Q: I have a question about a real estate “deal” that our real estate agent put together.

We are selling part of our farm in lots. Our agent came to us one day with a contract to sign for a lot. It was slightly different from the usual contract in that the financing had something to do with a mortgage — to this day I’m not sure exactly what that meant.

Under this contract, the agent would get his commission, and the lawyer would get his fee, but we would not get the money for the property about a month. We were assured we’d get our money plus interest from the mortgage.

The original date, May 29th, was pushed back to the middle of June, then the end of June, and then we were told the end all date would be July 31.

When this deal was set up months ago I asked if the financing was solid and was told I could “take it to the bank”. A couple of weeks ago, we were suddenly told that the financing didn’t look good.

I have checked with other agents about this situation and they all tell me they have never heard of a deal like this. Have you? I would really appreciate any advice you would have. Unless we here from him soon, I have every intention of confronting our agent on July 31.

Are we being taken for a ride?

A: I would be very nervous about the real estate agent you’re using. This deal sounds unusual and what you’re being asked to do is give up control of your property without receiving any cash in return. I wouldn’t do that. It’s way too risky.

Please see an excellent real estate attorney who can look through your documents and make sure that you are not getting the very short end of the stick here. Then, have this attorney contact the buyers and their attorney to see where they are in terms of their financing. Finally, talk to the escrow or title company to make sure everything is in order.

Overall, it doesn’t seem to me like you have a deal. Every day you wait to remarket your property simply delays your ability to resell the property.

Aug. 1, 2004.