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Does it take both owners (husband & wife) listed on deed to sign a listing agreement in the state of NY?

Poughkeepsie, NY |

Friends husband listed house without wife's knowledge and permission.

Attorney Answers 8


  1. Best answer

    The listing contract is between husband and realtor. She should retain counsel to protect her rights. As owner she can object to placement of signs on yard, open houses and other showings. husband will not be able to sign contract of sale without her signature. This is general answer - assuming deed as husband and wife, TBE or JTWRS

    Legal disclaimer: Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of New York only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to NY State. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.


  2. There is no law that requires both spouses to sign a listing agreement.

    Having said that, it would by unwise for a broker to list a home if he or she knows that one spouse will not consent to the sale.

    If your friend does not want to sell the house, she should send a letter to the broker that she does not agree to sell the house and will not sign any contract or deed.

    If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.


  3. As to the preliminary step in a sale of signing a listing agreement long before a buyer is found, a contract is signed and a closing is had and the property is deeded over (your question) it's a toss up as to the answer to your question, "is it legal".

    The listing agreement couldn't be enforceable against the wife, but practically speaking if the house is sold, the wife will have to sign both the purchase and sale contract and later the deed for the listing-contract-sale to be enforceable and effective.

    So worst case, the realtors get a buyer, the wife doesn't sign the contract, and the realtors may or may not have damages against the husband, but since there can't be a valid contract without the wife knowing about it at that point and refusing to sign, I can't see how the realtors can come after either her or her husband for a commission since they didn't have a willing buyer and seller and couldn't close.

    This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states that any information provided is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and me or any other attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. In particular, my answers and those of others are not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely solely upon Legal Information you obtain from this website or other resources which may be linked to an answer for informational purposes. You understand that questions and answers or other postings to the Site are not confidential and are not subject to attorney-client privilege. The full Avvo ToU are set forth at http://www.avvo.com/support/terms . In addition, while similar legal principles often apply in many states, I am only licensed to practice in the State of New York and Federal Courts. Any general information I provide about non-New York laws should be checked with an attorney licensed to practice in your State. Lastly, New York State Court rules (22 NYCRR Part 1200, Rule 7.1) also require me to inform you that my answers and attorney profile posted on the Avvo.com site may be considered "attorney advertising" and that "prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome".


  4. I agree with my colleagues. It's legal for only one spouse to sign the listing agreement, but as escrow will not close without both owners' signature and cooperation, a realtor would generally not want to sign an agreement with only one spouse.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


  5. An agreement isn't binding on a non-signatory. She doesn't have to do a thing.


  6. The husband will be responsible for the commission to the broker. However, there will not be a contract of sale until the wife signs it. Have your friend speak with a real estate lawyer.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.


  7. Does wife disapprove?

    (1) I may be guessing. Do not act or rely upon this info; (2) We have not established an attorney-client relationship; and (3) If you insist I tell you something upon which you can actually rely: don't eat yellow snow.


  8. Most experience realtors will try to ascertain title in both names and get the listing agreement in both names, since this type of problem is not unique and foreseeable, and allowing it to happen is bad for business. But since the realtor did this anyway, if the wife advises the realtor that she does not agree to the listing, the realtor will remove it. How did hubby think this was going to work? Sounds like a precursor to divorce.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

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