When you sign a contract and earnest money to a realtor does the seller still have rights to sell on his own?

Asked by Sydney, Southern View, IL Wed Mar 19, 2008

My husband and I made an offer on a listing with a local realtor. We put down earnest money and signed a contract we were told by the realtor our offer was accepted. The seller then needed to sign. In the contract we asked if we could have the water on the property tested at our own expense and we wanted to see where the property line was before buying. We were approved for the money so we have the money to buy we just wanted to wait and get these 2 things checked out before buying. In the 2 and months of dealing with this realtor we never recieved one phone call about anything I was the one always checking on things. As far as we knew the property was pretty much ours b/c we were told our offer was accepted we didnt know if the seller signed b/c we werent told we were just informed our offer was accepted. Just a few days ago I went to see if it was ok if we had the water tested and was told seller changed his mind and also sold it privately while it was still listed.

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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Mar 19, 2008
Unfortunately, in real estate, if you don't have a "signed contract" (and that means signed and initialled by both parties)... then you have nothing. I'm not sure I understand why you waited 2.5 months while you waited for the signatures, and to do your water testing... but clearly during that period, the seller found someone else.

Whether he was allowed to sell "privately" was entirely up to the contract that he signed with the listing agency, which might have had an exclusion that allowed private sale.
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Mikem, , 01803
Wed Mar 19, 2008
Were you working with an agent of your own? Sounds like you were dealing with the seller's agent. Your agent would/should've made sure that you got your offer papers back signed by the seller, as well as to enforce the time line for the inspections you wanted to do.

Unfortunately, like elv!s said, withotu a written agreement you have nothing, as such the seller is free to do whatever they want.
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