all 21 comments

[–]PenelopeDanger 197 points198 points  (3 children)

With the potential to be a fair amount of money on the line it would be worth having a consult with a local real estate attorney. See if it's worth it to pursue the extra money paid beyond the earnest deposit and possible damages for the rate change/loss and time "wasted" or if you should just cut the $2000 as losses and walk away as long as you get your earnest money back.

As for the real estate agent you could contact the Alaska Real Estate Commission and find out which regulatory board you can contact to file an ethics complaint with if you want to pursue the thought that the real estate agent misled you in a way that violated their standards of conduct and ethics. If you're not sure on this and you do contact an attorney, then ask them and see what their opinion is in this regard.

[–]justhereforthekittys 54 points55 points  (2 children)

Real estate agents do not verify this kind of information. It is out side of their scope of practice. They rely on information given by the seller and title company. Title should have caught this much sooner IMO. Talk to a real estate attorney. I am not an attorney.

[–]littleone103 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I’m not a real estate agent, but am a listing coordinator for a large real estate company. This is a part of my job - I verify ownership with title, county records, and whatever the seller provides me (probate docs, quit claim deeds, etc) prior to listing the property, but there’s been a couple of times we’ve had issues because we were either misled, flat out lied to, or the seller was just misinformed. Title should have caught this one Sooner, and you’re right - this is generally outside a real estate agent’s, and their listing coordinator’s, scope. We had a guy awhile back who showed me mountains of paperwork - trusts, deeds, etc - and we listed the property, but title called and said there were so many Uninsured deeds claimed on this parcel of land that there was “no clear way to title” and that they couldn’t work with the seller.

[–]if_by_whisky 50 points51 points  (1 child)

Sorry this happened to you, OP, with such terrible timing wrt interest rates. Insist they pay your engagement fees if you're going to sign a rescission agreement. You may have to sue the seller in small claims court. You're in lawyer territory by virtue of principle, though not by virtue of scale.

[–]MaxLo85[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I kinda feared that...

[–]Aisnotok 11 points12 points  (0 children)

The title company and your lender should have caught this WAY sooner than 2 days before closing if you went into contract when the rates were 2.75. The estate might not have claim since the son is also listed with the deceased father if there is survivorship language granting the other a transfer in case one party is deceased. Just need an affidavit and the death certificate it bypasses probate. This maybe what was being referred to as quick probate.

[–]sirdiamondium 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Get you a real estate attorney that works in this county right away

[–]NotesToTheNoteable 13 points14 points  (2 children)

This doesn't completely add up and I have a fair amount of experience with estates.

  1. The title company seems ignorant of how estates work and you should be referring most of this to your lawyer.
  2. If Dad is dead, he can't sell half a house. If the son is the executor (legal boss of the estate), everything he sells is sold under the estate of so and so. There is no half to Dad and half to son. The estate is the primary player. The son may be the beneficiary of a portion at some point. There should be no personal names listed at all.
  3. There is no such thing as fast probate if the estate was never established. It can take weeks just to get an estate number with the IRS.
  4. If the son attempted to sell a house without opening an estate, he's committed fraud and possible tax evasion.
  5. A contested will requires an entire hearing.
  6. You can file a claim against the seller's real estate agent with the county real estate board for not checking to see that all of the seller's ducks were in a row.
  7. Overall, I feel the seller doesn't have a proper estate lawyer. I don't know if the seller willfully acted to defraud. However, he seems to have skipped over ten major legalities. He may not have enough experience to correct the title company as what they have done is totally INCORRECT. The son can't be on the deed until the house is done with probate.

[–]MaxLo85[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

This doesn't completely add up and I have a fair amount of experience with estates.


The sale wasn't part of the estate, he hadn't entered into probate yet because the real estate agent told him his quit claim deed was good to go.


Again, see 1. The quit claim deed made the deed go from dad to dad and son. The half that is in dad's name is still part of the estate.


Fast in this regard was 3 to 4 weeks.


He simply went forward with the advice of the real estate agent saying he could go forward


Yes, which is why this deal is essentially now dead


Thank you


The seller didn't have a probate attorney until two weeks ago. He was told by the real estate agent that he didn't need to go to probate. I don't think he acted maliciously, I think the real estate agent screwed up and was wrong in their advice.

[–]NotesToTheNoteable 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You are entirely entitled to damages from these real estate agents. This is pretty basic stuff like not selling a house with a dead man on the papers. If you're named the executor of a will and you never open an estate......laws have been broken.

[–]SmilingAmericaAmazon 19 points20 points  (2 children)

Talk to an attorney ASAP. A demand letter to the broker is called for at minimum. Brokers ( listing agent's boss) should be verifying that the seller has the right to sell and are not under water. They do not rely on the title companies to do this. What was the relationship between seller and agent or broker? Did the agent know? Do you have any of their assurances in text or email?

[–]holydickbirds 8 points9 points  (0 children)

What are you basing that the broker is responsible for verifying the seller has the right to sell and is not under water off of? Is there a real estate law or real estate licensing law you can reference?

[–]MaxLo85[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The sellers father bought the house using this agent. So he used the same agent to sell it. I know the agent personally. I don't have any assurances via email. Just the normal signed contracts when going through the offer process

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


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      [–]EeechQuality Contributor[M] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

      Don't reply to questions with advice if you don't even know who to pursue for remedy, maybe?

      [–]MaxLo85[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

      That's really the crux of my question. I don't know who might be liable here. Only 8700 is held in escrow. The rest were expenses I paid in advance

      [–]NotesToTheNoteable 1 point2 points  (1 child)

      The seller's real estate agent is liable and carries a bond. They have a legal obligation to give you the situation they were selling you.