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 Alex J. Esq. Your Own Question
Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16623
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Alex J. Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am trying to buy a property in Florida from abroad. I have

This answer was rated:

I am trying to buy a property in Florida from abroad. I have undertaken the agreed Due Diligence and spent circa $2500 for professional surveys, site assessment, building design and footprint assessments with the county etc. I have also just drawn down the purchase value (some $500K) from a home equity loan in my home country of Australia and transferred it across to the US in readiness for settlement.

We are supposed to settle on the property in less than two weeks, but the seller has now informed my estate agent that there is an IRS tax lien against the property that could take up to 3 months to get removed.

Given this delay, at minimum I will lose out on the $1100 per month rental income from the property to be purchased, and in parallel I will suffer interest at 5.25% p.a. on the $500K in Australia. This equates to $70 AUD (USD$ 67) per day in interest.

Is there any way I can force the seller to meet the initial commitment date or at least seek financial remedy for my out of pocket costs for every day of delay? Note if I move the US$ back to Australia and temporarily repay the equity loan and then redraw in (say) three months and send it back to the US for settlement I stand to lose a lot in FOREX transaction fees and buy/sell spreads, not to mention the exchange rate volatility risks.

Can I lobby the IRS to assist? What can/should I do?


Hello. My name isXXXXX am a Florida licensed attorney and I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation.

Can you please let me know if you are represented in this transaction by a local Florida licensed real estate attorney?

Does your purchase and sale contract list specific deadline for the closing on this property?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Alex,


No, I don't have an attorney representing me on this transaction.


The purchase & sale contract agreed and signed by both parties has a specific closing date of June 25th






Thank you for your follow up.

Since the seller is unable to close by the due date, this means that the seller is in the breach of your sale and purchase agreement and you should consult and retain local Florida real estate attorney who can represent you in this transaction and if the seller does not close by June 25 this local Florida attorney can send a notice of breach to the seller and demand that if the seller needs an extension for another 90 days, that the seller has to compensate you for your damages by lowering the price to the property in the amount of your losses due to breach.

Unfortunately, until you buy this property, you personally would not be able to lobby before IRS or address any issues related to any issues with the title to the property, as this would be responsibility of the seller.

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Alex,


I'll need to weigh up the cost of legal representation to seek cost recovery vs just waiting for settlement to happen and bearing the costs, so are you able to provide a quote or quotes to represent me and undertake the following:


- review existing documentation and title/sale and purchase paperwork

- respond to the seller with my desire to seek compensation via a reduced rate on the property value if not settled in time

-determine value of compensation to be claimed etc and pursue

- Assist if required with the actual close the transaction


Also, I may revisit and need legal guidance and assistance on setting up an LLC to hold the property if the settlement is actually delayed (I've read up on the various options and chose not to do this and instead to increase my life insurance to cover any risk of estate tax owing upon death, but I revisit this)





Thank you for your follow up.

While I am flattered with your inquiry, I am strongly prohibited form providing any type of legal service or legal representation to customer.

It would be difficult to estimate what some local attorneys would charge for the legal representation that you need but the average attorney's hourly rate in Florida can be between $150-$350 an hour, depending on experience, training, etc...and it is generally difficult to estimate the amount of time your legal matter might take, so you would get billed for the actual time a local attorney works on your case.

Given the issue with the tax lien and a delay with the closing, I would strongly urge you not to rely on your Realtor (who is not an attorney and cannot provide you with any legal representation) or the title company (which is nearly a neutral closing agent which issued title insurance on the property), but to consult and retain local real estate attorney who can make sure that your legal rights and interests are properly protected in this transaction.

I wish you the best of luck!
Alex J. Esq. and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you