Riverside Realtor Blog - Alma Dizon

Alma shares her experiences and observations as a Realtor in Riverside California.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The seller got a sex change in escrow

It’s fantastic what you can get these days all at one place, such as a one-stop market for clothes, groceries, and caskets. A seller of mine recently got a sex change in escrow, and it was so easy. (Please note: names and details have been changed to protect the privacy of the … otherwise greatly embarrassed.)

I first became aware of a problem when I opened up the packet of documents that I was carrying to my sellers and saw that the cover letter began, “Dear Mr. Juana Arias.” I laughed, thinking that it was just a typo, and when I got to my sellers’ house, I told them about it, saying that it was a funny error considering that I’ve only known women at the escrow companies I’ve worked with.

Then we got to the grant deed that would require signatures in front of a notary public, and we got a big of a shock. It read: “Mr. Juana Arias, a married man, who took title as a single man, and Mrs. Guadalupe Arias, a married woman, who took title as a single woman...”

Juana and Lupe were sisters with long wavy hair and physical dimensions that would never lead anyone to think that they were male. Luckily for me, they thought the picture of themselves as man and wife more hilarious than insulting.

It was Sunday, so I couldn’t call escrow to find out what had gone wrong. I did call a notary public friend of mine, and he told me that there was just too much incorrect information to cross out and that no notary public could sign off on it. Escrow would have to redo the vesting.

The next day, I called escrow to ask about it.

“Oops,” said the escrow officer, “it should be Juan.”

“Actually,” I told her, “they’re Ms. Juana and Ms. Guadalupe, and they’re not married to anybody.”

“That’s weird,” she said. “We wouldn’t have made this up. Let me make some calls and find out what’s going on.”

She called me back a few minutes later to tell me that the error had occurred when Juana and Lupe first bought the house. Apparently, the vesting had gotten Juana’s gender wrong, and the notary public must have been blind. She could correct the mistake, but only by giving Juana a sex change.

The corrected version thus read, “Ms. Juana Arias, a single woman, who took title as a single man, and Ms. Guadalupe Arias, a single woman…”

In the future, if the house gets resold and people don’t know the history, someone is going to think that Juana was a transsexual. It’s amazing what escrow can do for people!

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