do to hault the transaction. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
It's unfortunate to be in this situation, but you want to cover all your bases. Contractual agreements - verbal and otherwise - can vary from state-to-state. But you should put all parties on written notice and "dispute" the transaction. Make calls and follow up immediately by sending registered and certified notices explaining that you do not approve the sale of the property as the contracts were not signed by you and documentation is considered "fraudulent" and they may be responsible for any damages incurred as a result. Send these letters registred mail or certified mail and regular mail to list agent and the broker. That shows you mean business and should slow them down. Keep good records and organize all your documentation so you can follow up with a real estate attorney to find out what else you need to do to hault the transaction. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 9, 2011
L, these domestic issues are always tricky. Get a free 30 min consult from a local divorce lawyer. You may need one anyway. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 6, 2010
There are three issues at hand to start with.

1. Is a verbal agreement for sale binding?
2. Does your Forged Signature Bind You?
3. Is your husband bound to the contract?

I will start by saying you really do need to get a real estate attorney involved at this point Realtors cannot offer legal advice. Furthermore it is a federal offense for a Realtor to Interfere with a contract, which likely at least your husband entered into and is likely bound to based on what you describe. His being bound to the contract does not automatically give him the right to sell the property however. There are other issues such as how you took title to consider there. If he agreed to sell a property you also needed to sign off on, but did not, it sounds to me like he is the one that should really be seeking legal advice. It sounds to me like he will not be able to perform on HIS obligation to the buyer. Best of luck to you. Christopher Combs would be a good local attorney to reach out to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
The Urban Team said;
If an agent knowingly let your soon-to-be ex-husband sign your signature.... well let us say that is a significant violation of fiduciary responsibility. If an agent let that happen, in my opinion they should no longer be an agent and only ADRE has the power to make that happen.

I TOTALLY AGREE, They should have their license taken away
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
WWOOWW!!!!! I agree with everyone here, Get an Attorney to protect yourself. There isn't a contract if you didn't sign. Get an Attorney that can't be said enough. Get an Attorney.

Phyllis JC Anderson, GRI
Liberty One Realty
602-316-0115
Web Reference: http://www.YourAzCastle.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
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