Thursday, April 26, 2007

Informative earnest money dispute case...

Take a look here...Chapman v. Engel. Interesting appellate case from the second district. Brief facts, plaintiffs entered into contract to purchase defendant's home for $555,000. At final walk-thru, the property was not in the same condition as when the contract was signed. P's requested a credit or a repair escrow and D's refused. $55k was held in escrow as earnest money. Home eventually sold for $520,000 to another Buyer.

Court ruled that earnest money should go back to the P's. Interesting case, the appellate court really dealt with what the definition of a "prevailing party" is. The case transcript didn't get into how the home was no longer in the condition that it had been when the contract was signed. I wonder what the issue was.

NEVER do not do a pre-closing walk-thru! I see people who don't but I think about 1/4 of the time I'll hear of problems...usually minor but every $$ counts.


At 11:23 PM, Blogger Eric Rojas said...

I was discovered a deck fire on a final walk through. I mean, this could be a huge issue...common area vs. unit owner? How much damge and what will the cost be? Is it going to be an insurance claim for the building?

Turned out the damge was contained on anothe deck... but man, what if we didn't catch it, went to closing and it burnt my clients porch down? Yep, my client's problem.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Peter said...

I could mention any number of stories...but I still hear of people, particularly newish condos, who don't do walk-thrus. Last week there was a broken light fixture so that was just $ problem. But last year we had water from a unit above Buyer coming down into the unit that we were set to sell. We just did a repair escrow and it was fine.


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