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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35810
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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We just bought a home and paid cash we have the deed and

Customer Question

Hi we just bought a home and paid cash we have the deed and title. The problem is now the seller say's we there was a error and we owe them $32,000.00. We bougth are home freom Shaehomes in Rio Vista Ca 94571. The contract we signed said we would pay $302,000.00 for the home plus up grades.Total of $333,000.00. The problem is they didn't ad the cost up grades to the price of the home. So they closed for $302,000.00. They have cashed are check and now are coming after us. We even had are realtor call the title company twice and ask if that was the right price that it seemed low. Both times the title company said yes it was.She also called Sheahomes and asked them they said that that was the right price. We called and asked and were told that that was the right price.We did everything they asked us to do and more.Now they say becouse of a error we owe $33,000.00 Please help
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Ok, the problem here is that you agreed to the $333K price in the contract, but only paid the $302K. So it would be hard to claim that you had no idea about the mistake at the closing if you were expecting to pay $333K.

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But under the legal doctrine of "Mistake" you don't get to keep the house for the $302K. That doctrine states that if there is either a unilateral or mutual mistake in a contract, then the injured party can reform the contract so as to correct any problem to reflect the true agreement. Also under the legal doctrine of "unjust enrichment" it states that if someone unjustly receives a benefit, they then have to pay for it or return the benefit/good.

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So unfortunately, the closing error is not going to result in you getting to keep that extra $31K ($333-$302) as the seller would have a winning case if they sued under either of the legal doctrines for breach of contract.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The first thing you say is it would be hard to belive we didn't know about the price. I told you that we thought it was less and had are Relator ask them twice about it and we asked once. What more could we do????
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

I am just talking about how a judge would see it if it got that far... He would look at the contract you signed for $333K and say, "Clearly this was a clerical or mathematical mistake, you do owe them the additional $31K" and then issue a judgment in favor of the seller.

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I don't like the outcome here... because you did act in good faith in asking about the price discrepancy and the closing company made the error. But the law won't force the seller to take the loss on something like this because the initial contract is still legally binding.

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thanks

Barrister