Julie L. Don…, Other/Just Looking in

How does a real estate agent legally sell a house being sold by an individual not the titled owner?

Asked by Julie L. Donnelly, Sun Jul 15, 2007

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Can a broker list a house legally after a person has passed away , when they don't know who's name is on the title? Like her kids , ? After 120 days of being led astray by a realtor...they said oh we'll we were waiting to find out who's name is on the title....should he have listed the house before that information?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
We probably need to know a little more about the situation.
There are instances where this is possible, but the person selling would need some kind of authorization to handle the sale:
Could be estate sale with Executor handling the sale.
Could be trustee for a trust.
Could be someone with power of attorney from the titled owner.
Could be sherriff selling a home at a local tax sale.
Best thing to do is check with the broker and also check with the title company or closing attorney. They will generally steer you in the right direction and also check to ensure the person selling the home has the right authorization documents. I would do this early in the process not at closing. If there is a problem then you'd want to avoid the transaction or have time to get it resolved and know it can be resolved.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2007
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Your profile does not state your role (Realtor, buyer, seller, etc.).
If you are a Realtor I would discuss this matter with your broker right away.
If you are involved in any aspect of this transaction I would suggest (not legal advice here) that you check with the escrow or title company that you are using to clarify the situation.
As a real estate agent, the agent is acting as an agent for the broker. The listing is technically listed with the broker. The broker is acting as agent for the seller. If the person who signs the listing agreement is not on title, then in order for him/her to represent the owner, written authorization is required. Just as the listing agreement authorizes the broker to act as the seller's agent, same goes for the person who is representing the seller to the broker.
A power of attorney, a trustee, successor trustee, and similar positions can have the legal right to convey (sell) property, but the parties to the sale must all have "notice" (proof...a copy of the paperwork authorizing them to do what they are doing.)
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Be very careful when ever trying to sell a home with a person who is not on title. There are only a few ways this can be done. You need to be sure the person is not selling the house from under someone. Married couples who are getting divorce tend to try this so the other person doesn’t get the home or the money. And really unless the property was let to a child or love one do to a death this can be a tough act to do. Make sure you contact legal help before making this decision.
Web Reference: http://www.4saletours.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2007

The individual should have the full power of attorney from the titled owner. Make sure you see the original, let your broker/manager take a look at it - and keep a copy in your files, with a copy of the ID of the individual that has the power of attorney. The Title Company will need this information, too.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2007
As far as I know, that is impossible. The person has to be on title. I am not an attorney, so I really cannot go into detail on this. This person should be seeking legal advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2007
Is this an actual situation you know of? Sometimes I've seen MetroScan (a third-party reporting agency that pulls info from county records) show the wrong owner name on a property, which we then verify with correct paperwork (Certified copy of deed, note, etc.) Otherwise, unless it's been inherited, quitclaimed or foreclosed upon, that sounds illegal to me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2007
Unless the person on title has passed away or the home has been foreclosed on, the person on title must be the one to originate the sale as far as I know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 15, 2007
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