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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 22609
Experience:  14 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years
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If a contract from seller is signed on 10-18-13 Friday and

Customer Question

If a contract from seller is signed on 10-18-13 Friday and no contract back from buyer signed, then the seller that day pays for an appraisal and it appraises for more than seller has been led to believe then seller along with that and doing $4000.00 in upgrades to keep price at more of what they want, then the buyer calls their realtor which in turn seller gets call from their realtor that buyer would like a meeting with seller on saturday the 19th to discuss new price and why..The seller states botXXXXX XXXXXne price and seller counters with another offer higher than in contract, and then another higher than that to the seller and seller state botXXXXX XXXXXne stayes as is with sellers last number then 10-20-13 a signed contract from them with the price from 10-18-13 comes over in an email today Sunday or they will get a lawyer and want price that was on contract from Friday is the seller obligated to sell at that number or having now to sell at all to anyone? Especially since no contract presented with Saturday meeting with buyers (2) seller (1) and two realtors sitting and discussing new price since upgrades and appraisal??
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Let me see if I have the timeline correct here...
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Seller sent a signed offer to sell to buyer on 10/18. Buyer did not sign the offer to sell.
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Buyer sets up meeting with seller on the 19th and seller makes new higher offer to buyer.
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Buyer counters with another offer on the property at the meeting lower than sellers new higher price.
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Buyer then sends back original 10/18 contract seller signed accepting the 10/18 price on Sunday.
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Does that sound right?
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If not, feel free to correct me. (there are a couple places above where you say "seller" and I think you mean buyer". For example "The seller states botXXXXX XXXXXne price and seller counters with another offer higher than in contract")
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Yes you are correct in where I should have said "buyer". Yes we sat at the house I am selling which I agreed to for a 10:30AM appointment. They wanted to know some more details in regard to what I did in regard to upgrades and repairs while I was living in the house and then they asked why I decided to come back up in price. I explained I had just paid for an appraisal for my own information along with being able to share that with purchasers. That appraisal was higher than I was led to believe. I also explained to them what new upgrades had been done in the last 18 days (bathrooms, lighting, new window in master bedroom for view to the lake in back yard, painting etc.,) They did offer $8000.00 more than the contract from Friday, I said NO, my realtor called later that day (Saturday) stating they would even go $4000.00 over that, I said NO and gave her AGAIN the botXXXXX XXXXXne number. which was $382.00. Not $362,000 nor $370,000.00 nor $374,000.00.


They now are saying they signed for $362,000.00 Friday, but I did not, their realtor did not nor did my realtor receive that until today...???


So why did they want to meet with me on Saturday to discuss price and why on Saturday afternoon did they make two other offers after I specifically with all parties present decline and state my price would be higher due to appraisal and value of my land, property, condition of house, location..?? I have to approach my realtor tomorrow as to what direction we go, as she is very willing to work with me but not able to legally guide me. I suggested maybe I would call a lawyer in the am prior to her going to their realtor with any word one way or another. she said thanks and she would appreciate that. ??? help please

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Ok, the buyers are out of luck, plain and simple. When you met with them on Sat prior to them accepting and delivering a contract signed by them and demanded a higher price, that would have revoked the 10/18 offer and it would be dead. They could no longer accept that offer unless you made it again. The negotiations back and forth would just be counter offers and counter-counter offers.
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What they tried to do is go back in time and accept an offer that was dead, which legally they can't do.
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So at this point, if you haven't agreed on a new price in writing signed by both parties, there is no legally binding contract that either party could enforce and you are back to the point where you were before you even met.
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Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 22609
Experience: 14 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years
Barrister and 5 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Oh thank you so much..Just want to confirm that that is the law in SC as I have been told it is so different than NY where I am orig from. If this is the case then wow maybe I can sleep and maybe tomorrow we can all come to a fair, reasonable price that we all will be content and happy with as a home is a very personal place for all. I do appreciate your time and hope I do not encounter any other issues tomorrow with this.


Thanks Rosie

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Oh thank you so much..Just want to confirm that that is the law in SC as I have been told it is so different than NY where I am orig from
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Yes, this is a universal concept in contract law that once an offer for the sale of real estate is revoked, it can't be revived. If they didn't accept it in writing prior to revocation, the offer dies.
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Now they can lie and say they accepted it in writing on 10/18, but no judge would believe them due to the next day meeting and the multiple offers and counter offers that were made.
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So I think the buyer is out of luck in trying to claim that they accepted the offer on 10/18 before you revoked it.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I just found out that this information is not true in SC??? Once a contract is signed even if there is verbal communication in regard to a price change and even if that document was not delivered to me or realtor, it is still a legal agreement once they signed?? They did go to their bank today with that and got a preapproval letter?? So I did not get the proper legal advice???

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Once a contract is signed even if there is verbal communication in regard to a price change and even if that document was not delivered to me or realtor, it is still a legal agreement once they signed??
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That would potentially be true. If they got the contract in the mail, signed it but you hadn't received it, that is correct, it would still be binding. But in your situation, you revoked the offer before they signed it, so the offer was cancelled and they could not accept it.
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That was the reason that I said they could lie and state that they signed it on 10/18 but no judge would believe them because if that was the case, then there would be no reason for them to meet with you the next day and offer more money when you said you wanted more. The could have simply said "We already signed the contract so you are bound". So clearly they went back home after your meeting and then signed the contract and lied and backdated it. That doesn't make a binding legal contract.
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The reason their bank has given them a pre-approval letter is because they took the void, backdated, fraudulent signed 10/18 contract to them and said "Look, we have a signed contract". That doesnt' make it legally binding.
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Now that doesn't mean that they won't try to enforce it, but I would opine that they will lose if they try and you fight them. It simply doesn't make sense if they really signed it on 10/18 and a judge will call them on it.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I did speak this am to a real estate lawyer whom I have used here in SC and he felt different due to the new laws here. When my realtor went back on Friday and told them I was changing the price to a higher amount and yes they did not at that time state "we already signed and here it is" in a fax, email or in person and yes then requested a meeting for Saturday due to they needed to know where we stood due to they also wanted a pool company to say they could put in a pool later if they purchased..And yes at that time, still I had no contract, both realtors were there....That is why I am surprised this would be termed as "legal binding contract" which no one presented to me on Saturday, nor Saturday night when they came back with a offer from $362,000.00 to $370,000.00 which my realtor went back to them with a NO, then they came back again that evening with $374,000.00 with me paying closing cost, I said NO my bottom line is $382,000.00.


I would be willing to maybe discuss, but feel as I am being told it would end up in court, cost me $, time and having my property held up in a court battle so not being able to take in any other offers...


I am sure you have this timeline and info correct, but I do want to clarify that I did agree to $362,000.00 on Friday, I signed and my realtor emailed that to their realtor, but I nor anyone else saw that contract till Sunday in an email. ?? I'm very confused at the different information I am getting. But I strongly feel that no contract presented to me on Saturday and 2 other offers (verbally) should be reason enough for me to feel I have no contract with them and if they want to work with me fine, if not get on with it or let me continue trying to sell..


Frustrated, confused and feel I will be loosing money on this beautiful house that could sell for more than $362,000.00

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
I am virtually certain that it happened exactly as I described above. Anything else doesn't logically make sense. A buyer doesn't offer more if they have accepted a contract for less.
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But as I said, if they try to press it, you will have to refuse to continue with the contract and it might end up in court. And you are correct that it will take time and money to defend, probably not $20,000 worth though. It will also tie up the house until the case is done.
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So although I think you will win in front of a judge if you refuse to agree to sell, only you can make the decision as to whether it is worth the time and trouble to fight about it.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I will let you know the outcome...thanks so much again

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
You are very welcome. Please do give me an update. The buyer may be thinking the same thing about the cost and time to litigate so this may simply be a bluff on their part..
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Not sure if I get your last part? A bluff how? with getting their pre-approval letter...I'm missing something here, sorry. Oh and sticking to "they already have a contract"?

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
Yes, they are bluffing by taking the fraudulent, void, backdated contract to their lender and waving around a preapproval letter. They are doing this in an attempt to try and equate the preapproval letter with meaning that there is a binding contract, which I opine is not there. The bank has no idea about the behind the scenes actions and are just looking at a piece of paper presented to them by the buyer and acting on it.
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So if you maintain the position that no, there is no binding contract and you are not moving forward with any sale, then they have to decide whether to come back to the table or whether to try to sue under a breach of contract theory, which I think they will lose.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Got it..Thanks appreciate your response. I will keep you posted.

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.
You are welcome.
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Have a great evening.
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Barrister

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