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In the world of real estate, it's not uncommon for couples to purchase properties under only one name. This article explores the implications and answers the question of who signs the sales contract in such situations, providing clarity and guidance for buyers and sellers.


When it comes to buying a property as a couple, it is not uncommon for the purchase to be made under only one name. This scenario often raises questions regarding who should sign the sales contract. In the United States, real estate transactions involve legal considerations, and understanding the implications of such situations is crucial. In this article, we will delve into the topic and provide insights to help navigate this common dilemma.

Understanding the Legal Implications

When a couple decides to purchase a property, they must consider various legal aspects. One of these considerations is how the sales contract should be signed. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Sole Ownership:
  • If the property is purchased under one person's name, that individual becomes the sole owner.
  • The sales contract should be signed solely by the individual named on the title.
  • It's essential to clarify the ownership arrangement to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes
Generally, an unmarried individual has no right to property that is in his or her partner's name. In the event of a break up, the property goes to the individual who retains legal ownership. For debt, the individuals listed on the paperwork remain responsible for payment.

Does it matter whose name is on the house?

Who's going to get the house? Well, it's kind of a trick question because it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter whose name is on the deed or whose name is on the mortgage. Nine times out of 10 what matters is when the house was purchased and with what type of funds it was purchased.

Which statement about a spouses signature on a listing contract is correct?

If a home is owned by a married couple, then both spouses need to be signing off on the listing agreement.

Which tenancy is best for unmarried couples?

Perhaps the most common way for unmarried couples to take title to real property is as "tenants in common." Unlike a joint tenancy, a tenant in common has no automatic right to inherit the property when the other partner dies.

What happens to a house when an unmarried couple break up?

Sole Ownership – If one person owns the house and their partner or significant other moves in with them, the sole owner typically gets to keep 100% of the house when they break up. Community Property – This only applies to married couples, who split the house 50/50 if they divorce.

What happens to a jointly owned property if one owner dies us?

A joint tenancy creates a right of survivorship, which means that if one party dies, their interest is automatically transferred to the surviving tenant(s). Joint tenancy is different from a tenancy in common, where a deceased tenant's share is passed on to their heirs.

What is it called when two people are on a deed?

Joint tenancy is a legal term for an arrangement that defines the ownership interests and rights among two or more co-owners of real property.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disadvantages of joint tenancy with right of survivorship?

Disadvantages of joint tenants with right of survivorship JTWROS accounts involving real estate may require all owners to consent to selling the property. Frozen bank accounts. In some cases, the probate court can freeze bank accounts until the estate is settled.

Does NYS real estate license expire?

A Real Estate Broker license is good for two years. Your license expiration date is printed on the license. Three months prior to your license expiration date, you are sent an email and post card reminder that it's time to renew your real estate license.

How long do you have to renew your real estate license after it expires in NY?

If your NY real estate license has been expired for more than 2 years, you must retake the NY state licensing exam and apply for a new real estate license.

What is the advantage of joint tenancy when someone dies?

A joint tenant with the right of survivorship is a legal ownership structure involving two or more parties for an account or another asset. Each tenant has an equal right to the account's assets and is afforded survivorship rights if the other account holder(s) dies.

What is the downside to joint tenancy?

Key Takeaways. Some of the main benefits of joint tenancy include avoiding probate courts, sharing responsibility, and maintaining continuity. The primary pitfalls are the need for agreement, the potential for assets to be frozen, and loss of control over the distribution of assets after death.

What destroys joint tenancy?

They are: (1) recording a written declaration, (2) an express or implied agreement of the joint tenants to terminate the joint tenancy, (3) a partition judgment, (4) another form of judgment such as a divorce or probate action, or (5) an execution sale. (Miller & Starr 3 Cal. Real Estate § 11:27.)

How much does it cost to get a real estate license in PA?

Sample Pennsylvania Real Estate License Costs
Prelicensing classes (75 hours)$419-$685 (through The CE Shop)
Exam registration$49
Background check$22
License application$97
Total Costs:$636-$902
Sep 26, 2023

How much is a real estate license in NY?

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in New York? Becoming a real estate professional in New York isn't prohibitively expensive. When all is said and done, an aspiring agent will spend around $500 to $1,000 to get their license, while a broker can expect to pay around $950 to $1,450.

How long does it take to get a realtor license in PA?

Within four months The amount of time to get your Pennsylvania real estate salesperson license varies due to the number of steps involved. Most complete the requirements within four months. These include completing education, submitting an application for the license, passing the background check, and taking the licensing exam.


How do I get my real estate license in Long Island?
  1. Submit a completed application and the required fee to the Department of State.
  2. Be 18 years old.
  3. Have successfully completed 77 hours of approved qualifying education.
  4. Pass the NYS Real Estate Salesperson examination.
  5. Be sponsored by a NYS licensed Real Estate Broker.
How much does a realtor make in PA?
Real Estate Agent Salary in Pennsylvania. $61,200 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $94,100 is the 75th percentile.
How long does it take to get your real estate license in NY?
5-6 months Getting Your NY Real Estate License In A Classroom Weekly classroom courses are designed for students to complete the course in 5-6 months. Complete the course during your daily class time – If you are completing the NY 77-hour pre-licensing course in a classroom setting, some course providers offer daily classes.
How much does it cost to get a NYS real estate license?
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in New York? Becoming a real estate professional in New York isn't prohibitively expensive. When all is said and done, an aspiring agent will spend around $500 to $1,000 to get their license, while a broker can expect to pay around $950 to $1,450.
Is the NY real estate exam difficult?
The passing rate for the New York Real Estate Salesperson Exam is 70%. This test is purposefully difficult, but not impossible. Be sure to pay attention during your pre-license course and take studying seriously. If you put the proper effort forth, we know that you can pass on your first attempt!
Can I take my real estate exam online NYC?
To schedule your exam, send us a message from within your dashboard selecting a location, and we will help coordinate your RELNY school final exam. RELNY now offers to take the final exam online form the comfort of your home! Give us a call or send a text message to 1-877-997-3569 for assistance.
How many times can you take the real estate exam in NY?
You can take the NY state licensing exam as many times as needed until you pass. You simply have to schedule a new attempt through your eAccessNY account and pay the $15 examination fee.
Which form of ownership does not have the right of survivorship?
Tenancy in common Tenancy in common provides no right of survivorship The important distinction between tenancy in common and other types of co-ownership is that, upon death, each owner's interest passes to his heirs or those named in his will.
What is multi ownership with the right of survivorship called?
Co-tenancy or joint tenancy is a concept in property law that is used to describe the various ways that a piece of property can be owned by two or more people at the same time. A JTWROS is one version of co-tenancy that gives co-owners equal rights to the asset in addition to the right of survivorship.

Who signed the sales contract when there is a couple but under only one name in real estate

Which form of ownership is associated with right of survivorship quizlet? The right of survivorship is associated with: Tendency by the entireties and joint tenancy. A joint tenancy would be changed to a tenancy in common by: One of two tenants selling his interest to a third person.
Which of the following types of tenancies gives the right of survivorship? Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship exists when two or more people purchase a property. Each has equal rights to the property, and if one of them passes away, their share of ownership simply passes through to the surviving owner or owners.
Are all joint accounts right of survivorship? It depends on the account agreement and state law. Broadly speaking, if the account has what is termed the “right of survivorship,” all the funds pass directly to the surviving owner. If not, the share of the account belonging to the deceased owner is distributed through his or her estate.
Which illegal act may lead to a real estate salesperson losing his her license? Mishandling or Stealing Client Money One of the most common occurrences of mishandling client finances unfolds when an agent deposits the money from a real estate sale into their personal account as opposed to the title company account.
Which NY law allows the DOS to revoke suspend fine or reprimand a real estate broker? Real Property Law §441-c Real Property Law §441-c provides, in part, that the Department of State may revoke, suspend, fine or reprimand a real estate broker or salesperson if that licensee is found to have, among other things, violated any provision of Article 12-A of the Real Property Law, engaged in fraud or fraudulent practices, or
What is the Article 12-A of the New York State Real Property law? No person shall be entitled to a license as a real estate broker under this article, either as an individual or as a member of a co-partnership, or as a member or manager of a limited liability company or as an officer of a corporation, unless he or she is twenty years of age or over, a citizen of the United States or
What happens if my NYS real estate license expires? If your license happens to expire, you have a period of two years from the date of expiration to renew your license. If you fail to renew within that period, you will be required to pass the state written examination and submit a new salesperson/broker application and fee.
What are the consequences when a real estate salesperson is found guilty of violating any provision of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act? Licensees found to have violated the PHRA are subject to sanctions up to and including the suspension or revocation of their real estate license.
What is the prediction for New York real estate in 2023? Home prices in New York have steadily increased over the past 18 years, growing from a median price of around $280,000 in 2005 to $405,000 in 2023—a total increase of 44%. Over the next year, NYSAR expects home values to increase by 4%.
  • Is now a good time to buy real estate in New York?
    • The New York City market had a quieter third quarter this year, with sales in Manhattan dropping 33.2%, from 11,111 to 7,421, in 2022. Broadly, the fall might be the "sweet spot" for buyers this year. In a separate report, Zillow found 9.2% of home listings had a price cut in the week ending September 16.
  • Will 2023 be a good time to buy a house?
    • According to C.A.R.'s monthly Consumer Housing Sentiment Index, in April 2023, 59% of consumers said it was a good time to sell, up from 55% the previous. Only about 25% feel it is a good time to buy a home, unchanged from last year.
  • Should I buy a house now or wait for recession?
    • And as you might imagine, recessions are a risky time to buy a home. If you lose your job, for example, a lender will be much less likely to approve your loan application. Even if the recession doesn't affect you directly, if your area is hard-hit, that could have a serious effect on the local real estate market.
  • Is it a good time to buy a house in upstate New York?
    • Yes, but not significantly. According to the New York State Association of Realtors, the median sale price across the state dropped by 2 percent from July 2022 to July 2023. Redfin data also shows a slight dip of 1.6 percent year-over-year.
  • Can two people claim a house on their taxes?
    • When a property is jointly owned by more than one individual, the following tax rules apply: For unmarried couples and unrelated individuals, each taxpayer can only claim the portion of any expenses, such as mortgage interest or real estate taxes, that they actually paid.
  • How do two people on a mortgage file taxes?
    • The owner whose name is on the 1098 reports their share on Schedule A on the line for "Home mortgage interest ... reported on Form 1098." The other owners report their shares on Schedule A on the line for "Home mortgage interest not reported to you on Form 1098."
  • Who reports capital gains on a joint account?
    • Any interest, dividends, or capital gains are reported under each spouse's individual tax ID and go on their personal tax returns. Even if only one spouse generates all the investment income, it is split and reported equally on both spouses' tax returns.
  • Who claims property taxes when married filing separately?
    • Share: When claiming married filing separately, mortgage interest would be claimed by the person who made the payment. Therefore, if one of you paid alone from your own account, that person can claim all of the mortgage interest and property taxes.
  • What happens if 2 people in the same house claim head of household?
    • Two people cannot file as head of household on the same return. If they are married then they typically must either file as married filing jointly on the same return or married filing separately on separate returns.

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