I thought I'd share this for those of you who are just getting started...
I put a duplex under contract the day after I looked at it because I knew it was a good deal. It was FSBO. All appropriate riders, etc. were attached. We agreed on the price, and I was completely transparent on 100% of the terms/contingencies. The contract was basically ironclad. However, in NYS there is a 3-day atty approval period. During that time, the seller got another offer (a little higher and all cash). They ended up disapproving my contract so they could take the other offer. Legally - "okay." Ethically - questionable at best. It would be nice if people stuck to their agreements, but just know they might not have to in your state.
That sucks. Certainly unethical, but given that this was a retail seller and not a wholesaler, there's really no recourse (with a wholesaler, the bad reputation could be enough of a deterrent).
I've always wondered if the 3-day approval period was something that wholesalers and other investors used as a means to throw out non-contingent offers that they could still rescind if a couple days of due diligence indicated it wasn't a good deal. Essentially, an automatic 3-day contingency.
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