Are you currently represented by a Realtor? This would be a good question to ask your agent. If you're not currently being represented by a Realtor, and you would like advice from a real estate expert in the San Gabriel Valley, contact me through my profile.
Generally, "When in doubt, disclose." If you think it's important enough to ask the question, then disclosure would be advised. If the disclosure is not important to the buyer, then it will be of no consequence. It the disclosure is of concern, it is better to resolve it and avoid a lawsuit on whether the disclosure should have been made as a material fact.
If the seller has actual knowledge, regardless of whether it occurred prior to ownership, the seller must disclose all known material facts.
I am a real estate broker qualified to advise you on California real estate matters, not the law. If you desire legal advice, consult with an attorney.
I do not work in that area at all, but would be happy to have a general conversation with you on some good interview questions for when you are interviewing agents. Please feel free to email me from my profile.
In California, we are required to disclose a death int the past 2-3 years. Some buyers will be turned off, but others will be just fine with it. If the house is in good, appealing condition, you should be fine.... more
This is a really good question. I can see why you would be concerned. I wonder if you are competing for the same buyer? It's hard to tell from your question. I would definately have a conversation with your agent. I'm not sure why your agent didn't mention it to you? Maybe, something came up unexpectedly and she has to sell. You might want to check with her. Also, ask her to modify the descriptions to differentiate between yours and hers. I believe that there could possibly be a question about moral ethic's. Yes, she can sell her house just like any other homeowner. However, since she is your agent it would have been wise to mention it to you. Your agent might have not even thought about it? So, it would be good to bring this up with her for your sake. Maybe she will do it differently next time.
You should consult this with an attorney. Assuming the bank has NOT approved the sale (as this would still be a contingency to having a contract) either party can back out of the deal if you want to. If the bank has provided written acceptance of the offer (which is a seller contingency) the seller may still back out, but I believe they would have to return the deposit check, and the seller would only be liable for two routes of recourse. I am not a licensed attorney, and do not know the specifics of your individual situation and as such am only speculating and I am not providing you legal advice of any kind.
One potential possibility of recourse is to sue you for 'specific performance' and would then have to prove that there are no comparable properties available on the current market (very difficult).
The second potential option would be to sue for breach of contract, and all the buyer could be awarded is any out of pocket expenses they made while acting in good faith that the deal was moving forward (appraisals, physical inspections, etc), and anything further than that the seller might be able to counter with the defense of entering into a contract while in a state of duress. I must insist that you seek the legal advice of a confident attorney, and if you havenâ€™t already done so, weigh the options with your CPA or confident tax consultant.
I hope this helps and you can also click on the Web Reference link to see several last minute pitfalls that would make the short sale unfavorable to the seller (maybe what you're facing now).... more
Most standard homes sales are sold with this vary same situation. Most homes that are sold have a loan balance remainning. Usually, when escrow is getting ready to close and the new buyers loan has been funded, escrow will wire what ever balance is due to the existing lien holder or lender and the remainning funds are then distributed to the seller after all seller costs are paid.
I'd love to help you sell you home, call or email for a consultation.... more
You have the protection of California's eviction laws and possibly local laws. The national banks don't seem to realize that they need to follow state laws so you might get asked to do something that is in violation of the state laws. Research the rights you have as a tenant in California and West Covina and then feel free to stand up to the banks.... more
You could cause yourself a lot of legal trouble if you try to cancel right now. One good thing, though... you said the buyer has just completed their inspections. Most buyers will ask for credits or repairs. You are in a great position to say no to everything they ask, while still performing under your contract. If you say no to everything, and refuse to give credits, repairs, or a price reduction, there is always the chance they might get frustrated and cancel on their own. There is also a chance the house might appraise for less than the sale price. In fact, this is happening a lot recently as banks try to protect themselves. If this happens you can also refuse to reduce the price. Talk to a good real estate attorney about this, but your best bet may be to sit back and see if the buyer asks for anything.... more