Archive for the 'Legal Property Owner' Category

May 21, 2015

legal homeownersA divorce can send folks scrambling. In a perfect world, when people split they would be able to talk through what to do with their assets, but in a nasty divorce especially, where emotions are high and everyone is trying to come out a winner, this is not always possible.

Through marriage, people work together, sometimes over their entire lives, to accumulate assets which include real estate. This is why it is not uncommon that some may do whatever it takes to try to get what is theirs out of the divorce.

A very common occurrence with divorcing spouses is that one may want to sell a property that has the other spouse’s name on it with the hope that if an offer comes in they will be able to convince the ex-spouse to sell – some may even deploy other tactics to provide you with a signed offer.

Avoiding this is simple.

  • When you are considering taking on a new listing, prior to visiting the property, perform a search to confirm who the legal homeowners are.
  • At this point you can contact your client to confirm that all legal homeowners will be at the engagement meeting with identification.

This is the only real way to verify that you are dealing with all legal homeowners – meet them, see them, see their ID. It is a red flag if you uncover that there is another person on title and your client says that they won’t be available to meet in person, but that they can send a copy of their ID and any documents can be faxed to them to sign. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t meet and see ID for all legal homeowners, you may want to pass on the listing.

From time-to-time you may encounter someone that says that their spouse lives out of province or country – in this instance another option is to send the other party to a lawyer in their country to certify their identification and identity.

In the most innocent scenario, taking the extra step to verify who owns a property will mean that you can flag an issue and work through it, or, in the ugliest scenario, prevent blatant mortgage fraud.

Protect yourself and your clients. Use GeoWarehouse to easily find out who is on title. Contact us today at 1-866-237-5937.


Legal Property OwnerIn real estate, you count on your clients to be forthcoming with information, but this doesn’t always end up being the reality of things.

It seems that there are three different groups of people where non-disclosure is concerned:

  • Those who innocently omit information because they forgot or didn’t think it was relevant. This can often occur when there is a parent or sibling on title, where the client is managing the transaction. This could be in the cases of spouses where one is acting with the consent of the other so didn’t think that they had to disclose the other person. The list can go on and on where innocent omissions are concerned.
  • Then you have those who are scheming for one reason or another. This can be the case in situations of separation and divorce or even where a dispute is taking place.
  • Finally you have the group that are out to commit outright real estate fraud.

Generally speaking you are most likely to run into the first group, less likely to encounter the second group and hopefully, even less likely to encounter the last group. What is true of all 3 groups though is that a little bit of due diligence goes a long way with respect to taking on a new client – whether the client is a buyer or seller.

Even if you meet with a potential customer, they impress you in an interview and you have little to no suspicion to believe that they have failed to disclose information – you still should do your due diligence! These days it is difficult to simply count on documents provided by your client validating that they are the owner.

It is always advantageous to verify preliminary information first.

  • Interview the client: If a seller, directly ask if there is anyone else on title. When the client signs off on the agreement for you to represent them, take a copy of their ID at that point (rather than waiting until an offer has taken place).
  • After signing up with your client – perform your own search online to confirm that your client is the rightful property owner and that there are no other undisclosed parties on title.
  • Listing your client’s house for sale – now that you have performed your own search, you can feel confident with the information you are representing on your listing.
  • If another owner comes up, simply ask your client again. Once you know for a fact they will have to explain why. More often than not you will find out it was an innocent omission and the other party on title will sign your agreement.
  • If representing a buyer: once you have found a property that your client is interested in making an offer on, you can run a search to confirm the name of the seller(s)/current owner(s) and also any mortgages registered on title. This will help you to better understand the positioning of the seller. 

Instead of making assumptions based on what the client or worse, another real estate sales professional, tells you, find out the information yourself. This will lead to more efficiency and cleaner closings.

Assuming can often lead to problems, so make sure that you are protecting yourself and your client. Find out more at or call 1-866-237-5937.


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