We all love our realtors. Indeed, if you have a person you refer to as “my realtor,” chances are you were referred to that person by someone you trust, and you have referred many of your family and friends to that person yourself. We at Lardiere McNair hope you love your lawyer, and we hope that if you got our name from a friend, you appreciate it, and that you give our name out when your family and friends need someone in their corner to fight for them. Our focus today is what happens when your realtor finds you a great new home (or gets someone on the hook to buy your home), and the deal falls apart. Sometimes, you need to bring us in to take up the fight.
Our inspiration today is musician Steve Miller, who recently signed a contract to buy a home not far from New York City, only to find out after the appraisal was conducted that it was worth less than what he agreed to pay – by $2.4 million. When he backed out of the deal, the owners of the home sued to keep the earnest deposit of $670,000. While we don’t have many transactions like that here in Central Ohio, the example is instructive of what can happen when a real estate deal goes sideways.
If something like this happens to you, you want to call us to fight for you. We are familiar with the contract that most realtors in this area use, and we have a team of experienced litigators who are ready to make sure your transaction goes through. Whether at the negotiating table or the courthouse, we are dedicated to getting you the best outcome we can.
When you go into contract on a house, there are often legitimate reasons that one party or the other might want or even need to back out of the transaction before it finishes – there is nothing wrong with this, and everyone expects it. For example, if the buyer isn’t able to secure adequate financing, or if the home inspection turns up a serious problem, it makes sense for both sides to walk away from the deal and try again with someone else, somewhere else. These are the sorts of things that, in some cases, cannot be avoided.
What creates problems, however, is when one party or the other gets past these initial contingencies and still wants to back out. It creates all kinds of problems – if you’re the buyer, you may have already given notice in your rental or scheduled a closing on the home you are selling. If you’re the seller, you may have already gone into contract on your next place, or you may be moving out of town, unable to work on selling the property while you settle into your new home. Receiving your earnest deposit back is little consolation when you now have to completely change your plans with only a few weeks or even days of notice.
If your real estate deal is causing problems for you, or if you want to ensure that it won’t, please give us a call and come see us.
Ben Worsowicz is an Associate at Lardiere McNair, LLC. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.
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