How to buy a house from a drunk seller?

9 Replies

I had the pleasure this past Friday of checking out another fine property where the seller showed up not only late, but a little "drunk." Like not just tipsy but stumbling drunk. Now I know what some of the seasoned BPer's will tell me. "You cannot legally enter into a contract unless both parties are of 'sound mind' or there could be consequences. So I know this and I get it. The seller could spend all of the money from the sale and try to sue me or something. My question is: What technique could I use to ensure that she is sober enough to buy her house? It is not exactly a home run of a deal but it is a "base-hit" and that is enough for me to NOT give up. Surely, some of my fellow BP members have encountered this before. I welcome any and all advice that you have! Thanks!

I've encountered this before.  Unfortunately, any comments or suggestions by me or anyone else could be considered "legal advise" and I, personally, wouldn't want to go there...  

@Stephen Barton  Get the contract notorized. It would be much harder to refute. Might want to do it early in the morning. Or take them to breakfast first and then go sign the contract. 

Get her to sign at 6:00am when she would hopefully be sober...then take her out for some drinks. 

@Jeremy Tillotson  excellent advice! I really like that idea. I just knew I could count on my fellow BP members. You guys really have helped! Thank you so much.

If a person will not want to sell you a property and transfer the deed at closing, it will take you years in court to win or loose.

Anybody could say that he or she was drunk when the documents were executed, it's your word against her word. Thus have a witness sign the PA or have her sign in front of the closing attorney.

It reminded me case in the law that I learned 10 years ago ''a guy was high as ponderossa pine'' he claimed when he signed the PA, but in court it was proven that he wasn't. Anyway, every reasonable person would agree that in the USA typically the party who wins in court is usually the one who has a better attorney :)

According to the course book on contract law that I have for the Colorado real estate license, being drunk does not make you incompetent to enter into a contract.

Odd, but true. 

I remember this because I got that answer wrong on the quiz ;)

@Jean Bolger    

"...being drunk does not make you incompetent to enter into a contract."

I think it's a requirement in Texas

I would think to first call your closing attorney and ask for their advice.  

Did they tell you they were drinking?  Just saying!!  

Sign the contract in the morning at the Title office and have someone witness it.

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