The seller accepted my offer. My lawyer worked very hard to complete due diligence and contract negotiation in three days. I ran to his office after work to sign the contract and provide the deposit. My lawyer then sent the contract to the seller’s lawyer for countersignature. After waiting three days, the seller’s lawyer returned an unsigned contract and my deposit check with a note that the seller decided to go with another buyer. Can the seller do this? Can I hold the seller responsible for the money and time that I spent on this?
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do. In New York, the deal is not legally binding until the seller returns a fully executed contract. That’s why it’s important for buyers to hire a real estate attorney who can quickly and efficiently conduct due diligence and negotiate the contract.
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