How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33784
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

An elderly female friend of mine (age 66 ) wanted to sell

Customer Question

Good evening. An elderly female friend of mine (age 66 ) wanted to sell her house. She responded to a letter she received fro one of these "WE BUY HOUSES" firms. The man who came out offered her $200,000 as is. He gave her $100 as an ernest money deposit, and they signed a one page agreement. This was done on May 31st, 2016, and was to expire on Dec. 31,2016. The contract also had an assignment clause ( the classic wholesale deal for an A to B to C deal ). He brought potential buyers through to look at house, and told her that they had a deal and would close on Sept. 1st, 2016. She was looking at a home in another part of the state to buy, and proceeded with the purchase by using a home equity loan on her home.She was promised that they would move her from her existing home to the new home after settlement on Sept. 1st, and was assured 100% that the deal was a go for Sept. 1st. She was all packed up and waiting to move. He came by on Sept. 1st and said he was ready to move her. She then asked him for her money ( $200,000 ). He told her that they would have to discuss that later. She told him that she was not giving him keys to house without her money. He had sent her a proof of funds letter stating that his company had $206,000 in their personal account. When she refused to give him possession without her money he left. She tried contacting him but got no response. He then responded about a week later saying his father passed, and he would be in touch within a week. that was on Sept. 7th. In mid Sept. she sent him an e-mail stating that she wanted no further dealings with him. A friend told her to ask for the title search because he was supposed to give her one at least 2 weeks before settlement. She e-mailed request with no response. On October 17th he sent her an e-mail stating that they had the house under contract till Dec. 31, 2016. They said they wanted to do a settlement on Nov. 7th, and that if they didnt hear back from her they were going to file a Lis Pendens. She wants no part of them. Is there any way she can get out of this contract?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month 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 1 month ago.

Is there any way she can get out of this contract?

.

If she sold him an option to purchase the house for $200K that was good until Dec 31st, then he can legally enforce the option contract up until that date.

.

She could refuse to move forward with the sale if he actually tenders the money, but he could then sue her for breach of contract and for "specific performance" to force the sale to go through. Would he do so?... no way to know if he would want to spend $10,000 on an attorney and a year in court to force the sale to go through, but I kind of doubt it..

.

He thought he would be able to quickly flip the house to another investor, but apparently he might have offered too much and now is having trouble finding a buyer.

.

But your friend is very smart to refuse to give him possession of the property until he comes up with the money. With that said, she only has a few more months to wait before she can legally get out of the contract and the fall/winter months are not a very good time for selling real estate.

.

So if he hasn't found a buyer by now, he may be unlikely to do so before the option contract expires.

.

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:
normal">As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a licensed Realtor for over 14 years...<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:
normal">.<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:
normal">.<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:
normal">thanks<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:
normal">Barrister
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Since he has inconvenienced her by not performing the Sept. 1st settlement, and refused to talk with her until he e-mailed her Oct. 17th as well as trying to take possession without remitting money, could she possibly get out of contract in court, or is just legally bound despite the underhanded play? She has kept all the e-mails. He also said he wanrted to do another walkthru within the week to see if house is still in same condition. She dosent want him in her house again after he tried to move her out without giving her the money. She says he's been thru house enough times. Probably wants to show it again.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Since he has inconvenienced her by not performing the Sept. 1st settlement, and refused to talk with her until he e-mailed her Oct. 17th as well as trying to take possession without remitting money, could she possibly get out of contract in court, or is just legally bound despite the underhanded play?

.

I hate to say it, but the underlying date is December 31st... that is when he has to do something by or the option expires. Any promises to close earlier don't really mean anything as that is his "drop dead" date.

.

So I wouldn't believe a word the person said until he was actually ready to sit down at a closing table with a closing company or real estate attorney and that agent shows her a cashier's check with her name on it from the closing company...

.

As for allowing him access, that is dependent on what the contract says... If it says he can inspect with XX hours or days notice, then legally he can do so. She can refuse, and his recourse then is to try to sue her for breach of contract or to try to work something out privately for showings/inspections.

.

Ultimately, if this falls though, if she ever considers this again, she needs to demand enough money to make it worth her while to tie up the property for 6 months...like $5K or so..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Related Real Estate Law Questions