Who you ask is as important as the question

Who you ask is as important as the questionIt’s common for people to share their experiences, but I want to caution you on the growing trend of people getting advice online.

Especially from strangers.

This story caught my eye this morning.  The headline read “Well, this is terrifying.”

The story came from a millennial who was buying a home with her partner.  She was freaking out about emptying her savings, how much the home would cost per month, the expense of maintaining the property, and that the home was located in a flood zone.  

She spilled her guts online and asked for advice from an online forum of other buyers.  

I have no problem with people seeking advice, and I regularly encourage people to seek it.

But, only from professionals.  

It’s not that you can’t ask for opinions from your friends and family.  Just don’t ask for legal advice from someone who is not an Attorney.

One of her concerns was the way the flood one was disclosed prior to the acceptance of the offer.  The buyer felt like the sellers were not being 100% honest in their disclosure and she asked if she could cancel the contract.  

Here was the answer that she received on the cancellation:

“Last, but not least, you asked if you can still get out of your contract.  You can always get out of the contract as long as it is before closing.  No one can legally force you to buy a house you no longer want to buy.”

I’m not going to attempt to give you legal advice, but instead show you why accepting this answer is not a good idea.  

First, there is no indication that these two people know each other, or even where the buyer lives.  Real Estate and contract law is mostly dependent upon the laws in your state.  What is acceptable in Tennessee is not the same in Florida.  So, it’s imperative that you ask advice from someone who is licensed and familiar with the law in your area.  

Second, every transaction is unique and much of it depends upon the agreements in the contract.  Based on the total response to the buyer, it appears that the advisor never read the purchase and sale agreement.  A good agreement will define what happens in situations like this and any contingencies the buyer has to cancel the transaction.  So, it’s impossible to know the right answer without a review of the contract.  

Last, what penalties might the buyer face if they don’t close on the home.  It’s possible they could lose their earnest money, face litigation and pay for the seller’s attorneys fees if they lose the case.  This was not mentioned in the answer.

This is why I think the crowdsourcing trend can be a dangerous one.  

If you need legal, financial, or technical questions answered in your pursuit of homeownership, then hit reply and let me refer you to a local expert who understands your unique problem.  

The Daily Deal in Nashville is a ready to move in home in Hendersonville with the master on the main and listed for less than $310,000.

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