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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7406
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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I reside in a suburb oh Houston, TX. Originally, I am from

Customer Question

Good morning,
My name is Lynne *****, and I reside in a suburb oh Houston, TX. Originally, I am from Michigan. My fiancé and I decided it was time to semi-retire, and we put our home up for sale a few days after the 4th of July, this past summer.
New at selling a home, I found the entire process an awful experience. Especially when you've been IN a home 18 years.
When we'd about givien up hope that we'd have a buyer in THIS summer season, this bizarre offer came out of no where came to us. In the original agreement they requested that we remove our pool. After negotiations were completed, we both signed the purchase agreement, which stated that we would remove the pool.
So we FOLLOWED OUR REALTORS ADVICE, and got rid of the pool. No ordinary pool, it was a 16,000 gallon salt water pool from Splash Superpools. It was designed for me designed for me by my brother, owner of the pool company. I made a lions share of my income teaching lessons in that pool.
Now our owner has backed out completely, and we no longer have a sold home. What we do have is a 540 sq ft sand pit that is surrounded by 6 1/2 yards of bull rock.
Yesterday, I went to the title company to pick up the check for the earnest money they had invested in the purchase. It was attached to a document that stated that if I signed the document,mix was releasing both realtors, both brokers and the buy from all liability.
I chose not to sign it, and left without the check.
Do I have any recourse in this matter?
Lynne ***** *******
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 11 months ago.

Hello Lynne: Thanks for using Just Answer. That is a truly sad story. Please tell me a little bit more about the deal that you sign. For example, the purchase agreement itself will have a clause that specifies what the right of the seller is if the buyer refuses to close. I'm sure you have reviewed that paragraph, so just tell me basically whether or not you agree to accept the earnest money deposit as liquidated damages, or if the purchase agreement retained your right to sue for general damages. Next, what was the cost of removing the pool, and how much is the earnest money deposit? With that additional information I think I can tell you where you stand.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I went to the title company to pick up the check. It attached to a form releasing buyer, real estate agents and brokers involved. I refused to sign and left the check at the title company.i don't see anywhere in the purchase agreement retains or relinquishes my right to sue fo General damages. I have it in front of me.We removed the pool ourselves. (No easy task - let me tell you!)
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 11 months ago.

The Release that they presented is standard procedure. If you accept the check and sign the release then you have no further options. Obviously, I don't know the details of what all went down; however, on the surface it appears to me that if you spent more, or lowered the value of your property more than what the earnest money check will cover, then you have a right of suing for damages, unless you waive that right somewhere in the purchase agreement. You may also have a right to sue your broker (s) for negligence in not protecting you against losses. Your broker should have anticipated this event and protected you by requiring the buyers to put up sufficient earnest money to cover you if they did not close. The broker too can be sued for negligence or malpractice for failing to do so.

I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I was not able to bring up your second reply until today - a bit after the fact.
Please reimburse my fee.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 11 months ago.