Q: I feel my best friend has been pushed into buying a home by a real estate agent. He told her the amount he was willing to spend on a house and she kept showing him more expensive homes.
Finally in frustration, he looked at one that kind of met his needs. He asked for a privacy fence to be adjoined to two other neighbors and for a cabinet to be added in the kitchen.
He has not signed the final contract or purchase papers and no closing has happened. There was only this request for a modification to the property.
He has decided he doesn’t want to close but now his real estate agent is telling him that the seller will sue him and he must buy this house. He has no choice. Is this true?
A: If your friend feels pushed into buying a home, he shouldn’t sign anything. There is no contract for purchase (that will stand up in court) unless there has been an offer made in writing and it has been accepted in writing. Your friend should immediately call an attorney to discuss this matter and may want to talk to the managing broker of the agent’s office and inform him/her that he feels pressured to make an offer and will not be going through with it.
He should also inform the broker that he will no longer work with this person. He should follow up by summarizing the call in a letter or email and sending it to the managing broker.
My question for your friend is: When is he going to stiffen up his spine? This is the single biggest purchase of his life and it’s easy as a buyer to simply drift away from someone. But if he doesn’t want to purchase the home, he shouldn’t. He has plenty of choices, both in who represents him and how he goes about making the single biggest purchase of his life. I suggest to you that perhaps your friend isn’t really ready to buy and when he is, there are other agents who will treat him less aggressively.
For legal advice (I’m not a real estate attorney), he should contact a local real estate attorney to make sure that there isn’t more to the agent’s claim that he is legally at risk.
Dec. 17, 2008.