Home Buying in Lutz>Question Details

Mike, Home Buyer in 19141

Do I get back my deposit if I change my mind about purchasing a property from a seller doing a quick flip?

Asked by Mike, 19141 Thu Aug 26, 2010

I'm a first time home buyer and I don't know what to do. The seller is waiting on me to come up with the rest of the money before he close on his contract on the same house with the original owners, then do a double closing at once with me so that his name don't show up on the sale. Basically it would look like I got the home from the original owners. They don't want to give me the disclosure statement. It smells bad to me. I gave him 10,000 cash up front (I have a hand written receipt), and signed his home made contract at his remax agents office. His agent signed the contract as a witness (the agent is helping him buy the home so he can flip it). I asked him to give my 10,000 to the title company; he said no "theirs no need to do that". The title company has another 17,500 of mine; the title company was referred by him. It's only been five days since I signed. How do I determine if the contract is legally binding with a "seller" that does not legally own the property in question?

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Andy Del Real #DelRealGroup’s answer

Do you have anything with the Agents full name and/or License number? If so, pull up his information from the Department of Real Estate website so you can give it to an attorney. Make sure you save any kind of documents they give you or have you sign.

Indalecio "Andy" Del Real
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
Thanks for the call. Go to the Broker and tell them your problems, and give them the details. I gave you their phone numbers of manager and owner. Call both, just be honest and upfront as you were with me.
And it great you have all the paper work.

Remax is a great outfit and I feel sure you well get a full and quick review of what is going on.

There are funds in Florida that you can apply to to cover problems with agents.

My firm has an office in the area (over 2,000 agents in Tampa area, we have only 1,000 agents in Orlando )
and we have several Lawyers we work with in the area. I have met two on them and both seems to be super. If you need an attorney,
One is at Treasure Island his name is Michael Heath

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 31, 2010

Just pulled up the listing. The listing broker is Coldwell Banker and it is a regular sale, not a short sale. Closing date is set for Aug 31st for the first sale. Sounds like the investors are trying to use your money to buy it.

The current owner is showing up on public records as Sara Stribling.

Who did you "give" $10k to? Your biggest problem is trying to get your $10k back from that person. The other money at the title company (provided it is truly a licensed title company) should be safe. The "non standard" contract you signed may or may not be valid. Again do not alert these investors that you are investigating them. Play along with them for now!

The house is currently listed as "pending" sale with an asking price of $54,900. Would you want it for $54k?

If the current buyers that have the contract with the Coldwell Banker listing are paying less than $50k and flipping it to you for much more than $60k then it may be worth the risk of losing the $10k you gave away to someone who doesn't own the house. You may have legal action against the agent and broker who were involved with the taking of your $10k. This is highly irregular. No Realtor should suggest a buyer give any money directly to an owner and certainly not to a non-owner!

I'm not an attorney so I can't give you legal advise but call me if you want help with this and I can try to get you that house for $50k or possibly a better house that doesn't sit facing the interstate 275.

All my best,

Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 27, 2010
This is NOT intended to beat you up, but is a very valuable piece of information for anyone looking to purchase real estate who chooses to go directly to a listing agent to purchase the property.
Mike given what you know now and the potential hazards and pitfalls that have overwhelmed you, would you make the same choice again?
People, please find yourself a good, qualified buyer's agent to represent you. You don't "get a better deal" because you're not using one. In most cases the listing agent pockets all the commission anyway because it's in their listing agreement.
Having a good, professional, experienced buyer's agent will allow you to sleep a bit better knowing you have someone looking out for YOUR best interest!

Mark Zabilowicz
Licensed Real Estate Professional
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 27, 2010
Mike, Hank Sorensen is an excellent Real Estate Attorney in the area, and you can also do a computer of yellow page search.
Hanks website is http://www.hanksorensen.com/.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
Jeff can you suggest a good attorney for MIKE???
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
Mike, take John Bennett's advice and get a Real Estate Attorney. It is too bad you did not use a Realtor to represent you, especially for your first home. You could also speak with the broker of your seller's agent. I would be interested in seeing what the broker thinks and whether they are aware that the agent is doing this. With that said everything might be fine, but as Alma said something smells fishy.

Jeff Launiere
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
Mike, there are all sorts of issues going on here,

Your ONLY and BEST call is to a Lawyer

Maybe a Tampa agent might suggest a good Real Estate Attorney for MIKE

How about it gang???
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010

Don't let on that you are questioning the seller and the insider investor or Realtor. Play along with them so they do not run away with your $10 grand!

Call an attoney immediately. Again do not alert the potential scammers that you are wise to what is going on.

What's the address? We can pull up the court records and it may be possible the scammers are hoping to buy it on the court house steps with your cash and then immediately flip it to you. You could have trouble getting your $10k back!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
If you have an inspection contingency in your contract, and decide you do not want to purchase within that contingency time frame, you should be able to get your earnest money refunded. Regardless, you should insist that whatever money you have in the transaction be escrowed with the title company.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
And Mike what does your Realtor say- the guy/gal working with you?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
Mike, this looks real ugly RUN to a lawyer
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010

Obtain an att'ny. One that you find on your own to represent only you.

Much luck to you,
a realtor for almost thirty years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 7, 2010
It will all depend on what it is on the contract. If they mislead you in any way and did not disclose to you correctly than that can be a means for a voidable contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 7, 2010
It sure doesn't smell right Mike. Who is working for you? The RE/MAX agent is working for the flipper, the Coldwell Banker agent is working for the seller and it sounds as if you are unrepresented. Good luck and I truly hope it works out well for you!!!

Web Reference: http://www.ChrisTesch.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 6, 2010
And get the name of the Realtor that was involved and what broker he/she was with.

If with Remax - then call me - I have some Remax friends that may be of help- they will have E & O insurance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 31, 2010
Go to


and fill out the form

Also go to Florida attorney General AT

and file a complaint
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 31, 2010
OMG!.....He did not show up at his closing, he's in the wind with my money. I'm so sick :-(
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 31, 2010
Hi Mike,

Are you employed or have any credit issues?

Go and apply online with http://www.AimLoan.com and maybe it will automatically kick out a denial letter.

Hope this helps.
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 29, 2010
Well the title company is telling me that I have to get a denial letter from a lender, before they give my money back. They said it can be an email from any hard money(?) or bank. I told them how can I get such a thing in two days plus it's the weekend, not a care.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 29, 2010
Well Said Mark!!

Seems I have to linger on to 25 characters
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 27, 2010
Thanks for all the info guys. I went to the agents office, no help
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
12910 N central ave Tampa, Fl 33612 ........ I had it inspected, but I don't have an inspection contingency. the roof is in bad shape
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
I did'nt have one, I went in by myself
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 26, 2010
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