Does the Buyer Have to Pay if the Seller Walks Away?

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Q: A few months ago I made an offer to buy an Upper East Side co-op. The owner countered and we agreed on a price. I got my financial documents in order and my letters of recommendation to present to the board. I also hired a real estate attorney who began working on the transaction and recommended I hire an engineer to check out the apartment. About 10 days later, the owner took the property off the market. I had already paid the attorney half of her fee. Can I ask the seller to refund that money to me, since she did not follow through on her part of the deal?

A: An accepted offer is not a binding agreement. Until the buyer delivers a deposit, and a fully executed copy of the contract has been delivered to the buyer or their attorney, either party can walk away for any reason or no reason at all.

The seller is not responsible for any money you’ve spent up until that point. As a buyer, you have no guarantees, but you still need a lawyer to review all the documents and draw up the contract. Attorneys don’t start working until they’re paid a retainer and generally do a bulk of their work before the contract is signed. They read the board minutes, analyze the financial statements and negotiate the contract with the seller’s attorney. If your lawyer recommended that you hire an engineer, she had probably invested many hours working on your deal.

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Sahred From Source link Real Estate