Can I sue a real estate company for a house that was on the market that turns out to be unsaleable ?

Asked by Brittany Reaves, White Oak, TX Thu Apr 26, 2012

We made an offer on a house and put 1000 down in earnest money, and the day before closing the seller informs everyone that he ows his ex 15,000 from the sale (there was not that much profit) so there for he can not sell yet. Then him and his realtor lied and said there was a courtdate to settle this and we could the house... day of "courtdate" no one can get ahold of them and at 5pm they say "oh yea there really wasnt one". Also they still have my earnest money!! and want to charge us the appraisal fee!

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Bruce Lynn’s answer
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Thu Apr 26, 2012
This is a question for your realtor and your attorney.

You deserve your earnest and option money back in my opinion and might as well ask for inspection and appraisal money too.

Your claim is likely against the seller though, not the real estate company. They most likely will have a document showing they did not know this fact.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sat Jun 22, 2013
Don't you love trying to solve these problems that are a year or five old?
0 votes
Kaye Lyon, Agent, Ok, OK
Sat Jun 22, 2013
The Realtor can only provide you with the information they get from the seller. The Realtor cannot know if the seller owes anything until the abstract is brought up and the title company makes the Realtors aware of any outstanding problems. If the seller tells the Realtor there is a court date then that is what the Realtor will convey to the buyer .
You should be able to get your earnest money back. Unfortunately you cannot get the appraisal fee back, It is an unfortunate situation and something that normally does not happen.
0 votes
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Apr 26, 2012
Both parties are bound by the sales contract. The title company the listing agent used should have uncovered this issue initially but you do not know when title was opened by the agent. This is a strange situation but you should consult a real estate attorney if you want to pursue damages for specific performance.

Honestly this does not make sense but again, you need to consult an attorney. Even if he owes his wife $15,000 that does not mean he cannot sell the house unless he can pay her in full. if he owes her this money by court order the wife would receive all of the proceeds of the sale and the seller would still owe his ex the balance. That is how things work.

Again, you need to seek legal council but this is a strange situation.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157
0 votes
Sally Grenier, Agent, Boulder, CO
Thu Apr 26, 2012
Why would the real estate company be responsible for the seller's legal issues with his ex? There's no way the agent or brokerage could have known this. But this could have happened in any real estate transaction for other reasons -- it's not uncommon for people to get cold feat and back out of the contract before closing. (either buyer or seller!) That's the risk you take. The contract should spell out what happens if either party cannot complete the transaction. What does your REALTOR say? Sounds like a legal issue and you need to speak to an attorney about getting your earnest money back.
0 votes
They should have know because it was against the title... They have divorced since 2005, and they 15000 has just been sitting with the title company. They should have at least spoken with the title company before listing it at 86,000, he owes 80,000 and we were going to pay 88,000
Flag Thu Apr 26, 2012
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Apr 26, 2012
All is based on the executed sales agreement.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
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