Why do husband and wife need to sign the agreement? If the wife is on board does it really make a difference if the husband does not sign? How about if the home was bought before they were married, does that still count?
I helped a seller in this situation back in the winter of 2013. The seller had originally bought this house with his first wife and had since turned it into a rental property. Over the years, the property fell into disrepair and needed a substantial amount of work. The leak in the roof made the property uninhabitable and he was no longer able to rent it. The monthly mortgage payment was putting a considerable strain on his finances.
This house was causing him so much aggravation that his current spouse refused to have anything to do with it. She wanted her husband to sell the house fast and just get rid of it but she was afraid to sign any of the sales agreements. It took a lot of convincing from all of us to explain why this was necessary. There are certain occasions when a quit claim deed can be used as a remedy.
What Is Tenancy By The Entirety?
This is a special form of property ownership where the owners are husband and wife. Each spouse has an equal, undivided interest in the property. Upon death of one spouse the estate automatically transfers to the surviving spouse.
The most important aspect here is that title can only be conveyed by a deed signed by BOTH husband and wife. One spouse cannot convey a ½ interest in the property. It is understood that both parties own an indivisible interest in the property.
This form of ownership can be terminated by the death of either spouse, a divorce decree, or by mutual agreement. There are certain agreements such as pre-nuptial and free-trader that can allow one spouse to buy and sell properties without the consent of the other. You should consult with your own attorney about pre-nuptial and free trader agreements.
When the property goes to closing, the attorney or Title Company will do a title search and see that a particular seller is married. If so, they will not close the transaction without some form of written consent from the other spouse. The reason for this is that the other spouse would be able to file a claim to this property in the future. Little details like this are important. Even if you are selling a home by owner, or you need to sell your house fast, everyone needs to be on the same page as to what is expected. Clear communication of all parties involved in the sale, and cooperation is essential before going to the closing table.