Profile picture for CT812

We're trying to buy a house but the seller is in a lawsuit with the neighbor...

We are trying to buy a house but settlement keeps getting pushed back.  Originally, it was supposed to be 12/23.. it's over a month ago!  The reason we were told settlement was not going to happen on that day was because of a deed restriction (shared driveway that had been moved to a better location).  The solution was supposed to be simple, just a signature between the seller and the neighbor (of course, documented in the courts). 

We are getting very anxious because of not knowing about settlement.  We've contacted our realtor numerous times (phone, email, texts) with not hearing back for several days, even up to a week.  When we finally heard something from our realtor, he tells us the issue is that there is an active lawsuit/dispute between the seller and neighbor because of the driveway.  Call me Negative Nancy, but I don't see this issue being resolved anytime soon.  (Also, before anyone says "why would you want that kind of neighbor?"... apparently, there is bad blood between the two, a family dispute that goes way back.  We've met the neighbors and they are very nice, helpful people.)

My question is if this could be one the conditions of the contract that enables us to back out?  The lawsuit was not disclosed to us from the beginning.  In addition to this, we are extremely dissatisfied with our realtor at this point.  Are we able to find a new one to begin another journey of finding a house?  Does anyone have any advice, such as would getting our own attorney be beneficial?  We LOVE this house and want to stick it out, but we're at our wits end.

  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
January 28 2011 - Dover Township
We think we've answered this question for you!
  • Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.
 
 

Answers (2)

Profile picture for sunnyview
I understand your anxiousness, but I would not get an attorney. You don't need one and it is unlikely to help at this point. As long as you are in this particular contract on this house, you can't easily switch agents either.

If the neighbor is nice, I would approach them and talk to them honestly. Validate their position and tell them that you understand that this is something that they have a right to deal with. Let them know that you really do like the house, but you have to try to make a decision for your family. Ask their advice and ask if they think that this can get resolved in a reasonable timeframe. Be honest and treat them like they are your neighbor already. Listen to what they say and you may be able to get a sense of how long this may go.

This deal may still happen, but you need to give it a firm timeframe. Tell your agent and the seller's agent that they need to settle this in the next 30-40 days or you will be forced to find another house. Also tell your agent that you intend to use another agent if this particular deal falls through. 

I would hang in there for now, but make a plan for when to go and stick to it
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
January 28 2011
Because you aren't a party to the lawsuit, there would be no advantage to you having an attorney for that specific part of the transaction.

Having said that, if somehow there is an agreement between seller and neighbor, you might want to have an attorney review the settlement documents (assuming they would release them to you) to ensure that you won't have to deal with the problem after closing. You might also consult an attorney if the sellers refuse to cancel the purchase agreement and refund your earnest money.

As there is pending litigation, you won't be able to close on the property as your title company won't be able to give clear title. I believe your lender won't cut a check either- but I'm not a lender so it would be interesting to hear their side of the story.

If in the end you don't get the house and you have signed a buyers agreement with your agent, you can either ride out the terms of the agreement or request that the agreement be canceled. It's my understanding that in my company (2300 agents) if you ask to be released you get released without even a hint of litigation.
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
January 28 2011
 
Related Questions
We're trying to buy a house but the seller is in a lawsuit with the neighbor...
Profile picture for sunnyview
Latest answer by sunnyview
January 28 2011 | 2 answers
Mortgage Rates
 
Be A Good Neighbor

Zillow Advice depends on each member to keep it a safe, fun, and positive place. If you see abuse, flag it. More on our Good Neighbor Policy.

Homes for Sale
  1. 2510 Tower Dr, Dover, PA Home For Sale
    2510 Tower Dr, Dover, PA 17315

     For Sale: $139,900

    • Beds: 3
    • Sqft: 1201
    • Baths: 2.0
    • Lot: 13198
  2. 2150 Conewago Rd, Dover, PA Home For Sale
    2150 Conewago Rd, Dover, PA 17315

     For Sale: $37,000

    • Beds: 3
    • Sqft: 1334
    • Baths: 2.0
    • Lot: 7405
  3. 223 Lily Ct, Wellsville, PA Home For Sale
    223 Lily Ct, Wellsville, PA 17365

     For Sale: $169,900

    • Beds: 0
    • Sqft: --
    • Baths: --
    • Lot: 448668