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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33757
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I agreed to sell a portion of my property to my next door

Customer Question

Hello ~ I agreed to sell a portion of my property to my next door neighbor. We drew up a little hand written contract stating " Sold to Alicia------ , 2.5 acres....... ". We agreed that it was a finalized sale even though the survey for the minor land division had not been done yet. She paid a $3000 earnest money to cover the cost of the survey. Later, she decided she did not want to buy the property and she now wants the entire $3000 back. I said I'd give back $1000 because I needed to pay for the survey, but, she wants the entire $3000. What do I need to do?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney whowill 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.

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If you have a written contract, it is legally binding unless the contract gives her some option to cancel and receive her money back.

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So if she just changed her mind, she is simply out of luck here and you are under no legal obligation to give her back anything at all. You just have to formalize te division and then transfer the property to her via deed.

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Now if she wants to "sell" you the property back, for $2000 and you want to buy it, then that is a reasonable price considering you have spend $1K on it.

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But it is kind of ridiculous for her to threaten to sue you over $3K when she is clearly in the wrong and an attorney will charge her $1500-2000 to represent her in small claims court where she will lose.

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So it is up to you what you want to do, but know that you are legally in the right here and have no obligation to refund any of her money if you choose not to.

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thanks

Barrister

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