I'm in Albuquerque and need help asap. My brother (PR) for estate in Kennebunkport Maine, agreed to sell the house without all of us agreeing. The last appraisal was $485,000 and he agreed to a cash sale of $305,000 on 2/12. 4 siblings are mentioned in the will as equal devises and are asked to sign constent to the terms and conditions of the sale, and were notified this past Monday. No terms and conditions were included, not even a purchase price. I fianlly got this information from the buyer's attorney who said they did not give us our 10 days to review this information because the PR said everyone was in agreement. The closing date is Monday, and I have worked all week and unable to make contact with anyone due to time zones, in addition to being sick and recovering from pneumonia. Tomorrow is the first chance I can look at this, and my husband will not be here because his mother is dying and he's off to Oregon. My big question is can we have more time to have our questions answered before signing? I've received NOTHING in writing throughout this entire process that dates back to October. My brother says that if we do not close on Monday, the buyers can sue the estate for the cash value of the property. That sounds like a threat. Can you clarify this for me? I would be SO GRATEFUL.Thank you,Denise
State/Country relating to question: Maine
nothing...this is happening so fast
Actually, if your brother did not have authority to make the sale without consent of the heirs and he misrepresented himself to the buyer, HE can be PERSONALLY liable because he intentionally misrepresented the approval of the other heirs. Thus, if the buyer sues the estate for breach of contract, the heirs would sue the estate representative for breach of duty and intentional misrepresentation and he would be personally liable to any damage to the estate. Now, you will need to get your own probate attorney in Maine to try to delay or stop the sale, since there is a contract entered into with the buyer, and you can argue that the contract is invalid because of the misrepresentation, but that would require an attorney up in Maine to do for you. Also, you can contact the attorney representing the buyer to negotiate for an extension of time to close to review the offer based on the misrepresentation of the representative to him and it is up to the buyer to agree to this (a prudent attorney would advise him to do so if it would avoid any protracted and costly litigation). If this sale were to be brought to the court, the court may allow the sale if your brother can prove that despite the last appraisal, because of the poor real estate market due to the bad economy that the price he offered the property for sale at was reasonably close to the average sales of similar homes in that area. This is the other thing you need to look at in determining whether or not you want to agree to the sale.
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Thank you for the information. If the buyer's attorney does not grant us more time, can the probate court give us more time? Also, if they sue for breach of contract, how much money can they sue for? The PR says they can sue for the entire value of the property.
Yes, the probate court could delay the sale, but then the buyer could still sue the estate and representative for breach of contract if the buyer does not agree to the extension. They could sue for the value of the property as they would be entitled to reasonable damages from your breach, such as actual losses they can prove they suffered. As I said, because of his misrepresentation the PR could end up personally liable for those damages.
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