How can an Addendum To Sales Contract Back-Up Contract be presented after a Purchase Offer that was requested be thrown into the mix by the seller?

Asked by Jim, Valrico, FL Wed Apr 20, 2011

While looking at property in Naples, FL, we asked a realtor who had shown us another piece of property to set up an appt to see a property that we had found. We saw it, we liked it and the following day asked this realtor on our behalf to submit a Purchase Offer only to find out that someone else had made an offer before us that had been accepted. Some 3 weeks later, the realtor we had used contacted us saying that this same property was back on the market because there previous offer had fallen through and if we were still interested, we could have the property for the previously accepted price. We later find out that the previous buyer pulled away from the deal after a home inspection showed unacceptable levels of Radon. A few days later, we submitted 2 more offers and THEN they send us the Addendum that says that their deal with their first buyer has not been legally terminated. How could they have offered it to us in the first place if this was the case. Any legal recourse?

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Michael Emery, , Minneapolis, MN
Wed Apr 20, 2011
Did they sign either one of your purchase agreements?

If not, you don't have a completed purchase agreement and therefore no deal. No deal no legal recourse.

Are you assuming they're accepting the first offer, or is this a matter of them needing to legally cancel the first agreement before they can entertain your offer? By threatening legal action, you are cutting off all possibility of buying this house.
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Apr 21, 2011
Hi Jim,

We are sorry that you are caught up in this difficult situation. There could be any number of reasons why this information is coming at you, seemingly after the fact.

One possible scenario could be that the first deal fell through for whatever reason. There was obviously a contract and terms that provided clear direction for both the buyer and seller outlining, escrow funds, financing, inspections, repairs, etc. Something obviously went wrong with this transaction.

Often the first reaction from the seller when this sort of thing occurs is to ask to have the property restored to "active" status as soon as possible. This may have been done prior to working through all of the contract provisions. This can also result in the delay of the buyers escrow deposit being returned. If the contract terms and escrow refund are being contested, it is often best to leave the property off the market until this is resolved.

Hope this is helpful.

Bill
0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Apr 20, 2011
In Florida unless your contract is "in writing" it is not enforceable.

If you're talking about a Short Sale then it's offen difficult to enforce a contract--even if it's in writing. The seller may have no assets so it may be a waste of your dollars trying to "sue" him for specific performance (forcing him to sell the property to you).

So of course you should consult with an attorney.

It may just be as simple as the seller hasn't yet received the signed release back from the previous buyers and it's not going to be a problem. Or that first buyer may have thought he had negotiating room with the Seller and after he found out there is a backup offer he may just go forward and buy it.

Bottom line is if you only have a "verbal" agreement, it's not enforceable in Florida.

Good luck, hope you get the house!

All the best,
Alma
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