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Is a delay in delivery of a new construction home grounds for cancellation of a ratified contract? Basically, looks like the builder is having trouble selling (townhouses), thus they're delaying construction even though when we signed, we were told to expect delivery in October/Nov. This has turned into Nov/Dec, but we still have not seen any thing start up at the site, i.e., foundation is not laid yet. Were hoping to spend the holidays in new home, but looking unlikely and the month-to-month rent situation is killing us since they hike the rent when we did not do a long-term lease.
  • September 10 2012 - US
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Answers (6)

Some states have laws that state if a period of time has elapsed between the initial contract and completion, the buyer can back out of the agreement. In Minnesota the law is two years. For your state I would talk to an attorney.
  • September 10 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
First, I would discuss the situation with your buyer agent, he/she would have gone through the contract with you prior to signing it.  The contract most likely stipulates the terms of the sale.  Pulte is a reputable builder, have you had a word with them regarding the delays.....?  Hope you can make it work without having to bring in some legal assistance.  
  • September 10 2012
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Alright, you should read the contract carefully about contingencies, final delivery dates, their obligation if they do not comply, and your penalties if you cancel. Since you have agreed to all that, both you and builder have certain rights.


Raheel Shahzad, Attorney, CPA, Real Estate Agent
Lombard, IL

  • September 10 2012
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Profile picture for MBster
No, we have not done anything. Ratified as in the initial purchase agreement was signed by both parties (us and Pulte). We have not communicate any intention to cancel the sale yet, but if the delay becomes much longer, we would seriously need to visit this situation.
  • September 10 2012
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What did you mean by "ratified" contract? Have you excused their breach and ratified it after the fact through your actions or communication?

If so, there may be no legal grounds for recourse.

If you cancel, make sure you have sound advice from a lawyer and communicate with builder appropriately.

Raheel Shahzad, Attorney, CPA, Real Estate Agent
Lombard, IL
  • September 10 2012
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Profile picture for Matt Hiatt

The contract you signed should stipulate delays and move in time. Most builders put in a two year completion date just to cover themselves.

  • September 10 2012
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