Buying or Selling a Home/house
My wife and I are looking for a retirement home in PA for next year. We got a Real Estate agent. She is nice but only been in the business one year and doesn't seem to know a lot except she insisted we sign a contract with Northwood Agency that she is our only agent. I knew enough to limit her to 3 counties in our area and only for a month.
We must have looked at over 50 homes, most of which were a waste of time, lots of mold. The pictures sure don't tell the whole picture and the agent had not been at any of them before.
We finally found a house and put money down, filled out all the paperwork. The seller counteroffered (orally) and we bid again and they countered and we bid again and they orally accepted. It has been 2 weeks and we don't have a contract. The agent said we were legally responsible and would lose our hand money if we backed out but the seller was under no responsibility and could back out.
Today the agent called and said the house is an estate and the executor son is a lawyer and he wants contract changed from a regular deed to a Fiduciary deed. The agent said she never heard of this before and took it to her boss and they are consulting the agency's attorney.
We are getting discouraged and don't know what to do. We are spending a whole lot more for this house than we originally planned and we are rather stretched. Can you offer any advice?
First, I have to explain that I do not have a license in Pennsylvania but in California. Each state handles real estate contracts a little differently, and it would be best to consult with a real estate professional or attorney in the area you are purchasing in.
With that said, there are some basics about real estate contracts pretty consistent across the board. Agreements, offers and acceptance, need to be in writing to be enforceable. Deposits come with contingencies regarding the default of buyer or seller. The first step is to read the contract and confirm how it details "acceptance" and how "cancellations" are handled.
In regards to your real estate agent, if you are not confident in her abilities to advise you accordingly, ask to speak with the managing broker of the office in which you signed the buyer's agreement. They will most likely be more experienced and may be able to provide information on how to proceed or cancel without risk to your deposit.
If the home is being sold as an estate by another member of the family, this could be more complicated but may also work out fine with patience. Only you will be able to decide if this is the right home and deal for you. Definitely, ask all the questions and be satisfied with the answers before proceeding.
Again, consult with experienced professionals in the area to obtain local contract process and remedies.
Best of luck. I would be interested to hear how it works out.