Carnation, WA asked in Real Estate Law for Illinois

Q: Is a 3rd party sale of real estate on eBay binding if it's a family member of the owner who resides in the same house?

I won a bid on eBay and turns out to be the mother of the owner that listed it, says they all live together in Mississippi (at the address listed on the deed). She sent me images of the owner's license and Quit Claim Deed this morning via email. I haven't actually heard from the owner. If I send a wire between banks in both names, is it binding? The property is under $2000. in St. Clair Co, IL. There has been no pre-sale inspection performed on the building.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg
  • Rochelle, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Don't send any money unless you don't care whether you get anything for it. You can't buy something from a person who doesn't own it, and the mother of the owner has no legal right to sell it.

You referred to an "owner's license" -- I've been practicing law in Illinois for 40 years and have never heard of or seen an "owner's license."

The long and short of it is this: Either find a way to walk away from this or hire an attorney to be sure it gets done right. There is no third alternative.

There's an old saying that "a person who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client." Don't do anything to prove the saying is true.

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