Profile picture for himado

Closing date postponed twice because of missing paper from seller. Is it possible to come out ?

Closing date postponed twice because of a missing paper from seller. We are planning to put our home on rent but cann't do that because we are not sure when we are moving. We have to reschdule reservation from each and every thing and living out of boxes. Water+elec+ gas is already under our name. We are asking every day but not getting answer until last minute about closing. Is it possible to come out of a contract and ask for loss?
  • June 09 2011 - US
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Answers (13)

Profile picture for govagent1
You can back away for the transaction forsure. As for the moneary loss, it would have to be arbitrated in Michigan or you can take it to court if you wish.  However, their has to be true monetary damages.  beyond that it's possible to get more depending on the situation and that's what courts and judges are for. But yes you can back away at this poirt, providing you have not signed an addundum to continue with the process and providing you hhave already past the closing date in the contract.

If the above is understood by you and you know what you are doing ask for your money back. If their is a substantal monetary loss it may cost someting to get it back? What is more important to you the home or backing out. What documents are missing?
  • June 12 2011
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Dear himado:
As I'm not a real estate attorney, I can't give you legal advice, but I want to share my experience with this and you can take what you may from it.
We had a situation where the bank was not ready to close and the contract did not provide for an automatic extension for the seller. The seller presented the buyer with a request for an extension. The first extension my buyer signed off on, when I received the second extension request from the seller's agent, I recommended for my buyer to take advantage of the situation.
We counteroffered the extension with a stipulation to decrease the purchase price if we agree to extend the second time. And they agreed!
I hope you can negotiate something like this in your situation.
  • June 12 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
I would say that if the seller had a legally binding agreement to sell the house at a certain place and time but did not they are not keeping up their legally required end of the deal. For a more legal opinion talk to your real estate lawyer. They can give the best most complete reply possible. They can also explain everything about your agents and brokers actions and the correctness or incorrectness involved.
  • June 12 2011
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Profile picture for himado
is it possible to say that seller defaulted last Friday by not providing requested papers in time or not the extension addendum?
  • June 12 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
I don't agree with your agent's advice.  If there have been dates agreed upon (in writing) by all parties and the seller fails to meet those dates, then the seller has failed to meet contractual obligations.

You may wish to have a quick consult with an attorney.
  • June 11 2011
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Profile picture for himado
Thank you very much all for your help. We were planning to close last Friday at 6 PM and didn't happen because seller was not able to provide letter from county to closing company. We waited until last minute and nothing happened. I went for final home inspection in the morning and it failed again. He just did 30% out of signed addendum. I asked my agent to ask money for hardship and all the fixes but he is not ready for it. I have to call everyone again to reschdule and postpone my rental activity. My agent is telling me that we can only ask for fixes or walk off. My agent is going to create addendum for the same.We are planning to close again next Friday. Do you agree with my agent's advice? I will really appreciate your help.
  • June 11 2011
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Profile picture for ExpectFirstClass
himado - First things first - you need to be consulting your real estate attorney here.  Realtors cannot give legal advice and this is certainly a legal question.

All that aside, I'm curious why your realtor hasn't been asking for a extension paperwork.  @nwhome.us isn't necessarily correct with the statement "there are no verbal agreements in real estate".  That is determined by state.  The intent of the message is right, however - if you don't have it in writing how do you verify it?  One of my favorite phrases is, "Great...can you put that in writing?"

Check your P&S contract and see if the phrase "time is of the essence" is in there.  It should be and there is powerful meaning to that phrase and is something your attorney can better explain the legal merits.  My experience is that as long as both parties continue to negotiate in good faith, that clause is waived and these inconveniences are just that.  This isn't legal advice...just my experience.  It could be different in your state.

Another thing that is running through my mind is for you to check the P&S to see if there is a clause for the seller to make good title.  This paid off loan and lack of paperwork for it would "cloud the title".  Most P&S agreements have written in that you, as the Buyer, agree to give time for the Seller to make clean title.  I'd check through your P&S.  If that's in there, you may likely have little recourse.

As for the utility bills, you should be speaking with your closing attorney or title company to make sure that these costs are being tracked on the HUD.
  • June 11 2011
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If you haven't given your consent for the extensions (and such extensions were not previously written into the contract) then you can have your agent pprepare an amendment to the contract that with the extension of the closing date will also lower the purchase price by x amount. If the seller refuses - you can choose to walk away from the sale providing you can get your earnest money back.
You can sue your seller for performance (but that will take more time) and most contracts provide that the buyer can receive no liquidated damages other than receiving their earnest money back.
I would strongly suggest to turn off the water and all utilities if they are in your name at the new place.
  • June 10 2011
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In my experience you should be able to walk from the contract assuming the close dates are being missed per the contract...ask you real estate professional.
  • June 10 2011
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
As I mentioned before every extension of the closing date requires consent by both parties.  The escrow company will require it.  If it isn't in writing, it isn't in the agreement.  There are no verbal agreements in real estate.
If the seller is the cause of the delay, they need to generate the amendment to the agreement.  When it comes to you for signature, what are the hard costs of your damage?  In most cases, though they are real, pain and suffering means that life is not fair and you don't have much recourse for them.  If you can produce receipts for hardship (hotel room, moving charges or storage, etc) include them in the addendum as a condition of your signature.
Do NOT allow the seller to remain in the home after closing in any circumstance (unless you want to sign a lease for a specific number of days).
This is not legal advise.  I am not an attorney.  You should be seeking legal advice from an attorney who practices real estate law.

  • June 10 2011
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Profile picture for himado

The seller had paid off a loan and it wasn't updated in the county. The seller's bank had to provide paperwork that will prove the same. Now the bank has sent the paperwork to the county and seller doesn't have any paper to prove it. The final walkthrough failed miserably the first time. Today, the title company has asked to be ready tentatiely if it happens at 6 PM if the seller/seller's bank/seller's title company can get their act together. It is frustrating to be standby until the last moment to know if we are closing today or not. Are there any right for the buyer here?

  • June 10 2011
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
Every extension requires your consent.  Most requests to extend include a negotiating counterpoint.   What is yours?
  • June 09 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
What sort of paper is the seller not coming up with?

Sometimes the offer includes contingencies about the seller performing.  What is in your offer?  What does your agent say?

  • June 09 2011
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