Q: A seller who was selling without an agent accepted my offer. He took the deposit check and signed the deposit agreement.
A few days later, a real estate agent, who is the son of the real estate attorney who reviewed the sales agreement for the seller, got in the middle of the deal. The agent promised the seller he could sell the unit for $50,000 more.
The seller backed out of our deal, signed up with the real estate agent and the attorney sent my deposit check back.
I don’t understand this. Can they legally break a deal that was written? My attorney said it is third party interference. I really want the house, but I cannot afford to pay the new exorbitant price the seller is now asking.
A: Under the contract’s terms, did the seller have the right to have his attorney review the deal? Did the seller have the right to cancel the deal based on the attorney review? If so, then the seller could cancel based on his attorney’s advice that the deal wasn’t in his best interest.
On the other side, if the seller signed the contract without an attorney review period that included a right of termination, but still backed out of your deal, and then goes ahead and gets an extra $50,000 more, you may be able to sue the seller for the additional money collected. Your attorney can advise you further.
While it may seem like a breach of ethics for the attorney to have discussed the sales price with his son, the agent, he is the seller’s attorney and may have been acting in his client’s best interest. But I will defer to your attorney’s judgment in that.