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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
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I would like to know if a person tells you that they own a

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I would like to know if a person tells you that they own a house and they want to sell it, you tell them that you want to buy it from them, and you and the alleged owner open a escrow so you can buy the house and while in escrow you find out from the title company that the seller does not own the house and has no authorization from the true owners to sale there house. Question; can this transaction between the buyer and seller be completed, I mean can title be conveyed to the buyer in esctow when the seller does not have a right to sign a conveyance deed to the buyer? What laws or statutes address a situation like this one ?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

What you are describing is a situation where the potential seller has no ownership. As a consequence he cannot transfer title because he himself does not own that title. Transferring title to the buyer would be considered fraud (a person cannot sell what he doesn't own). So no, a title cannot be conveyed, at least not valid title. The seller may potentially convey a "quitclaim" deed which would have only the person's 'interest' but not ownership in the title, but then there is a risk that if that ownership interest is zero (which is what it is currently), the buyer will likewise buy no interest from the seller. But at least the basic rule is that a person cannot sell or transfer what he himself does not own or possess.

Good luck.

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