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Old Yesterday, 07:05 AM
 
Location: MID ATLANTIC
7,165 posts, read 16,199,782 times
Reputation: 7163

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I have a friend that is selling her home in the Hartford, CT area. She sold the home and on the day of closing the buyers "changed their mind about buying." She now needs an attorney strong in contract litigation. The fact she is aware she needs a strong litigator is a big enough signal to me she's probably correct (based on my experience with real estate attorneys - few are good in the courtroom).

Any recommendations? What makes this even more difficult is she is in Europe for the next 2 weeks. She could ask her Realtor, but I suspect she may have a case against her and her company, as well.
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Old Yesterday, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Jersey City, NJ
459 posts, read 580,454 times
Reputation: 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMoney View Post
I have a friend that is selling her home in the Hartford, CT area. She sold the home and on the day of closing the buyers "changed their mind about buying." She now needs an attorney strong in contract litigation. The fact she is aware she needs a strong litigator is a big enough signal to me she's probably correct (based on my experience with real estate attorneys - few are good in the courtroom).

Any recommendations? What makes this even more difficult is she is in Europe for the next 2 weeks. She could ask her Realtor, but I suspect she may have a case against her and her company, as well.
She's better off moving on. Keep the earnest money and put the house back on the market. Suing for specific performance can take up to two years and lots of attorney fees. We had this discussion with our attorney because our sellers were flaking out--we were told if either party is a flake, try to recover as much damages as possible and move on. Litigating to force the other party to buy is going to be incredibly stressful, expensive and who knows what her house value will look like two years from now. Sorry she's dealing with a terrible buyer.

Can her agent/attorney send strongly worded letters saying they will lose the earnest money? Are there further negotiations that can still save the deal?
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Old Yesterday, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
13,215 posts, read 29,545,438 times
Reputation: 10825
Why doesn't she just take their earnest money and call it done? I don't think she understands how much it will cost her to litigate. I would never sue for specific performance. There is no way that the costs of litigation and all of that stress would be worth it. No way.
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Old Yesterday, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
1,768 posts, read 884,989 times
Reputation: 4663
Agree with ^

Forcing them to buy is a losing proposition for your friend.

Put it back on the market.
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Old Yesterday, 06:06 PM
 
335 posts, read 293,218 times
Reputation: 843
Our standard contracts allow the seller to keep the deposit as damages for buyers walking away, and is therefore, the agreed upon recourse. What does her contract say?


Suing to force them to purchase is (almost) impossible. Contract contingent on loan? Skip a couple of credit card payments and they no longer qualify. Cash deal? Spend some/all the money and then what? Wait for how long to get the money and still can't sell to someone else.


She's probably very ticked off that they walked at the last minute and wants to sue. But, realistically, keeping the deposit and moving on is probably her best option. Years in court, and still no sale will only bring more aggravation.
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Old Yesterday, 09:30 PM
 
Location: MID ATLANTIC
7,165 posts, read 16,199,782 times
Reputation: 7163
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsPiggleWiggle View Post
She's better off moving on. Keep the earnest money and put the house back on the market. Suing for specific performance can take up to two years and lots of attorney fees. We had this discussion with our attorney because our sellers were flaking out--we were told if either party is a flake, try to recover as much damages as possible and move on. Litigating to force the other party to buy is going to be incredibly stressful, expensive and who knows what her house value will look like two years from now. Sorry she's dealing with a terrible buyer.

Can her agent/attorney send strongly worded letters saying they will lose the earnest money? Are there further negotiations that can still save the deal?
That's what she needs the attorney, to fight to keep the earnest money. Her buyers are insane, they can tie it up the house for months, holding out for her to give in. They are a spiteful pair.
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Old Yesterday, 09:38 PM
 
Location: MID ATLANTIC
7,165 posts, read 16,199,782 times
Reputation: 7163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
Why doesn't she just take their earnest money and call it done? I don't think she understands how much it will cost her to litigate. I would never sue for specific performance. There is no way that the costs of litigation and all of that stress would be worth it. No way.
That's exactly what she is trying to do. But she just can't say "you bad, my money now" and get the EMD. And it looks like these psychos are going to force her to incur even more legal fees and tie up the home from being relisted.....they are dragging it out, demanding EMD returned. I am reluctant to put details of a potential lawsuit on the web - she needs someone to rely on. The agent is not that person, unfortunately, she found that out about halfway into the contract after it was ratified. She needs a litigator.
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Old Today, 08:20 AM
 
712 posts, read 288,101 times
Reputation: 1112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMoney View Post
She now needs an attorney strong in contract litigation. The fact she is aware she needs a strong litigator is a big enough signal to me she's probably correct (based on my experience with real estate attorneys - few are good in the courtroom).
...
She could ask her Realtor, but I suspect she may have a case against her and her company, as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMoney View Post
...
I am reluctant to put details of a potential lawsuit on the web - she needs someone to rely on. The agent is not that person, unfortunately, she found that out about halfway into the contract after it was ratified. She needs a litigator.
Whoa. Take a deep breath. So much high drama - you've already got this as an episode of Law and Order. Most things get settled out of court. You've already got the legal strategy chosen (slugging it out in court) and she hasn't even consulted any lawyer yet? Bizarre. I think you are getting way ahead of yourself. Anyway, I would not come to CD for recommendations for litigators when nobody knows anything about what's going on here. That's not the right way to approach this. You say she may have a case against her realtor "as well". Who's suing who here? With respect, it doesn't sound like you know what you are talking about.
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Old Today, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
9,231 posts, read 12,522,319 times
Reputation: 7136
Many purchase contracts have wording to the effect that the "buyer(s) can cancel/withdraw from this contract for any reason, or no reason, up to the time of closing". It's a sticky wicket, and as such, the sellers have no legal recourse against the buyers, the r/e agents, or anyone else. While it is understandable that you feel sorry for your friend, and want to reach out to help her -- you are not doing your friend any favor by edging her on. She needs to have a brief consultation with a r/e attorney to get the legalities explained. Then, put the house back on the market and minimize the stress.
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Old Today, 11:05 AM
 
6,670 posts, read 3,479,207 times
Reputation: 7252
why, its not sold till the paperwork sign, they can walk away at any time. if she goes to court the buyer will get their earnest money back, court cost and lawyer fee. she could loses thousands more than the earnest fee
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