Mislead into selling home

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Mislead into selling home

We put an offer in on a short sale property and were told in writing the offer was accepted by the bank. Our realtor knew it was never our intention to list our home until we found another. Knowing the bank accepted our offer we listed our home. We found a buyer for our home and agreed on terms. Within 24 hours our realtor called and told us the bank for the short sale property now wants 125k more for the home we were to be purchasing and then proceeded to tell us that our offer was never accepted by the bank and was always subject to bank approval. I have an email from him stating the bank accepted our offer and should we list our home now. Obviously now we are legally bound to sell our home but feel it has been swindled away from us because we trusted our realtor. Do we have any legal grounds against him or to pull out of the contract to sell our current home?

Asked on July 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) You cannot get out of the contract to sell: that contract is between you and your buyers and is unaffected by matters outside it, such as what transpired in regards to your contract to buy the other home.
2) You can potentially sue the realtor for the loss or costs you suffered due to him or her mispresenting that your offer had been accepted: e.g. potentially for any additional amounts over your original bid that you have to pay to get the short sale home (so that you have someplace to move to or live), or if you don't do that, if you have to rent someplace to live after your current home is sold, the cost of such rental, the cost of the additional, unnecessary move (from current home to rental then to wherever you end up buying--or so two moves, instead of just one), etc. The realtor either committed fraud (deliberately lied) or else was professionally negligent (unreasonably careless) and in either event, would be liable for the costs or losses their action caused you. You would sue the specific agent and, if he works for a real estate company, his employer, too.


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