If your real estate attorney was negligent and had you sign an agreement without explaining it to you, can you back out of the home purchase?
No. If you had questions you should have asked them to the attorney before signing the contract. If the attorney was not answering them in a way you can understand you could have found a different attorney. Not all lawyers are equal in talent and communication skills.Finally you still might be able to back out of the contract. Most purchase agreements provide a timeframe for inspection and allow a buyer to terminate during the inspection period for any reason or no reason.If you missed the inspection period deadline that means your earnest money deposit is at risk (or non refundable) and the seller can keep it. Despending on how large the earnest money deposit (a few hundred bucks to several thousand) you should be able to make a business decision if it's worth walking away from the deal if you really don't want to buy the property. It may cost you some money in losing your deposit but it may be a better decision than closing on a property you don't want to buy. Good luck!
How hard is it to get out of a real estate listing agreement if you believe your realtor isn’t doing a good job?
Despite what the person said below It is not easy at all! It’s called a contract for a reason. If it were that easy to break, what would the point be of having a contract?So in order for you to be able to get out of the real estate contract, the other party has to let you out unless there is specific language that addresses your ability to escape.Most contracts are not set up that way. If the real estate agent/company is smart, however, they will not keep someone in a contract who is unhappy.The company could do more harm to themselves if you speak negatively about them than just being amenable to let you out.Here are some tips on how to fire a real estate agent that should prove helpful. Like Jay mentioned below, the contract is with the company and not the agent.
Can I sue a homeowner or their real estate in a situation where both parties signed a purchase agreement then the buyer signed the contract, didn’t send it to me and eventually backed out?
Almost certainly no.There are certain things you must have to create a legal, enforceable contract:Legal intentCapacity of the partiesConsideration (something of value)Mutual agreementAdditionally, almost everything involving real estate falls under the Statute of Frauds. This comes from the English Common law, and says the contract must be in writing to be enforceable. It includes agreements to by or sell real estate and agreements made in consideration of marriage. (Just tossing that last in because its interesting)A real estate purchase contract starts with an offer in writing. The offeree (seller) may accept the offer as presented, reject it or make a counter-offer. Any change to the offer, no matter how minor, constitutes a counter-offer. The original offeror can do the same thing. There is no contract until and unless there is the meeting of the minds—complete agreement—and the agreement has been communicated to all parties.Once there is a meeting of minds, the document becomes an executory contract, that is, one which is in the process of being performed. Almost all real estate purchase agreements contain certain contingencies (we often call them “weasel clauses). Among these are typically loan, appraisal and inspection contingencies.The loan contingency states that the buyer must apply for and be approved for a loan within a certain period (typically 17–21 days). If the buyer does not get the loan for any reason, they get to walk, and they’ll get their earnest money deposit (the consideration) back.If the property appraises for less than the purchase, price, they can walk. If there is something on an inspection report they don’t like, they can walk.Once the buyer has removed all contingencies, they are obligated to perform—to complete the purchase. If they don’t, they are said to be in breach—violating the contract—and may forfeit their deposit.Most real estate purchase contracts today are written by the various state Realtors’ Associations. They typically contain a “Liquidated Damages” clause to be initialed by the parties. This clause states in essence, “The parties agree that determining exact money damages in the event that the buyer does not perform is very difficult. Therefore, buyer and seller agree that the buyer’s earnest money deposit will be considered satisfaction for a breach by the buyer.”In plain language the Liquidated Damages clause states that if a buyer decides not to proceed after having removed all contingencies, they may forfeit their earnest money deposit to the seller.Most contracts also contain an Arbitration Clause. By initialing this, both parties agree to go to binding arbitration rather than filing a lawsuit.If the buyer in your case did not deposit a check with escrow, you never had a contract. If there were contingencies which they did not remove, such as a loan contingency, they are completely free to walk. If you made a counter offer which they chose to ignore, you never had a contract. If your acceptance of their offer was not communicated to them (typically be delivering to them a fully-executed copy of the purchase agreement), you did not have a contract.Someone who “ghosts” and does not take the steps to proceed with a purchase for whatever reason almost invariably has plenty of legal “outs” if they don’t want to go forward. I believe your best bet is just to get on with your life and find another buyer.My standard disclaimer: While I am confident in the accuracy of my statements here, no one should construe a single word of it to be legal advice. I am not an attorney, although I know a whole lot of really fine legalish words. The best. They’re terrific. Anyone who needs legal advice should seek such advice from a duly licensed professional. Relying on “legal” advice on Quora could be an indication of a need for another kind of professional help.I hope this is helpful. Good luck.
How do you go about purchasing a four unit real estate property to rent out in a different state? Is this a bad or a good idea?
Whether or not buying an investment property in a different state is a good idea is going to be up to you. If you are going to do so you will need a good property manager and this will add an expense layer that may or may not be necessary should you buy locally.In any case when looking for an investment property you need access to the MLS. For properties such as single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes the residential MLS should work. The national search networks can give you some information and an over view but the local MLS will be much more accurate and up to date. For this you will need an real estate agent in the local area. I would suggest using an agent who is also a Realtor and find one who is familiar with residential investment property. They will know how to look beyond the listing and give you a fairly accurate idea of projected income and expenses, neighborhood demographics etc. They will essentially be your eyes and ears.Logistically, should you find a property you wish to buy it will work much the same as any other sale. An offer is made and price and terms and disclosures are made. Inspections are done and financing is completed and a closing attorney or escrow or title officer prepares papers and the transaction is closed.I would suggest setting up an LLC in the state the property is located.Free advice so I know it’s worth the price. Even with my years of experience I would hesitate getting involved with a long distance transaction unless it was in a city I could drive to in one day. I live in Atlanta so there are places in So. Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama or even the Florida panhandle I would consider, but the deal would have to be awesome. I prefer to stick close to home.
If a California real estate purchase agreement is found to be null and void, how should a party who paid a deposit recover it? Is a lawyer needed? Is a summary judgment usually received? About how many billable lawyer hours would this involve?
Good answer from Bruce. If this was part of a court proceeding, though, you certainly can consult with the lawyer who represented you at the proceeding for clarification on recovery of your deposit.But let me make a guess: Did the contract simply fall through? Maybe one party didn’t perform as agreed to?Disclaimer: I’m only licensed in Virginia, not California. And I’m not a lawyer, so this isn’t legal advice.If the deposit is being held in escrow (often it’s in an escrow account in the name of the listing agent’s brokerage . . . though it could be elsewhere), then it generally takes agreement of both parties—buyer and seller—to release the funds. Neither the would-be buyer or would-be seller alone can get the funds released.Assuming the matter is just between the buyer and seller—that no court has issued a decision on how the funds are to be distributed—then it’s up to the buyer and seller to agree. In general, understandably, if the buyer defaulted on some term of the contract, then the seller retains all or most of the deposit. On the other hand, if the seller defaulted, the buyer should receive all or most of his/her deposit back. (The person at fault doesn’t get to keep/recover the money.) But ultimately that’s an issue between the buyer and seller.If there’s a problem—say the seller defaulted but won’t agree to return the money—then you may have to go to court. It’ll then be up to the court to decide who gets what. And unfortunately I can’t give you an estimate of how much time, or how much in fees, that would cost.