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  • Writer's pictureTamara Heidel

Real Estate: True Crime Edition

We have been doing real estate for over 20 years now! That doesn't mean we’re old 😂 …but it certainly gives us some stories to tell. Most of the time, our transactions have navigable twists and turns. However, one particular transaction included a prisoner in a maximum security prison.

Here’s the story:

I took a listing in a beautiful neighborhood in Summerlin. The home was lovely. The buyer was a recently divorced lady who was buying a home on her own (very nice!). The inspection went well. The seller completed all the requested repairs. So far, so good! We were getting ready for closing only to discover the nice lady buyer is not actually divorced and her husband needed to sign a quit claim deed relinquishing his rights to the home. Crap! (In a community property state, a spouse cannot buy property on their own without the other spouse signing a quit claim.) Fine—let's just get the husband into the title company to sign! Side note: I was blown away that a wife could not buy property without her husband weighing in. I guess it does provide protection in the event one partner wants to buy secret property for a mister/mistress.

Turns out the husband was serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in California. Now, that is a complication! Let the freak out begin! My sellers have a moving truck in their front yard and need the money from this house to close on the house they are moving to. The buyer suddenly doesn't speak English and has no idea what is happening. Thank goodness the buyer's agent was willing to work on a solution.

Since you can't randomly walk into a maximum security prison, arrangements needed to be made and that wasn’t exactly easy. We extended escrow by a week, but it can take a month to set up appointments at the prison. After lots and lots of begging, the buyer's agent was let in. Then, the convict husband decided he would not sign unless he is given some sort of compensation. I told the agent to take one for the team! 😂 It all worked out in the end and the house closed, but wow, that was a wild ride!



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