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A couple reached out to us in Ontario this week after dealing with what they call a nightmare.
“I can’t sleep, it’s been very, very hard,” said the woman, who says she is too ashamed to recognize herself.
It all started when she received a flyer on her doorstep in August, offering to buy a home in cash, fast and easy.
“Back in September, I ended up calling the number on the flyer because I was thinking of selling my house at the time,” she said. “Then a man came and he had all the papers ready, which I didn’t know he did, he asked me to sign and I said okay.”
The woman and her husband admitted to having financial difficulties and saw it as a way out of it. Only the wife signed the paperwork without her husband claiming the paperwork she didn’t understand.
“After signing the papers, I asked: ‘Do I get a copy to sign that?’ And he said, I will send it to you, and even after more than a month, I have not received anything till today.
Until last week, when the couple received what is known as a Notice of Fulfillment.
“This letter tells me that you signed an agreement to buy and sell because they’re here saying they’re meeting the terms of the sale,” said Carol McCurdon—a realtor whom the couple’s niece asked for help. had called.
“When his niece called me a few days ago, she said that there is a situation where my aunt and uncle think they have sold their house, but they are not sure and are now worried.”
McCruden believes that based on the Letter of Fulfillment, the woman actually signed a contract to sell her home.
After this, Citynews contacted the company. He told us that he did nothing wrong. They say that the documents the woman signed were titled in bold letters, “Agreement of purchase and sale.”
They told us that the contract includes the terms of sale, closing date, purchase price and transaction. She believes she understood what she was going through when she signed and initialed the contract.
He also claims that he repeatedly asked the woman to retain a lawyer to review the paperwork and prepare for closure. Something he hasn’t done.
They deny that she was pressured to sign or that she was unaware of what she was doing.
According to the company, the woman is now in breach of contract with them, having missed the scheduled closing date of October 6.
Cash for home deals is neither new nor illegal. In fact, they have and can help homeowners rise above the water. These buyers have the cash and can close deals quickly without the need for a realtor. But a word of caution for anyone considering this.
“You have to recognize that the person putting up the flyer in your mailbox is either representing themselves or representing the buyer, and they are not representing you,” said David Oikel, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association.
“That’s why we highly encourage those who are dealing with their greatest financial assets to have someone mentor and represent them so they can be well looked after.”
While the idea of not paying for a realtor is tempting, sellers should, at a minimum, get an attorney to review any and all documents before signing.
“You can sell your home privately, but make sure you have that legal representative with you every step of the way,” McCurdon said. “You must have someone who knows the law.”
The couple wishes they had. They are now trying to get out of what they no longer want. We asked if the company was still pursuing the sale — or if they would sue the couple for breach of contract. They told us that they are looking at all available options at this time.
Unsure of their future in the home they’ve owned for 25 years now, the couple hopes their story will help others.
“Get a lawyer and make sure you know what you’re signing.”
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