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Asked by keeblyn, Florida Thu Mar 20, 2008

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Answers

9
Kathleen Sei…, Agent, Gainesville, FL
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Your recourse depends on what your contract says.

Did they put a deposit in escrow? Who is holding it? The contract should spell out what happens to it when one party defaults. (The contract should also spell out what qualifies as a default.)

I was told that usually in Florida a seller has a hard time proving 'liquidated damages' since they still have the property and can still sell it . Talk to an attorney to see what they have to say.

Do you have an real estate agent representing you? What have they said about this?
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Without proof of finances, I would never let a transaction get as far as yours has. I'm assuming you don't have a Realtor?
1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Keeblyn
I am sorry for your situation, however , in agreement with the previous post, the situation in which you find yourself could probably be avoided if you had professional representation.

I do not know Florida law, so getting an attorney would be the right place to start.
Secondly.you have all of these conditions in writing, correct? When someone says they have money for a downpayment, your listing Realtor would ask their lender for proof BEFORE accepting the offer. It sounds as though either none of this is in writing, or when they made their offer there was no stipulation regarding verifying proof of funds.

Next, the listing Realtor would ask for loan pre-approval from the mortgage lender before the offer was accepted. The normal flow of events is in order to PRESENT an offer, you need to be able to accompany the offer with a proof of qualification for that price, verification of funds for downpayment, and perhaps a copy of their credit scores. Along with a copy of the deposit check.

Next, your listing Realtor would call the buyer's Realtor and confirm everything presented. After you sign the offer and accept it there are trip wires to insure that the buyer is getting what they pay for and can afford it. In California we call it the contingency period. During this time the buyer is doing investigations, inspections, having the property appraised. In California the normal timeline is 17 days from acceptance. Then all these conditions must be met, or the seller can cancel.

It is your Listing Realtor's job to make sure that the buyer's perform as contrated and to keep their agent on their toes. I sounds to me that no one is keeping an eye on anything,

You mention that your broker is a family friend. So you do have representation? Or do you mean the mortgage broker is pushing to get it closed? I do not want to rain on your parade but (in California anyway) escrows fail to close on time 43% of transactions. When escrow closes late, 70% of the time the fault lies with the lender. So, no offense to the mortgage broker, but there is a big difference between a mortgage lender and a Realtor.

I am sorry not to be of more help. I hope others read your post.
1 vote
Phil Fowler, Agent, Brandon, FL
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Keeblyn,

Can I assume that you are not represented by a Realtor and are For Sale By Owner? If you were represented you should have received a pre-approval letter from the lender, that would have determined whether they were approved for the mortgage and a deposit to be held in escrow.

I suggest that you contact a real estate attorney. If you don't know any, email me privately and I will give the phone # of someone I have used.

Phil@PhilFowler.com
Web Reference:  http://www.PhilFowler.com
1 vote
Hi, , Virginia
Fri Mar 21, 2008
do not try to twist their arms, to buy your house, that would be illegal.

anyways

good luck
0 votes
Phil Fowler, Agent, Brandon, FL
Fri Mar 21, 2008
Hello Again,

As I mentioned previously, I have an attorney who could give you some direction. Don't assume that you are going to spend a lot and don't try to "SAVE" money in this situation either. I believe that your "Word" means everything and shows your true character, however, I still get everything in writing.

Please think twice as to how you are going to be running your business. "Be as wise as a serpent, but innocent as a dove". This is a very old saying by an extremely wise person.

Hope it works out for you. Just put it down to another one of "life's lessons" and don't be too hard on yourself.

Happy Easter.
Web Reference:  http://www.PhilFowler.com
0 votes
Mikem, , 01803
Fri Mar 21, 2008
Buying properties on a handshake is a good way to make sure your buying/selling process is the most painful experience it could possibly be. It doesn't seem like you used escrow account for their deposit (that way the money is there, instead of a check which may bounce) They also put very little down, if they put, say 5-10% down you probably wouldn't be so hard pressed, since if they back out you get to keep those monies, and they would be a lot more motivated.

Indeed this is a good example of how paying a little could save you a lot. Anyway, you should get a quote from an attorney as to how much it would cost for them to look into this. Who knows, it might be less than you think, and it's definitely what you need in this situation.
0 votes
Kathleen Sei…, Agent, Gainesville, FL
Fri Mar 21, 2008
I'd say you would have been safer if you had given the check to the closing agent to hold in escrow. That way you would have had a real deposit.

Usually in Florida since you still have the house the courts don't tend to give the sellers much.

If you don't have anything is writing about charging them for storage space I doubt you can back charge them now (unless they pay). I'm not sure what you can do with the stuff that is there - they are not renters with rights but I also know you can't just throw it on the street.

BTW - you may want to stop calling the mortgage broker "the Broker" - it gets confusing because there are many kinds of brokers and it gets confusing.

As far as the parents go, they actually signed the contract? You may be able to threaten a suit for specific performance to get them off their butts, but that might not work. They would take it more seriously if it is written up by an attorney though.

I hate to say it, but this is a great example of how REALTORs protect their customers and the kind of trouble we keep them from getting into. You may be able to hire an agent at this point for advice and to get the ball rolling on a new sale. You wouldn't need to be down there for closing - the paperwork can be mailed to you - so you husband could come home!
0 votes
keeblyn, Home Seller, Florida
Fri Mar 21, 2008
No we are not represented by a Agent. The Mtg. Broker is a friend of a friend, continues to try to close it. Last we heard was yesterday they were trying to sell this trailer, we should have heard something by days end and we have not, so Broker said First thing today.... We'll see! They will not be able to get a denial, the loan is waiting on them.
Contract reads they had to give us 30 written notice of being unable to close. So I believe that we have "Specific performance" issues. BUT not being able to afford an attorney.... This is bringing us down further and further financially. they also have items on the property, that in the beginning we let them put in a shed verbally, then they bought some of the furniture cash and that is still there. I want them to remove it, and can not get them to answer calls or emails, and Broker is trying to be creative in helping them find ways to close this, but in the mean time...... We're stuck holding the bag. I thought about emailing them 12 hrs notice to remove it, as well as charging them for storage fees and then charging them everyday past the closing date to close....But if they back out...... and we don't close we don't have the large equity that will help us forward, But, if they do close my husband can come back home, (he's still down there trying to get it closed and sell furniture) and start working on the business we were opening, which that is sitting by the waste side because of all this. Bottom line, we were foolish to trust. We bought our home years ago on a handshake, and we could have messed things up for the seller and they the same for us, but we never even thought to do something like this. And here we are in the bind we are in because of trust.
I do not believe the measly 1000.00 deposit check they gave us is good either. So here we are with a bad check and two homes and 2 kids that are running our lives at this moment because they can. His parents co-signed, so we can go after the $$ from the parents. I just am not that type of person though...... Not to mention again, I just don't have the type of money to fight this, nor walk away from it. :(
Thank you all! Will keep you posted!!
0 votes
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