I signed a contract and emailed the last page back to the selling agent of a probate house. The house was

Asked by Alex Mawyer, Baltimore, MD Fri May 30, 2008

listed as-is. I have become aware of some really horrible problems with the house and would like to get out of it-it has been a week and a half and there is still no signed contract on their part,although I have a verbal affirmation

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Eileen Musser…, Home Owner, York, PA
Fri May 30, 2008
Hi Alex,
The first answers given here have good information. I just want to add something for you to consider in the future. Even though a home is listed "as-is" you often have time, and are within your rights to do an inspection before write your offier.
Granted, you will have spent some money on a property that you may never own, but it could save you some real headaches. Besides, if you do an inspection first you might be in a position to substantiate a lower offer. (or you might even decide that you can make your bid higher than the asking price if you are happy with the inspection report)
In a market where there is at least time to blink and turn around a couple of times you may not need to write your offer before the ink dries on the printout.

Eileen's green team
1 vote
Michael Emery, , Minneapolis, MN
Thu Feb 17, 2011
Without a fully executed contract signed by both buyer and seller there is no agreement as a verbal agreement is not legal.

Contact the selling agent and tell them you are withdrawing your offer.

In the future you should include some sort of inspection addendum as part of your purchase agreement which would give you an 'out' should you determine that the home is not in habitable condition.
0 votes
Wayne Schnab…, Agent, Sioux Falls, SD
Thu Feb 17, 2011
Offers and acceptance have to be in writing.
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri May 30, 2008
Good advice from Jed.

I'm not trying to talk you into buying the house, but just be aware that some problems that buyers consider serious or "horrible" really aren't. Most structural problems, for instance, are fixable, and for far less than most people think. Mold remediation is another one of those issues that scares a lot of people, but really doesn't have to. There are professionals out there that can correctly fix both of those problems...again, often for far less than you might think.

A quick example: I took a look at a house a while ago. It needed some rehab, but really was mainly dirty, a bit outdated, and a bit shabby. I guessed it would cost about $40,000. Not insignificant, but not huge for a house that, fixed up, would sell for about $600,000. I then went to another open house and started talking to the agents there. I mentioned to the agents at the second house that I'd looked at the first, shabby house. They asked me how much work I though it needed, and I answered--about $40,000. They told me that another buyer--just a regular, retail buyer--had been through earlier. That earlier buyer had also visited the shabby first house. And at the second, she told the agents there that the house needed "at least $100,000 in repairs." Point is: Before you assume a problem is horrendous or unfixable, call in experts. The answer might surprise you.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Fri May 30, 2008
From the info supplied there is no contract unless you've given more than a week and a half to respond. If the time has expired, even though you have a verbal it must be in writing to you or your agent.
Let me ask some questions because there are some terms that are not clear also.
The "selling agent" is the agent that brings the buyer to the transaction. Is it your agent that you sent the document to?
You say that you sent the "back page". Why not the whole contract? Were there other contingencies contained in the rest of the contract? Did the agent already have those pages?
But generally speaking in contracts, they have to be in writting to be valid. Offer and acceptance all have to be in writting and the communication of the offer and the acceptance have to be iin writting also.
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