The Seller’s Being Unwilling to Honor the Option Part 1
This is rare; however, in the booming market of the early 2000s, it happened more frequently than it had in the past. The time would come for the buyers to exercise the option. They would obtain a commitment for the necessary new mortgage and would open escrow. And then the seller would simply refuse to sign the deed over to them.
How can the seller refuse? After all, he or she signed a lease option that was intended to be a legally binding document. Won’t there be serious legal consequences to the seller by refusing? Probably, but . . .
It usually happens like this. You get an option to buy a particular property for $250,000 three years in the future. However, during the intervening years, the real estate prices go through the roof. When the time comes for you to exercise the option, the property is worth $600,000. To sell to you at $250,000, the seller would take a $350,000 loss. That’s a lot of money.
Some unscrupulous sellers will instead simply decide to stonewall it. They’ll refuse to sell. At that point, your only recourse is to hire an attorney and have the lease-option adjudicated.
You’ll have to go to court. That will cost you time and money. And depending on how a judge sees the lease-option you might win, or not. Nothing is for certain.
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