Attorney question - Buy multi-unit in Baltimore from PA

8 Replies

I live in PA, under contract to buy property in Baltimore. Two questions related to legal:

1)I signed the sales agreement, the seller has not. Is it too late to hire a lawyer?

2)If it is not too late, should I get a lawyer in PA where close to me, or a lawyer in Baltimore?

No, it is not too late to hire an attorney!

If you are buying in Baltimore, and plan on buying more,  a local real estate attorney is going to be an important part of your team! Every jurisdiction is going to have it's own unique way of getting things done and some may require a specialized knowledge base- like knowing what a ground rent is (a big thing in Baltimore) and how to deal with them.

Mark

@Michael Yan unless the PA lawyer deals with Baltimore a lot, you probably should find a Baltimore lawyer or law office familiar with real estate.

I had a law office recommended to me to do the title work for a property I bought at auction. There is a lot that can be done on-line and via FedEx/UPS so you really don't need (and probably shouldn't need) a lawyer or law office close to where you live.

@Michael Yan

Agree with the other posters that you should hire a lawyer from MD to handle the transaction in Baltimore. For other matters (e.g. estate planning), you should probably use a PA lawyer. But for state-specific transactions, it is generally best to go with a lawyer that practices in that particular state. 

Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it as legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.

@Michael Yan Important.  My understanding is if the seller has not communicated back to you that they have signed the contract you can rescind your offer. You must rescind your offer in a way that can be documented and must happen before they say they have signed the contract. If you have an agent and the seller has told your agent they have signed it is too late.

I mention the above because @Mark Owens mentioned it is to late to get a lawyer. His point is that once you have a signed contract, a lawyer isn't going to be able to save you if you have made a bad deal.  I learned the above in Real Estate Agent training. The legal concept is; how can you expect to honor a contract you don't know you have. So in MD, a valid contract needs not just both parties signatures but both parties need to be aware the other party has signed. 

Now presuming you have a valid contract and you are willing to move forward with the deal, an attorney can help you with closing. Some attorneys that work with investors in Baltimore are Anthony Onwuanibe - Golden Trust title or Jeff Charlow, Maters title and escrow, And Yes, and said you should get a Baltimore attorney. 

I am not an attorney. None of the above should be considered legal advice for your specific situation. Any information should be confirmed with an attorney.

Thanks folks. I sent an email to the broker that I'd like to retract the agreement since I have not received counter-signed agreement from seller. I then called the broker to tell him about this, and he said the seller "should have signed it already". But I think since I wrote an email to him first, the retract is valid.

Thanks for your help again. I am new to invest in Baltimore and I was eager to make a deal. But through this case I learned a little bit more what to look for in Baltimore. For me it seems it's hard to find good deals.

Originally posted by @Ned Carey :

@Michael Yan Important.  My understanding is if the seller has not communicated back to you that they have signed the contract you can rescind your offer. You must rescind your offer in a way that can be documented and must happen before they say they have signed the contract. If you have an agent and the seller has told your agent they have signed it is too late.

I mention the above because @Mark Owens mentioned it is to late to get a lawyer. His point is that once you have a signed contract, a lawyer isn't going to be able to save you if you have made a bad deal.  I learned the above in Real Estate Agent training. The legal concept is; how can you expect to honor a contract you don't know you have. So in MD, a valid contract needs not just both parties signatures but both parties need to be aware the other party has signed. 

Now presuming you have a valid contract and you are willing to move forward with the deal, an attorney can help you with closing. Some attorneys that work with investors in Baltimore are Anthony Onwuanibe - Golden Trust title or Jeff Charlow, Maters title and escrow, And Yes, and said you should get a Baltimore attorney. 

I am not an attorney. None of the above should be considered legal advice for your specific situation. Any information should be confirmed with an attorney.

 Ned is correct.  Each time someone makes an offer or a counteroffer, it starts a "new" agreement.  So, if the seller has not signed it yet, you can submit in writing that a ratified contract has not been completed and your offer is no longer valid.  If the seller sends back a counteroffer, this creates a "new" agreement and you can walk away.  A contract is ratified (final) only once both parties have signed (with NO counteroffer included).  Were there any contingencies in the agreement or was the property being sold "as is"?

@Ned Carey Read my post again- I said it is NOT too late to hire an attorney! Even if the contract had been ratified, there could be parts of it (or lack of) that could void the contract. Someone that I know recently got out a contract because a clever lawyer saw that the lead paint addendum wasn't included.

My apologies to @Mark Owens .  He is correct I did not read his post correctly. 

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