If a realtor/broker make a contract with my wife and I to purchase the home he lives in and ask for $50,000

Asked by Jeffrey Williamson, San Jose, CA Tue May 27, 2008

down over two payments. When we met at the bank to give him the first $25,000 he ask us to make the certified check payable to another person he knows. THen we find out that he doesnt own the home. THe person that he ask us to make the check out to actually owns the home. Is there a way to get out of this contract because he misrepresented himself as the owner when in fact his name is not on the title. He sold the home to the person he had us write the check out too back in March 2007. So my question is, can we get out of the contract, how, and do we have the right to get our money back.

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J R, , New York, NY
Tue May 27, 2008
Jeffrey, you need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible, not us. You might also need to talk to the police. As Sylvia said, there are so many questions that your question brings up, if I were you I'd do both ASAP.
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Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Tue May 27, 2008
Hi Jeffrey:

You should go and get legal advise immediately. Have the attorney look at the contract and see what is really going on. Is the broker/reattor represening both you and the real sellers? What does the purchase contract say? Which stage of the purchase are you in?

I have so many questions to your question above, we will need to know a lot more details to give you advies. Why are you give HIM the downpayment instead of going through an escrow company (which is normally the title company in CA)? Did he sign the contract or the other person? the list of questions go on and on.

The problem is there are so many scams out there now because a lot of people are trying to get what they perceived as a great deal and ended up dealing with very questionable parties. Buyers and sellers should be extra careful now a days and make sure they are dealing with legitimate parties who knows what they are doing

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Pacita Dimac…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Tue May 27, 2008
So many red flags. Everything you mentioned makes me question the legitimacy of this transaction. I'd say run, don't walk to the nearest real estate attorney.

Did the realtor really tell you he's the owner? Then yes, he misrepresented himself.

Writing a cashier's check payable to the seller is a big no-no. It should be made payable to a third and netural party like the title/escrow company who should hold that check in an escrow account that neither the buyer or the seller can access without mutual consent.

Did you execute a purchase agreement? In California, purchasing real estate property must be in writing (contract).

Did you open escrow at the same time you wrote the check? Did the escrow officer give you a preliminary report? Does it specify who the owner is?

Do you have any contingency periods ---- appraisal, loan approval, inspections? If there is a contingency period and you back out before you clear the contingencies, and you cancel the agreement, you have the right to ask for your deposit back.

AND....check out this realtor/broker's license status on the California Dept of Real Estate website. http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp

You have every reason to want to get out of this agreement and get your money back, even if you want to buy the house.
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Brian M DeCo…, , 32810
Tue May 27, 2008
The question is what does the Contract say? If in fact, the Realtor's name is on the contract as the owner of the property, then you should immediately go seek a legal opinion. If the Broker doesn't OWN the home, you're not bound to a contract. The parties on the contract would be Seller and Buyers. Based on the information you have provided, you would be entitled to get your money back and the broker's actions should be reported for investigation. Hope this helps...
Web Reference:  http://www.cflmove.com
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