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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 23475
Experience:  9+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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I was set to close for a property but backed out two days before

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I was set to close for a property but backed out two days before closing after my agent presented me with HOA regulations for the property. They were extremely restrictive and I no longer wanted the property. The home was built in 1980 and required updating on the exterior (sky lights, new entrance door, larger slider doors, etc -- all of which are not allowed) The seller is very angry and threatening to sue. Btw, after viewing the property, I mentioned to my agent i wanted the property and would update the exterior with skylights, new entrance door (removing the dated storm door) and adding a slider door to the master bedroom. She thought that would look great -- shouldn't she instead advised me that this would not be possible?!
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. In the purchase and sale contract, was there a clause in it that advised you that there was an HOA and required a copy of the rules and regulations to be presented? Moreover, did you ever ask to see and read these, during your time for inspection and due diligence? Do you know if your Realtor knew of any restrictions as well?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I requested a copy of the HOA association rules and was given a copy five days before closing. I asked why it took so long to get a copy and was told by the Listing Agent that Maryland law stipulates the HOA rules must be presented to the buyer five days before closing. I believe my realtor should have made an effort to find out more about the HOA association and inform me if there were any restrictions as i had mentioned the upgrades I wanted to make to the home.

Roland, thank you for the additional information. In order to hold the Realtor liable, you would first have to show that she knew that what you wanted to do, could not be done, as a result of the restrictions. If she mislead you or provided you with false information, which you lied on in buying the home, you could have a case against her. Moreover, as the buyer, you have a legal obligation to perform your due diligence to make sure the changes which you wanted to make on the home, were allowed. While I certainly understand the desire to upgrade the home, which is common, you still have an obligation to make sure it is allowed and should have obtained a copy or spoken with the seller, who could have provided you a copy of the rules as well, prior to or shortly after signing the contract. Unless the sale of the home was contingent upon your ability to upgrade it, the seller could have a legal basis to sue you for damages. Those damages should have been stated in the sales contract, so you know what your liability and exposure is. In a situation like this, you may want to speak with the seller and ask about what type of relief they are requesting and what damages they have suffered. It may be a situation where it is more favorable to settle and walk away, rather then close on the home and be stuck with something that you do not want. At the same time, you are under no legal obligation to settle and can wait and see if the seller is going to do anything or try and keep any deposits, which are in escrow. If so, then the matter would need to be litigated, so counsel should be obtained.

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