Adding Spouse to Purchase Agreement

Adding spouse to purchase agreement

Question: Do I add my spouse as “THE SELLER” on the Purchase Contract even though s/he is not on title?
As a general rule, only the owner(s) shall be listed as the Seller(s) in an agreement (i.e. you can only sell what you own). As a result, the argument can be made that only the title owner needs to be listed as “The Seller” and not the consenting spouse. This argument is buttressed when viewed together with the fact that AREA’s Residential Purchase Contract does require the “Non-owner spouse signature” separately and in addition to the Sellers’ signatures under s. 18 (Acceptance).
In addition, the wording of s. 7 of the contract would not make much sense if the non-owning spouse were to be listed as a Seller. This section in part reads:
7.1 The seller represents and warrants to the buyer that no spouse has dower rights in the Property. Otherwise, if dower rights do    apply, the seller will:
(a) have the non-owning spouse sign this contract; …

Having mentioned the foregoing, we know that as a matter of practice some realtors insist on the non-owning spouse to be listed as a Seller in the contract (regardless of “where” the spouse signs the acceptance (as Seller or non-owning spouse)). This is supposedly to deal with the matter of consent under Dower Act and “may be” based on the argument that even the non-owning spouse has a life-estate and by inference an “equitable interest” in the land.
Until such time as common law decides this debate in favour of one answer over another, we are in no position to make such judgment. The one thing that is for certain though, is that other than arguably the non-owning spouse (where Dower applies), no other person but the title owner shall be added as a seller in the contract.

Leave a Reply