Do I have an enforceable contract?

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Do I have an enforceable contract?

I made an offer on a house. The transaction uses a digital contract so you can see a verified signing date. The seller is also the broker. The seller in her capacity as the listing agent signed the contract 30 minutes prior to the offer expiration. She then signs the contract in her seller capacity 6 minutes after the offer expiration. She then allows us to do a home inspection. Now, she’s saying because she signed it late, that we don’t have a binding contract. She was saying when we made the offer in the first place that she was expecting another offer. I don’t think it ever came in until after she signed the contract but it was her intent to string us along and use us as a safety net. Do I have an enforceable contract despite the expiration? Taking that one step further, might I have a case that she acted in bad faith?

Asked on August 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is a good chance that you do have an enforceable contract since the same person was broker and seller both and signed within time. The law does not allow people to play games like this, in claiming that they signed in one capacity but not another; rather, when a person signs, they are showing *their* agreement to the contract, since they are, in reality, one person, not two--she cannot "agree" as broker but not as seller. It is a very reasonable chance that a court will conclude that when she signed the first time, that even though she called it signing only as the broker, that she was in fact showing her agreement to the contract as seller and is bound to it. 
You should meet with a real estate attorney about this to discuss possibly suing to enforce the contract.


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