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Old 08-21-2013, 08:28 AM   #21
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I don't think I would rely on a realtor for legal advice (even though he might be right). I would just make a quick call to the lawyer I use for my real estate transactions and see what s/he thinks.
Texas real estate agents are not allowed to give legal advice...
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:48 AM   #22
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In my past real estate experience, every time I heard mention of a lawyer being involved in a real estate transaction I would say "Oh no!". They will screw up more closings just because they think they have to do something for their client to earn their fee.

Edited to add that while an attorney was necessary years ago to review the history of the property to assure clear title transfer, title insurance now covers this part of the real estate transaction. With only the use of an attorney to research title history, if the attorney screwed up you would have to sue them to recover any loss. Title insurance is just what it is, "insurance" that insures clear title transfer.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:00 AM   #23
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In my past real estate experience, every time I heard mention of a lawyer being involved in a real estate transaction I would say "Oh no!". They will screw up more closings just because they think they have to do something for their client to earn their fee.
Really, an attorney screw something up, it never happened, just ask their attorney.

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Old 08-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #24
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Really, an attorney screw something up, it never happened, just ask their attorney.

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Exactly. Here's the email I just got this morning from the escrow agent:

"I’ve been emailing with the buyer’s attorney. We cannot close today unfortunately. He said they are in the process of filing the title objections, per the contract, and that the seller will have an opportunity to respond. This may take some time. I will keep you posted if I hear anything more."

I knew that was coming. I have communicated directly with the buyer as recently as last week when I told him outside the presence of his counsel that if they had an objection to the gazebo there was nothing I could do about it and they could either waive that objection or cancel the contract. But now he is not answering his phone. Most likely his attorney has advised him not to speak with me directly.

So now I am anxiously awaiting to see what their objections to title are, and what - if any - cure they specifically seek. Like I outlined earlier, they have until the day after tomorrow to get the letter to me, which then opens up a 15 day window for me to respond.

Needless to say, I won't appear very eager by responding immediately. Or even after a few days. In fact, I might wait until Day 14 to respond.

Did I mention that this offer came to me on the day the sales listing was to expire? They know I was not going to renew the listing, that I do not have to sell.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:23 AM   #25
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Without reviewing all the posts, have you looked over your contract to see what you have to do to cancel it. Apparently you don't want to cancel but you should know what your options are. Sounds like the counter offer phase is over but is there some legal detail you can grab onto that would preclude you fulfilling the contract? I'd have a plan to get out of it if you can. Like, what happens if you don't respond to their forthcoming letter?
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:58 AM   #26
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Exactly. Here's the email I just got this morning from the escrow agent:

"I’ve been emailing with the buyer’s attorney. We cannot close today unfortunately. He said they are in the process of filing the title objections, per the contract, and that the seller will have an opportunity to respond. This may take some time. I will keep you posted if I hear anything more."

I knew that was coming. I have communicated directly with the buyer as recently as last week when I told him outside the presence of his counsel that if they had an objection to the gazebo there was nothing I could do about it and they could either waive that objection or cancel the contract. But now he is not answering his phone. Most likely his attorney has advised him not to speak with me directly.

So now I am anxiously awaiting to see what their objections to title are, and what - if any - cure they specifically seek. Like I outlined earlier, they have until the day after tomorrow to get the letter to me, which then opens up a 15 day window for me to respond.

Needless to say, I won't appear very eager by responding immediately. Or even after a few days. In fact, I might wait until Day 14 to respond.

Did I mention that this offer came to me on the day the sales listing was to expire? They know I was not going to renew the listing, that I do not have to sell.
I would definitely not respond until day 14. In fact I might not respond at all, and just let the deal die. I'm vindictive that way, I guess. I hate people who waste my time.

Anyway, good luck with however things turn out. I'm assuming since you weren't going to renew the listing, that you don't HAVE to sell, which is good. Sounds like you aren't dependent on these jokers, which gives you the upper hand.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #27
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I guess because OP is a seller, the buyer is getting roundly condemned. But my GF recently was saved from an expensive mistake that neither agent, nor the title agency pointed out. All these people want a deal, so they can get paid. Your attorney is going to get paid regardless of deal or no deal, so he is working for you.

Sellers have a natural advantage over the buyer- they know pretty much all there is to know about the place they are selling- the buyer knows damn little, especially when markets heat up. Accepting this, as a shopper/buyer, you need to press anything you can find, which is generally that the seller needs to sell this one house, and you can buy any one among a large selection- at least in any large city. Or rent. Or stay wherever you are now.

So what if the seller pulls the listing? Not only will his agent be mad, seller is back to square one.

When I was negotiating to buy an earlier condo, the sellers sent word via the agent chain (how trustworthy is this?) that they were getting angry with all my demands. So I told my agent that although rarely get angry in situation like this, remember than I am free to leave, and these sellers live in another country and have ben trying to sell this for quite a while. So let them get angry, lots more condos within a 3 block radius.

They get did angry, refused some of my reasonable requests, took it off the market and now 2 years later it is still unsold. I think they got a manager to rent it, but I can't tell when I walk by.

Ha
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:22 PM   #28
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Without reviewing all the posts, have you looked over your contract to see what you have to do to cancel it. Apparently you don't want to cancel but you should know what your options are. Sounds like the counter offer phase is over but is there some legal detail you can grab onto that would preclude you fulfilling the contract? I'd have a plan to get out of it if you can. Like, what happens if you don't respond to their forthcoming letter?
If I cancel, I'm in default. But my "out" is that I don't have to cure any objections they may have to title. And I've got 15 days to decide that once they deliver their letter of objection to me.

If I do not offer a cure or fail to respond to their objections, then they can either waive their objections and go ahead close or cancel the contract.

Most private party buyers have no idea they can do this (at least in Texas with a TREC 1-4 Family Residential Contract), but attorneys certainly do.

It's their opportunity to throw something out there for a last minute concession on the part of the seller. If the seller doesn't go for it, no harm no foul, they just waive their objection and move forward to close.

Or it was a serious enough objection that they really do cancel the contract if it isn't cured.

Even if this does fall apart, I can say that I've learned some good things from it - the attorney's original draft objections to the title company were concerning several exceptions and exclusions that the title company had in the title insurance policy. I was surprised to see that the title company removed those, no questions asked (a couple of them required additional endorsements for a few hundred dollars). I had not known that was possible and will keep that in mind on future RE transactions.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:26 PM   #29
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I guess because OP is a seller, the buyer is getting roundly condemned. But my GF recently was saved from an expensive mistake that neither agent, nor the title agency pointed out. All these people want a deal, so they can get paid. Your attorney is going to get paid regardless of deal or no deal, so he is working for you.

Sellers have a natural advantage over the buyer- they know pretty much all there is to know about the place they are selling- the buyer knows damn little, especially when markets heat up. Accepting this, as a shopper/buyer, you need to press anything you can find, which is generally that the seller needs to sell this one house, and you can buy any one among a large selection- at least in any large city. Or rent. Or stay wherever you are now.

So what if the seller pulls the listing? Not only will his agent be mad, seller is back to square one.

When I was negotiating to buy an earlier condo, the sellers sent word via the agent chain (how trustworthy is this?) that they were getting angry with all my demands. So I told my agent that although rarely get angry in situation like this, remember than I am free to leave, and these sellers live in another country and have ben trying to sell this for quite a while. So let them get angry, lots more condos within a 3 block radius.

They get did angry, refused some of my reasonable requests, took it off the market and now 2 years later it is still unsold. I think they got a manager to rent it, but I can't tell when I walk by.

Ha
I can certainly see your point, and it's a valid one. But I never said I wasn't willing to work with the buyer. I am (and indicated in my first post) disappointed in their suddenly cutting off communications and simply quoting legalize when asked if there was something that needed to be addressed or how we could get this moving along.

That is the part I was most annoyed with. Not their concerns about things they might not be aware of. Because I agree with you - they certainly have a right to know what they are buying.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #30
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That is the part I was most annoyed with. Not their concerns about things they might not be aware of. Because I agree with you - they certainly have a right to know what they are buying.
I think you have correctly figured that is very likely their attorney speaking.

Ha
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:30 PM   #31
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I guess because OP is a seller, the buyer is getting roundly condemned. But my GF recently was saved from an expensive mistake that neither agent, nor the title agency pointed out. All these people want a deal, so they can get paid. Your attorney is going to get paid regardless of deal or no deal, so he is working for you.

Sellers have a natural advantage over the buyer- they know pretty much all there is to know about the place they are selling- the buyer knows damn little, especially when markets heat up. Accepting this, as a shopper/buyer, you need to press anything you can find, which is generally that the seller needs to sell this one house, and you can buy any one among a large selection- at least in any large city. Or rent. Or stay wherever you are now.

So what if the seller pulls the listing? Not only will his agent be mad, seller is back to square one.

When I was negotiating to buy an earlier condo, the sellers sent word via the agent chain (how trustworthy is this?) that they were getting angry with all my demands. So I told my agent that although rarely get angry in situation like this, remember than I am free to leave, and these sellers live in another country and have ben trying to sell this for quite a while. So let them get angry, lots more condos within a 3 block radius.

They get did angry, refused some of my reasonable requests, took it off the market and now 2 years later it is still unsold. I think they got a manager to rent it, but I can't tell when I walk by.

Ha

I agree that the buyer needs to be concerned with things that they do not know.... but if they really want to buy the property, then all objections should be coming at the same time... dragging them out over time means something else is going on....

When I sold my house, we got a list of items the buyer wanted addressed... we addressed them (or not) and let the buyer decide if they wanted to close.... there was nothing wrong with the title and there was title insurance..... same for the house that I bought....
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #32
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there was nothing wrong with the title and there was title insurance..... same for the house that I bought....
I think you work in banking, so you are likely very familiar with these things. Before I even went shopping I went into a title company to see what title insurance could and could not do. It appears to me that it can be a lot trickier than is commonly supposed.

Anyway, unless I suddenly get a lot richer or an earthquake knocks down my building, I won't be buying again. But if I ever had plans to be a real estate principle in more than a very occasional transaction, I would know a whole lot more about it than I do now. And I would not be super easy to deal with. It may take more than a few successful commercial or industrial RE deals to create some real money. But one stupid one can derail that quick.

Ha
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #33
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Since you are fed up with this and would like to but don't need to sell, maybe you could start making noises that infer that you have another ready, willing and able buyer in the wings and want this contract to cancel which might make the buyer more interested in closing expeditiously.

If you don't care at this point it might be fun entertainment.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:45 PM   #34
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In my past real estate experience, every time I heard mention of a lawyer being involved in a real estate transaction I would say "Oh no!".
In my experience real estate transaction practices are very parochial. In some areas lawyers are always involved, in some areas they're practically never involved. In NY attorneys are standard practice, and in general things go smoothly.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:30 PM   #35
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In my experience real estate transaction practices are very parochial. In some areas lawyers are always involved, in some areas they're practically never involved. In NY attorneys are standard practice, and in general things go smoothly.
I live in a rural area in Midwest. I have bought and sold 6 different houses in last 15 or so years, and there has never been a lawyer on either side. None of my friends have used them either. In fact most people that I am familiar with do their own "walk throughs" with a termite inspection thrown in for good measure.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:03 PM   #36
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Okay, so just about an hour ago I get this:

"Please see the Buyer’s Title Objection Letter delivered timely, and per the methods required under the contract.

We look forward to the Seller and Title Company’s response, as well as a smooth closing, per the timetable described in the contract."

And attached is their formal Letter of Objection containing 15 different objections and requirements to nothing more than clauses of the title commitment policy itself.

Delete this, clarify that. Seriously.

So it looks like at this point it's strictly up to the title company. Upon multiple reads, I can't find anything in there that has anything to do with me or the property that requires action on my part.

Lawyers
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:14 PM   #37
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Okay, so just about an hour ago I get this:

"Please see the Buyer’s Title Objection Letter delivered timely, and per the methods required under the contract.

We look forward to the Seller and Title Company’s response, as well as a smooth closing, per the timetable described in the contract."

And attached is their formal Letter of Objection containing 15 different objections and requirements to nothing more than clauses of the title commitment policy itself.

Delete this, clarify that. Seriously.

So it looks like at this point it's strictly up to the title company. Upon multiple reads, I can't find anything in there that has anything to do with me or the property that requires action on my part.

Lawyers
Like I said, the lawyer has to look important and show your buyers that they are getting their monies worth. I agree with your assessment about lawyers ("could have had a V-8")
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:16 PM   #38
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I remember working on a debt issuance filing one weekend. At the time, I was a key officer of the issuer. We spent about an hour or two on some items of substance and then another 20 hours watching the damn lawyers comma hunt. Frustrating way to spend a weekend when there are so many better things to do.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:42 AM   #39
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Okay, so just about an hour ago I get this:

"Please see the Buyer’s Title Objection Letter delivered timely, and per the methods required under the contract.

We look forward to the Seller and Title Company’s response, as well as a smooth closing, per the timetable described in the contract."

And attached is their formal Letter of Objection containing 15 different objections and requirements to nothing more than clauses of the title commitment policy itself.

Delete this, clarify that. Seriously.

So it looks like at this point it's strictly up to the title company. Upon multiple reads, I can't find anything in there that has anything to do with me or the property that requires action on my part.

Lawyers
I bet there's only so far the title company is willing to go in making changes to a policy. At some point, even the title company is going to tell them to pound sand.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:07 AM   #40
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I live in a rural area in Midwest. I have bought and sold 6 different houses in last 15 or so years, and there has never been a lawyer on either side. None of my friends have used them either. In fact most people that I am familiar with do their own "walk throughs" with a termite inspection thrown in for good measure.

I'm not surprised, the practices are very specific to the locale.
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