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Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire, Attorney at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16558
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Real Estate Law Mentor
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We are currently under contract to buy a home. Our real

Customer Question

We are currently under contract to buy a home. Our real estate agent made a mistake and misinformed us about the home inspection deadline. We ended up submitting our response to the seller one day late (10 days was the deadline). We did an extensive inspection and found many problems. Our realtor admitted it was his fault (and we have that evidence on email, along with the incorrect timelines for the inspection deadline). It appears that the seller will counter our offer in writing with a new offer (originally conveyed to our agent over the phone) that is not acceptable to us. We are very concerned about our $10,000 earnest money. If we receive a counter offer in writing, does that nullify our 'missed deadline' liability and safeguard our earnest money? thanks for your insight!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is***** will be happy to answer your question.
I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.

Is the "counter-offer" the amount of credit / concession the seller is willing to offer to cover any repair costs / defects the inspection has revealed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The counter offer partially covers the repair costs/defects. The inspection unveiled numerous problems, i.e. main drain clog, rodents in the attic, non-functioning fireplace (and the other fireplace is a fire hazard in current condition). The counter-offer will allegedly cover the pest problem (a condition of our VA loan) but will not address the other issues (and the owner did not disclose the problems with the fireplaces, which could cost in the several thousands of dollars). Because we missed the inspection deadline, does the fact that the seller is submitting a counter 1) keep our earnest money safe; and 2) allow us to back out of the deal, given that the seller is not willing to allow us to reinspect or repair the defects?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We would like to know what our liabilities would be in this case?
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow up.

I cannot comment on your specific case, but does the answer would depend on how the written response from the seller would be warded.

If it is worded as an offer to give concessions / credit toward the purchase price based on the findings contained in the inspection report, it would not be considered legally a "counter-offer", but a "good will" credit /concession offer by the seller, which would not void the original contract and seller will be able to enforce the terms of the original real estate contract and if the seller fails to complete transaction and close on the property, would be able to pursue legal claim for damages / earnest money deposit.

So, it is important to consult and hire an experienced local real estate attorney, who can review the entire situation, including all the documents, and hopefully help you reach a resolution with the seller or pursue claim against the realtor for any potential professional malpractice.

You can find an experienced and skilled local real estate law attorney by using this established and reputable attorney information / referral websites:

www.lexmundi.com
www.martindale.com
www.lawyers.com
www.legalmatch.com
When, choosing a local attorney to represent you, it would be a good idea to choose someone who has a practice exclusively dedicated to real estate law, has at least 10 years of experience and handled similar matters and also regularly practices before the court located in the jurisdiction where your matter might be heard.
I wish you the best of luck!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the reply -- if the seller adds some of the stipulations listed, aside from the credit, i.e. the pest inspection, would that constitute a counter offer?
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow up.

Generally not.

A counter-offer is made when buyer and seller initially negotiate the price, not once both are under legal sale and purchase contract.

I wish you the best of luck!

Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions?
If not, please positively rate and accept my answer, so I can be compensated for my work.
Thank you.

Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions?

If not, please positively rate and accept my answer, so I can be compensated for my work.

Thank you.

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