Legal Pitfalls Short Sales

WATCH YOUR STEP
Residential real estate deals always carry some risk of legal disputes, but today’s volatile market is spawning new clashes.

Short sales present pitfalls for sellers and buyers, which can result in legal wrangling. How banks handle defaults and the foreclosure process has come under intense legal review. And sniping about legal points can arise from the disclosures and contract performance sections of any sale.

A real estate offer is a legal contract, with binding obligations. Buyers and sellers must perform under it or face possible legal ramifications. Short sales can take tons of effort and months to close. Some agents are seeking legal redress if they feel they’ve been stiffed.

“Sometimes an agent sues because a homeowner doesn’t close on a good offer,” said James Stout, an attorney with the Stout Law Firm in Las Vegas

Real estate experts advise buyers and sellers to pay close attention to these hot-button issues to avoid conflicts. And some recommend getting advice from an attorney in distressed-property sales states a piece by Kathleen Doler in Investors.com.

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