A Note from the Legal Helpdesk: Queries from the Field
October 9, 2018
Here are some of the questions received and answers provided by the Alabama Realtors® Legal Helpdesk. The topics include texted offers agreed to and later rejected, utility bills left unpaid on a foreclosure, and earnest money issues. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions. If you have a question, submit it here!
Verbal vs. Written Agreements to Sell Real Estate
Q: I texted my client’s offer to the seller’s agent. The seller accepted that offer on the condition that we close immediately. Before I could even send a signed agreement, the listing agent texted me that the seller had accepted another offer. My client thinks that the offer we made by text can be enforced as a binding contract. Is the buyer right?
Unpaid Utility Bills from a Foreclosure
Q: My client is having difficulties dealing with a sewer company who claims that there are unpaid sewer bills on a property he bought at a foreclosure sale. How does that process work?
Non-Refundable Earnest Money Stays in Escrow
Q: When a contract states that “earnest money is non-refundable after inspection period,” does it become a deposit or can it remain as earnest money?
Earnest Money at Closing
Q: At a closing yesterday, we brought a check written from our escrow account for the earnest money we held. The title company informed us that it was deducted from our commission and the money should go to us as commission. Is that okay, as long as we document why we wrote a check to our own company?
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