Profile picture for user3312164

Attorney fees if seller backs out of offer

I am a potential buyer, and my understanding is that an attorney is used prior to the contract being signed.  And offers are not binding in Manhattan.
If the seller accepts an offer, and I hire an attorney to begin the closing process I would still have to pay the attorney even if the seller backs out?  There is no penalty on the seller for backing out?  Everything at this point is "good faith"?
  • April 25 2013 - Manhattanville
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Answers (2)

Profile picture for superiorservices

Your question is whether or not you have to pay your attorney. The answer in most cases is "yes", if your attorney did ANY work on your behalf because of time spent. Some attorneys may ask for some money, typically half, at the very beginning of the deal. However, if no contract was out and no substantial communication took place between the two attorneys or you did not use your attorney's time besides basic conversation, most attorneys would not charge you.
You may or may not have a cause to demand damages from the seller depending on at what stage did he/she backed out. Your attorney would be the right person to advise you on that.

  • April 29 2013
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Profile picture for Tesa Noonan
I am not an agent in New York but I would ASSUME that if a seller accepted an offer and then backed out at a later date, the broker could sue him for commission fees. Because the agent has procured an offer, they have fulfilled their LISTING contract obligation to the seller and therefore it would not be in the seller's best interest to cancel.

Again, I do not work in the state of New York as I am in CA, but speak with an agent there to get further information.

Good Luck!
  • April 25 2013
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