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REAL ESTATE Q & A

How to 'Jump Ahead' on Mortgage and Save Thousands of Dollars

September 02, 1990|ROBERT J. BRUSS

Q: Almost a month ago we signed a sales contract to sell our home. The buyer put a clause in the contract that says "Conditional upon buyer or his authorized agent inspecting and approving the property." So far, nobody has inspected the house. Our real estate agent says she can't push the buyer too hard, but I think we have given him enough time don't you?

A: Yes. The real estate agent should have insisted on a time limit for the inspection and approval. Without a specific time limit on that buyer's escape clause, if the matter should wind up in litigation, the judge will say the buyer has a "reasonable time." To one judge a reasonable time might be 30 days, another might say 60 days, or still another judge might feel 10 days is reasonable.

FOR THE RECORD - Clarification
Los Angeles Times Sunday September 9, 1990 Home Edition Real Estate Part K Page 4 Column 2 Real Estate Desk 4 inches; 131 words Type of Material: Correction
Some of the text in this Real Estate Q&A item was omitted when published Sept. 2. It is being repeated in its entirety.
QUESTION: I took title in my house in joint tenancy with my girlfriend. The loan officer pushed us to take title as joint tenants with right of survivorship. He said we could change it later. But now my girlfriend refuses to change the title to tenants in common, so we can each make our one-half subject to our wills. How can I get out of this joint tenancy?
ANSWER: In most states, one joint tenant can execute a quitclaim deed from himself as a joint tenant to himself as a tenant in common. Since there are only two joint tenants in your situation, such action ends the joint tenancy with right of survivorship. However, when a husband and wife hold title as joint tenants by the entirety, the signatures of both spouses are required to terminate the joint tenancy. For further details, please consult a real estate attorney.

Since the buyer has already had over 30 days it would seem reasonable if you and the real estate agent notify the buyer in writing he has 10 additional days to inspect and approve the house or you will consider the condition waived and then proceed to closing of the sale.

In the current buyer's market in most cities, the realty agent is correct not to push the buyer too hard. But you have waited a reasonable time and deserve to know if the sale is going to be completed or not.

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