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Some lenders are slow and have no sense of urgency. They not realize the potential legal problems they are creating for the buyer. From the point of view of a California buyer/seller, 30 days is considered a standard escrow...maybe up to 45 days depending on what was convenient for the buyer and seller.A one to two week delay beyond the close date (especially a 45-day escrow) is more than enough time to give to the other side to close. Without seeing how the purchase contract is written, in California, if the buyer does not get an extension by the date escrow is supposed to close, the buyer is in default of the contract and the seller may be allowed to keep their deposit and turn around and sell the home to someone else. Normally, no one wants to do this because we are almost done at this point so if the sale can be saved, that's normally what everyone wants to do. What I would propose is if there is a buyer's agent involved, the buyer's agent needs to understand these strong legal actions that may be taken against the buyer if they don't hurry up with closing, then they need to put in writing how much time extension and why...and that you want to verify the information with the loan officer. At this point, the seller is having to pay PITI for every day that they are closing late. So what I would propose you issue a Notice to Perform and a Demand to Close Escrow (other states may call it something different), so I would propose to the buyer's agent that if they want a further extension then it will be at a cost of XX amount a day penalty, and you want the buyer to release half of the deposit to the seller and it will be non-refundable. Releasing a deposit is going to clear up whether the buyer is serious or if we're just wasting time. If the buyer is serious and they are approved and everything is good, the buyer's contingencies should be removed at this point anyway, so releasing the deposit shouldn't be an issue (unless there's something happening in the background that you're not aware of). Depending on purchase price and the seller's PITI, I would say propose around $75-100 per day. Once the lender knows a per diem penalty that the buyer is going to have to pay, the buyer should be really upset with the lender to get them moving. Somehow things seem to magically speed up when they know the buyer's deposit is at risk and the buyer is paying a per diem fee. If you can't get any response or the buyer will not cooperate with doing an extension, I would put the property back on the market and continue marketing the property "subject to the cancellation of the existing escrow." Unfortunately, behind the scenes the deal may already be dead - you just don't know it yet. Good luck to you.
Thanks, all, for taking the time to provide your perspectives! I truly appreciate it.
...well thank goodness sellers can't pay for everything. I think the 10K towards their closing costs without any change (increase) to the list price is plenty.
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