Home Buying in Fort Wayne>Question Details

Mac_peg, Home Buyer in Fort Wayne, IN

I was negotiating with a person to buy a house on contract. I spoke to her by phone to start with, she had told me the electric was on.

Asked by Mac_peg, Fort Wayne, IN Mon Oct 17, 2011

But when I went there (no electric working). I later checked back to see if available since I now had my student fin aid to put $ down. I went to take 2nd look at the house. It was still pretty rough but after a email conversation, she mentioned she was having more work done. I made plans to do a more thorough inspection after work was done. I also have the email where she said she would warranty mechanicals for 1 month.
I have an email where on 9/26 & 9/29 where I asked if she wanted me to put something down (to hold the property). After another look, I told her about a problem with a ceiling I was worried about and she said she would contact a contractor. Then she emailed an update she was getting another contractor. I waited a week to followup on 2nd contractor & she emailed "sorry someone bought it" 10/14). Granted no signed purchase offer, but asked to put $ down to hold(2x). In emails the purchase negotiations & implied purchase is documented. Do I have any recourse?

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4
Don Tepper’s answer
No recourse. Sorry.

I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. For that, you need a lawyer. However . . .

You acknowledge there was no signed purchase agreement. I understand you were willing to put money down to hold it. But--for whatever reason--that never occurred. There's no such thing in real estate as "implied purchase."

Reading between the lines, the seller probably was pretty stressed. The electricity may have been shut off. She's trying to coodinate contractors on a property you acknowledge was "pretty rough." Then--and not picking on you, but just explaining where she's coming from--you're making repeated requests--turn on the electricity, warrant the mechanicals, address a problem with the ceiling, etc. Now, all of these may be reasonable, but she was just eager to get rid of the place. And you weren't even buying outright--but just on contract. So somehow she got another offer--undoubtedly for the property in "as is" condition, possibly for less than you were offering. And she took it, with great relief.

Bottom line: Someone else offered her a deal that was more attractive to her. And you had nothing in writing, except your offer to put money down on the property.

One suggestion (and it's not necessarily to use a Realtor): What investors do in cases like that is tie the property up. They'll put a contract on a property with what are called "weasel clauses"--contingency clauses that allow them to get out of the deal after they've done their due dilligence. "Subject to approval of partners." "Subject to an inspection satisfactory to buyer." Things like that. So you tie it up with very little money at risk--maybe $100--and then you do all the necessary stuff. Either that, or you tie it up with an option. Pay an option of as little as you can--maybe $100, maybe more--giving you the right to purchase the property within the next 90-120 days at an agreed-upon price. Again, you're buying time and you have very little at risk if the deal doesn't suit you.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 17, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
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Mac,

Did you have a signed contract (either on email or a document)? Did you give her money to hold the property? Sounds like you got the rotten end of the stick....

Chris
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
I'm really glad spending the time on this posting allowed FREE, but biased ADVERTISEMENTS.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 17, 2011
You really should consider working with an agent of your own; and before purchasing any property, a home inspection conducted by a licensed professional is highly recommended. Since there was no executed contract, signed by all parties, the seller is free to do as he/she pleases....again, work with an agent...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 17, 2011
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