I am a buyer and have been involved in a short sale for 8 monthis now. I moved into the house and have been paying rent for 5 months because I sold

Asked by Karen Wood, Glen Mills, PA Mon Jul 12, 2010

my home and was under the impression that would settle shortly after moving. The delays have been awlful and ongoing for months. I was given a settlement date of June 25th and then told after attorneys fees were forgotten and had to negitiated for the sellers withe the bank causing yet another delay. I did not pay rent the this past month. I was given another settlement date of July 9th and again another delay. I'm now told I will settle on July 15th but unless the I pay the rent the sellers will not proceed. Aren't they in breach of the short sale agreement? I offered to pay half of the rent since it was their attorneys mistakes that caused the delay. The sellers say I'm in breach of a lease. What is the best course of action to take with this mess?

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Jul 12, 2010
It's impossible to give a definitive answer without seeing all your paperwork. So, for a clear, definitive answer you must see a lawyer. However, based on what you've presented:

You have been paying rent for 5 months on a property you've been occupying. I assume you've got some sort of lease agreement saying that you'll pay rent. But you say "I did not pay rent for this past month." Why not? Unless your lease explicitly excuses you from paying rent, you owe the rent. You're living there. You're renting. So (unless the lease excuses you from paying rent) you owe the rent.

Are the sellers in breach of the short sale agreement? Depends on what the agreement says. But--as a practical matter--no. These things happen with short sales all the time. You just roll with the punches. You hang in there until all the "Ts" are crossed and the "Is" are dotted.

But now you're behind on your rent, probably in violation of your lease. You say you offered to pay half of the rent. Why? Are you only renting half the house? No, that's not it. You're suggesting you've been injured in some way by the possible error of the attorneys. But what's the injury? You've still got a place to live. The short sale is proceeding? In what way have you been injured?

Now, if you feel you've been injured, sue the attorneys. They're the ones you say are responsible. But, instead, you're withholding rent from the sellers who aren't responsible. That doesn't make sense.

First: Speak to your Realtor. Get his/her advice. Second: Speak to your lawyer. Get his/her advice. I'm only guessing, but I suspect the advice may be: Pay the rent you owe.
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Jul 12, 2010

As we see it, your delema may be directly related to not having legal representation on your behalf. If you have not been working through an attorney it may not be too late.......

Generally speaking, when the other party has an attorney representing their best interests, it's always good to consider doing likewise!

Good luck,

0 votes
Karen Wood, Home Buyer, Glen Mills, PA
Mon Jul 12, 2010
I didn't pay the rent because the sellers signed off, the day before the rent was due, on the paperwork with the bank. I was under the impression that the sellers were no longer involved and it was the bank we were dealing with at this point.

I asked for months if the lease drawn up by the sellers attorney and real estate agents was legal and was never given a direct answer to the question. I asked who owned the house, the bank or the sellers and again no answer. I assumed that since I was paying the sellers that they owned the house still and paid but then in May I found out that the bank didn't know we were living in the house and I was told it was illegal for us to be in there. My agent told me that they would have tape on the door and change the locks if they knew we were in the house.

I think the attorney and agents have lied to me and my husband all along to get this deal done, not caring what the cost is.

Just for the record. The June 25th settlement date was delayed because the sellers attorney forgot the include 35,000 in attorney fees and the sellers don't want to pay it. The attorney was away for 2 weeks so because of his mistake we had to wait for his return.
0 votes
Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Mon Jul 12, 2010
Gotta pay the rent. No buts about it. Just because someone missed some figures does not mean that you can hold out. And by you holding out is the settlement date going to be pushed out further? Also, are you being represented by a real estate agent or an attorney? What are they saying?

Terrence Charest
0 votes
Dianne Hicks, Agent, Rancho Bernardo, CA
Mon Jul 12, 2010
I agree without seeing paper work but you would have had to pay a mortgage had it settled so I guess I would ask... is it worth loosing the house over a month's rent? Also in general, until bank has completely signed off in the short sale... the deal is not done. The bank (third party) MUST agree to all terms or the contract has no value!!!

Good Luck!!!
0 votes
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