I have had a contract on a house due to close 12/30 and on 12/22 learned of issues:
1. The property was jointly owned by owner and deceased. Current owner hasn't paid inheritance tax and hasn't been named executor of estate.
2. Owner hasn't paid mortgage since August.
3. Owner realizes he won't make any money and is threatening to walk regardless.
Owner has no $$$ and a lot of debt. I could sue him but don't stand to gain anything.
Do I have any legal recourse against the listing agent? He says he was aware of the title issues, took house off the market in August and confirmed that issues were resolved but they persist. He says the closing will be delayed but cannot give me any time frame. Given that owner is threatening to walk I won't extend closing without guaranteed timeline. Thanks
The title issue is a show stopper because he can't sell what he doesn't own. Your title insurer should supply the title report and allow you out of the deal. Another alternative is to allow the house to close but have a hold back in escrow to clear the cloud and taxes. If the seller refuses to close a lawsuit for specific performance could be used to force the the sale but it would be a questionable venture. Use the find a lawyer tab above to find a real estate lawyer to talk with about this mess.
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My bet is that you used the PA Association of Realtors Agreement of Sale. It says that if the seller cannot pass good title, you may either: 1) cancel and get back your money, or 2) pay the full price for what ever title you can get.
If you are getting a really good deal, you may want to consider going to the Orphans Court to get someone appointed as administrator, or you may consider simply buying the mortgage and foreclosing. For that you need $$$$
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Well, at this point you either did or did not close, and either did or did not extend the closing. Depending on the value of the house and the debts against it, the issues may or may not affect the passing of good title - IF you are still in the deal, you should have a real estate attorney take a look at the title report and the figures needed to close - things may not be as bad as they appear to non-lawyers.
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