Fighting For The Principle Can Be Costly
Last fall I represented Sellers whose Buyer never settled. The Buyer's loan never funded. And one year later, the parties are fighting over an earnest money deposit.
Per the terms of our contract, it is pretty clear that the Buyer is at fault. Since he won't sign a release of the earnest money, there has been a law suit filed by him against my Sellers. The money they are fighting over is easy to double or triple in legal fees just to get one day in court. So whoever wins is still going to lose when it comes down to money out of pocket. That is assuming that the loser isn't required by the courts to pay the winner's legal fees.
Each side is so entrenched in the principle that they can't see the forest for the trees. The Sellers are outraged at the attitude of the Buyer who obviously was not qualified to purchase their home and strung them along. He was condescending, rude and down right mean to the Sellers. I can only guess what the Buyer must feel that makes him keep spending money on his attorney to keep the lawsuit going. Whatever the motivation, the cost of moving forward for both parties is quickly outweighing the potential reward.
It is easy to get locked into a stance based on principle when you are in a disagreement. And sometimes what seems like it should be cut and dried can turn into varying degrees of whose more right or more wrong.
The best attorneys will always advise their clients of the cost of moving forward with an optional lawsuit. Yes, you may be in the right, but what is the actual cost in dollars, emotions and time that is spent in having your day in court? All to get a few minutes before a judge to plead that your side is more right and take down a deposit that is no where close to the money you spent, days and nights you worried and time you wasted, stuck in the principle.
There are plenty of things in this world that aren't fair, but sometimes, you just have to walk away from the fight and save yourself the time, money and aggravation.
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker- Licensed in Virginia, GRI, SFR, Northern Virginia Short Sale Specialist. Affiliated with Long & Foster, 7526 Limestone Drive, Gainesville, VA 20155. To contact Chris Ann, call 703-402-0037 or email chrisann@LNF.com. Or you can visit her website: www.nvarealestate.net.
Header photos taken by Chris Ann Cleland.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.