Real Estate Law

Have Real Estate Law Questions? Ask a Real Estate Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Real Estate Law

I am trying to get my $20,000 deposit back on a $268,000

Customer Question
home in upstate NY. In...
I am trying to get my $20,000 deposit back on a $268,000 home in upstate NY. In the contract it stipulated that I had to provide "proof of funds" within 7 days--I was not able to do that because the sale of my other house here in NJ fell through. They want to only give me $5, 000 back. Also, it turns out that the contract was initiated by the realtor I hired to sell my upstate house--who is friends with the seller's realtor. Is this legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Answered in 10 minutes by:
10/5/2015
Real Estate Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 2 years ago
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,272
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Verified

I am sorry, could you clarify?

What did you mean by the contract was initiated by the realtor that you hired to sell your upstate house?

Is this realtor also the agent of the seller on the house that you were trying to purchase?

Did you give a notice within the deadline provided in your contract that you could not provide "proof of funds?"

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
The seller, whom I contacted through a friend and not through a realtor, and I, shook hands on $260, 000, and he said he would send me a contract. I waited a week, and my realtor (only hired to sell my upstate house) told me that he was still showing the house. I got very concerned, and that is when my realtor, who was friends with the seller's realtor) initiated the contract. The seller was irate that we had another agent involved and raised the price, and doubled the deposit. I should have walked away then. No, I did not know that the person purchasing my house in NJ couldn't get a mortgage until after the 7 day deadline. Doesn't that mean that the contract was voided?
Real Estate Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 2 years ago

Thank you.

So to be clear, you did not notify the Seller of no proof of funds within the deadline given to give notice and walk away and get your earnest money deposit back?

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I did not notify them of that within 7 days because I did not find out till the end of May that the purchaser of my Teaneck house couldn't get a mortgage. I showed the what I had on hand, and they wanted more proof. Wouldn't it be up to them, if they put the proof of funds time stipulation in there, to release me if I obviously didn't have the funds? Was the contract even valid since I went beyond the 7 days without proof? I kept trying to get the money together till the beginning of June.
Real Estate Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 2 years ago

Did you sign the contract?

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
but unfortunately, the realtor sent it to me before he sent it to my lawyer. My lawyer, unfortunately, was not really protecting me in this matter. I feel I should have had some other mechanism outlining the return of the deposit. He told me after the fact that that was a huge amount for a deposit up there in the country---why didn't he tell me that? Also, my realtor, encouraged me to waive the right to have it inspected because it would speed things along. I really feel there was some collusion between him and the seller's realtor--but how could I prove that? I don't mean to muddy the waters with these other matters--just wanted to give you a sense of the situation. They all know each other, I'm the outsider from NJ.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Are you still there?
Real Estate Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 2 years ago

Hello, I am sorry for the delay in getting back you. I had to go offline to run some errands.

I am now reviewing your post and preparing my response.

Thank you for your understanding,

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Real Estate Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 2 years ago

Yes, but unfortunately, the realtor sent it to me before he sent it to my lawyer.

Response 1: When you have retained an Attorney in the case, you should not sign any documents without getting the green light from your Attorney especially when the transaction has to do with real estate. The contract is an enforceable contract if you signed it.

My lawyer, unfortunately, was not really protecting me in this matter. I feel I should have had some other mechanism outlining the return of the deposit. He told me after the fact that that was a huge amount for a deposit up there in the country---why didn't he tell me that?

Response 2: I do not know, but he should have conveyed his concerns to you. However, if you signed the contract before he had a chance to review it, it would have been too late for you to rescind the contract based on his concerns.

Also, my realtor, encouraged me to waive the right to have it inspected because it would speed things along.

Response 3: It is NEVER a good idea to take advice from a realtor who is working on commission when you have an Attorney in the case. Waiving of home inspection is NEVER in the best interest of the Buyer. It is however in the best interest of the realtor because that would make it much easier for him or her to get his commission for the transaction. The realtor is self-dealing here and in violation of his fiduciary duty to act in your best interest. You may consider filing complaint against the realtor with the doard of real estate licensing. Click on the link below for the complaint process:

http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/complaint.html

I really feel there was some collusion between him and the seller's realtor--but how could I prove that? I don't mean to muddy the waters with these other matters--just wanted to give you a sense of the situation. They all know each other, I'm the outsider from NJ.

Response 4: See my previous response. Thank you for the information.

Your prior post

I did not notify them of that within 7 days because I did not find out till the end of May that the purchaser of my Teaneck house couldn't get a mortgage. I showed the what I had on hand, and they wanted more proof. Wouldn't it be up to them, if they put the proof of funds time stipulation in there, to release me if I obviously didn't have the funds?

Response 5: Regrettably, no. The burden is on you and your agents to notify the seller and either ask for extension or back out of the deal when the proof of funds was not forthcoming. The seller or his/her agent has no legal obligation to release you from the contract if you did not take action to ask for release.

Was the contract even valid since I went beyond the 7 days without proof?

Response 6: Yes, the contract is valid. It was up to you and your agents (realtor and Attorney) to request for an extension or back out of the deal on or before the 7-day deadline.

I kept trying to get the money together till the beginning of June.

Response 7: Your realtor and your Attorney should have requested for extension on your behalf to preserve the deal or send a notice to the seller/seller's agent backing out of the deal on or before the 7-day deadline.

If you are not able to receive your full refund from the Seller, you may look towards to the realtor and Attorney for relief.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Ask Phillips Esq. Your Own Question
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,272
20,272 Satisfied Customers
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.

Phillips Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

5,436 satisfied customers

17 years of legal experience including real estate law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

11,126 satisfied customers

17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

7,785 satisfied customers

Experienced lawyer

Ray

Ray

Lawyer

7,559 satisfied customers

Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

6,207 satisfied customers

I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.

Dimitry Esquire

Dimitry Esquire

Attorney

5,526 satisfied customers

JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

4,925 satisfied customers

Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.

< Previous | Next >

Related Real Estate Law Questions
If a real estate agent is aware that a rental property has
If a real estate agent is aware that a rental property has had rats that were exterminated, must this info be given to a prospective renter? … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
I( Buyer) was in real estate contract for single family
I( Buyer) was in real estate contract for single family house and I backed off within option period. I want my Ernest money, however the seller already spent the money. My realtor requested seller to … read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,871 satisfied customers
This relates to a real estate transaction in Texas. I am the
This relates to a real estate transaction in Texas. I am the seller with a house under contract for purchase. The contract says the closing will occur on or before January 18, 2018. It did not occur. … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,559 satisfied customers
It's not a real estate I'm question it's a I had a roommate
It's not a real estate I'm question it's a I had a roommate that passed away and he left a lot of junk and stuff in the in my house and I need to get rid of it and his brother isn't even you know doin… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I currently hold a Real Estate License and Mortgage License
I currently hold a Real Estate License and Mortgage License in the state of Colorado. I am being told that I am a risk to hire from a local Real Estate Office because hold both. I do not double side a… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,785 satisfied customers
Got disconnected... In re: to my real estate questions, is
Got disconnected... In re: to my real estate questions, is this attorney a Texas attorney? … read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,296 satisfied customers
Is cold calling still legal for real estate agents?
is cold calling still legal for real estate agents? … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
My question is in regard to real estate in south Florida.
Hi! My question is in regard to real estate in south Florida … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
Real Estate Question. In received notice to collect a debt
Real Estate Question. In received notice to collect a debt on a house in Monroe County, PA. I haven't lived in that house for at least three years (i co-signed to help my sister and her son) I was for… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
I was wondering if real estate property was held in a sole
I was wondering if real estate property was held in a sole prop and more real estate was aquired to fix up and then held as rentals would it be wise to split the sole prop into real estate and constru… read more
WiseOwl58
WiseOwl58
JD Honors Graduate
3,720 satisfied customers
I need a real estate lawyer who knows real estate in Oregon
I need a real estate lawyer who knows real estate in Oregon I need a lawyer who specializes in real estate law in the state of Oregon. I am quitting my current property manager and I will be managing … read more
Irwin Law
Irwin Law
Juris Doctor JD
7,089 satisfied customers
I need to ask a question about real estate/mortgage contract
Hi I need to ask a question about real estate/mortgage contract law in Philadelphia … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,785 satisfied customers
I am looking for a cancellation of contract for real estate
I am looking for a cancellation of contract for real estate form … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney-at-Law
20,272 satisfied customers
Real estate question. NC. Mortgage. Need to know if fha pr
need to know if fha pr va loans will allow for spring water instead of well… read more
N.Brown ESQ
N.Brown ESQ
Juris Doctorate
17 satisfied customers
If I'm a mortgage banker, can I own a real estate brokerage
If I'm a mortgage banker, can I own a real estate brokerage and have my agents use me as their preferred lender? … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney-at-Law
20,272 satisfied customers
I have a real estate question related to Florida Real Estate
I have a real estate question related to Florida Real Estate law. … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,170 satisfied customers
Real estate law I'm the seller i signed real estate contract
Real estate law I'm the seller i signed real estate contract now i dont want to sell I initialed the contract instead of signing the sale price was illegible so the seller sent an amendment for me to … read more
Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco
3,391 satisfied customers
I have a Reverse Mortgage and became behind on real estate
I have a Reverse Mortgage and became behind on real estate taxes. I entered into an installment agreement with Riverside County, which my lender ignored and paid in full with the County. Now the Lende… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
7,785 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x