Jan. 16, 2013
Dear George: My wife and I submitted a contract to purchase land through our real estate agent to the seller’s agent. We received the signed contract back and filed it the next day with the title company along with our earnest money check. Upon sending the seller’s agent an executed contract, the agent responded that the sellers wouldn’t accept the contract until a backup addendum was signed and attached. At this time, there are two contracts on the same property. The seller’s agent has done nothing to try to terminate either contract but just keeps saying we don’t have a contract.
We have been advised by our agent that we have a contract and we have to fulfill our parts of the contract. But who was responsible for seeing that the backup-addendum box was checked on the contract and that the addendum was attached to the contract? And what’s the status of both contracts? Can either party close?
Answer: Your agent advised you correctly. You have a contract and have to fulfill your duties. As for your questions …
Who was responsible for seeing that the backup-addendum box was checked on the contract? Assuming your agent didn’t know about the other contract, the listing agent was responsible.
Who was responsible for seeing that the addendum was attached to the contract that we and the seller signed? The listing agent and the seller were responsible because they are the only ones who knew that the seller was accepting only backup contracts.
What is the status of both contracts? Can either party close? Both contracts are pending. Neither party can legally close until the situation is resolved.
It’s up to the seller and his agent to resolve the situation. If the situation is not resolved in informal discussions, it will end up in court.
E-mail a question to ask George & Chuck or fax it to 713-978-6684. The answers to questions in this column do not contain legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.