Can Wells Fargo back out on an exempted offer after they agreed to sell and cashed my earnest money check?

Asked by Bruce Gruetzmacher, Belle Plaine, MN Mon Oct 20, 2008

I got an accepted offer to purchase a manufactured home in a small town in SW minn. and they cashed my $26000.00 earnest money check. We were to close with an all cash deal in 30 days with no contingencies and I would bring a Cashiers check for $3000.00 (sale price is $29,000.00) and they would come with a clear title. They now tell me that they can not find get a title to the property because the DMV will not issue one to them without a court order. I still want the property. The house is trashed anyway. I just want the lot. It will cost them about $3000.00 to get a new title for the place. I asked that they sell it to me without a title to the house for $3000.00 less and I will deal with the title problems. They said that they would not do that. And now it sounds like they will not even sell it for the agree upon price of $29,000.00. Can I force them to their end of the sign purchase agreement? What if they can not close by OCT 1st (the last day of the PA) IDNK what to do?

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Scott Hutchinson Hutchinson Group’s answer
Scott Hutchi…, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Tue Oct 21, 2008
The answer is "Yes", as they are not able to get clear marketable title. I have been in this situation numerous times, and if you can hang in there until they get marketable title (may take 3-6 months...or more), it may be well worth it. If you can be in contact with the attorney/paralegal that is representing the bank, you may be able to get a lot more information. There will be more than adequate language in the purchase agreement that protects them from performing, so your best bet is to concentrate your efforts on figuring out the time-line and the specifics to close.

I hope this helps and best of luck!
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Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Mon Oct 20, 2008

I will echo the comment form the other two posters and remind you that what I am about to give you is my take on things and that it isn't in any way legal advice.

The first thing that I would do is to check my purchase agreement. You say that Wells wasn't able to provide clear title because of the DMV, but in the same paragraph you say that you want the mobile home for the land that it sits on. Is the land included in your PA. If so, why is the DMV providing title evidence and not a title company. Now I understand that mobile home is a part of the transaction and thusly its title would need to be clear, but ultimately this should all be secondary. If all you want is the land, tell Wells Fargo that they can have the mobile home and can remove it be "X" date.

In the end if the purchase ageement does include real property, you would need to explore with your attorney whether or not a case for "specific performance" would have any merit. It will be a long and expensive process with no certain result but if you got a steal on the package, you may want to consider it. Good luck.

Cameron Piper
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Susan Hoffla…, Agent, Shoreview, MN
Mon Oct 20, 2008
I agree with the commenter below. You need an attorney to sort this out. You've got alot of money at stake here, so spending some money on an attorney would be worth it. Let me know if you need a referral for a good real estate attorney.
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Belinda Arro…, , 02038
Mon Oct 20, 2008
Get a real estate attorneys opinion on this.
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