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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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I listed a lot and received an offer. I counter offered and

Customer Question

I listed a lot for sale and received an offer. I counter offered and the buyer accepted the counter on 7/7/15 in the state of CA. On 7/21/15, the buyer expressed concern over a utility pole which they said was in the middle of the lot. I indicated I was not aware of any such pole, had not granted any easement for a pole but I would go out and look. The buyers expressed that the pole was in the middle of the lot and would not sign off. On 7/23/15 I advised that I had looked and the pole was not on the property to the best of my knowledge as it was in the direct line of the surveyed property stakes. On 7/24/15 I asked my realtor if the time had run for the contingency to be removed. On 7/26/15 the buyers advised they would not close without an easement for the pole and for the lines. I advised my realtor that I had no easement, again that I did not believe it was on the line and that we should cancel the deal. I then emailed my realtor again on 7/26 saying 'lets cancel'. I did not hear anything back. On July 30th I emailed my realtor again saying I had not heard back from her but I believed the contingency time was up. My realtor then asked to meet me to see the property line. I met her on July 31 at the property. I advised her again that I wanted to cancel. I then showed her the property line and she agreed the pole was not on the line. As I was leaving, the buyers agent arrived. I was introduced, she asked where the property line was. I pointed it out, and then I left as they walked off. I immediately emailed her that day of 7/31 again advising her that I had asked to cancel two times in writing and once in person and that I was confused as to what she was doing. That afternoon my realtor forwarded me a document advising that the buyers removed all their contingencies and were wiring the money on 8/3 to close the deal. On 8/3 they did wire the money to the title company. I am frustrated because I asked to cancel in writing two times, asked two times if the period was up, never heard back and now I am scared I am trapped in a deal that I tried to cancel through my agent. I spoke with her today and asked why the deal kept moving forward when I had told her on several occasions that I wanted to cancel. She advised that she believed it was the best offer we were going to get and that she was trying to act in my best interest by keeping the deal moving forward. What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.
1. What contingency are you referring to that was to be removed?
2. As you sit here today, do you know whether the date to remove contingencies had passed?
This seems like a very crucial matter for you, and your questions and issues suggest that an in-depth conversation might better suit your needs. If you are interested, I can offer you a phone conference as opposed to continuing in this question and answer thread. I will make that offer to you after I get this posted to your question thread. All you need do is accept the offer if you would like me to call.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
P.S- my communications to my realtor on 7/23, 7/24, 7/26 and 7/30 and the follow up on 7/31 were all in email form. I did not receive a response to the emails until 7/31. On 7/31 I advised her again orally I wanted to cancel, she said 'lets see'. I then emailed her that I was confused why she was not cancelling. Then that afternoon she sent me the buyers removal of contingencies. There had been no response to my emails of 7/23, 7/24, 7/26 or 7/30.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Please refer to the information I asked for as well as my phone offer.
Thanks in advance,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi- I am not somewhere I can talk. I assume the contingency removal period that is standard in ca real estate contracts. The offer was signed off by both parties on 7/7/15. I believe the period is 17 days which would have made it 7/23 or 7/24. I have no idea if the day the contract is signed counts. That is why I asked my realtor if the contingency period was up. I wanted to cancel. I did not ever hear back. On 7/23 I gave info about the pole in writing, on 7/24 I asked if the period was up in writing, on 7/26 I said "lets cancel" in writing. On 7/30 I again asked if it was up in writing. No response to those emails. On 7/31 I advised in person and in writing that I wanted to cancel.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
A financing contingency is generally 17 days. What contingency are you referring to?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Item 19 on page 6 of 11 of the VLPA form. It starts "time periods: removal of contingencies; cancellation rights: the following time periods may only be extended altered, modified or changed by mutual written agreement, ..... then down below on item B it says Buyer has 17 days after acceptance unless otherwise agreed in writing to ...complete buyer investigations, review all disclosures, reports.... etc...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
then item C - sellers right to cancel....
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Again, what contingency are you claiming was removed? Did the buyers invoke any contingencies at all, in writing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
On 7/31/15 my realtor indicated they signed a "full contingency removal" including any issues as to the pole etc. My concern is I had asked to cancel BEFORE that.....
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good evening,
Dealing with CA real estate contract is a fact intensive matter and without your help in getting me factual information about the transaction that I need, I can't reasonably assist you---and at least give you a correct answer.
Would you like for me to simply PRESUME that there were contingencies set out in the sale contract and that those contingencies were NOT removed before the date set for the removal in the contract?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I indicated- it was the standard contingency clause in a standard real estate contract. I am not feeling like you know what is on a standard real estate contract in CA. I will be seeking a refund. Thank you for your time.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
I am a CA attorney and a former CA Real Estate Broker. I am of course familiar with CA real estate contracts, and there is no one standard form, but many variants to choose from.
I am not so naive as to believe that a contingency cannot be written into a contract that varies from the boilerplate language contained in the typical form----which would make the contract less than "standard", and that was the reason for my inquiry.
I am unable to further assist you in this matter, and I am going to opt out of your question.
Your question is being placed back in the question list for other professionals to see, and to respond to. You do not have to stay online for the question to be active. Should another professional pick it up, you should be alerted by email unless you actively disable this feature.
There is no need for you to reply at this time as this may "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying other professionals' access to it.

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