Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Virginia

real estate contract

I am in the process of buying a house from my brother. The mortgage is in his name but the the deed is in his name and his soon to be ex wife name. I signed a purchase agreement with him. Now she is refusing to move. What legal action can be taken?

Thank You

Asked on 1/05/08, 4:02 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: real estate contract

You signed a purchase agreement with your brother that cannot be consummated unless the other co-owner(his wife) also agrees to the sale.(She now legally owns as much of the property as your brother even though her name is not on the mortgage.)

Your brother can buy out the interest of his wife, but if she refuses, the deal is pretty much off unless he wants to explore the possibilty of filing a partition suit in the local circuit court which may not be feasible since the defendant spouse in such a suit legally occupies the subject property as a co-owner.

However, since you used the phrase "soon to be ex wife" in your question, this would suggest that a divorce may be pending between the couple, and, if so, the property will likely then be disposed of through a negotiated property settlement agreement or by the court process of equitable distribution which could

then provide you with the opportunity to purchase it unencumbered by the current refusal of your sister-in-law to sign and sell her interest.

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Answered on 1/05/08, 6:22 pm
John Steele Steele Law Firm
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Re: real estate contract

I am an IL lawyer, but have done enough divorces to know that you want this transaction dealt with in the divorce court. Why? Because you don't want to be in litigation with the brothers ex. Have your brother bring the issue before the divorce judge and get an order to sell the marital home.

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Answered on 1/05/08, 7:18 pm

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