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Offer Expiration due to Failure to Respond

We have recently had an inspection that revealed many necessary and unexpexted repairs and modifications, some of which involve hazardous substances. It also revealed water damage in several areas, which the sellers did not disclose. We gave them about 36 hours to accept our requests for repairs and submitted a few questions regarding the lack of disclosure regarding water damage and receipts for HVAC repairs by a licensed HVAC professional. They responded with "no repairs", no answers to our questions and gave us 2 hours in the evening to accept. In turn, our realtor asked for an extension explaining that we need the information to our initial questions before moving forward. The following day, both realtors exchanged information in order to move forward. The listing agent sent one last message with requested information and followed that with "as a result of failure to respond the day before within two hours, your offer has expired". My question is, can the listing agent provide a timeframe, neither accept or deny the request for an extension, then continue the transaction/negotiations and go back to claim we didn't respond in time 24 hrs prior? It would appear to me that she accepted the extension by her action of continuing moving forward with negotiations with our realtor. Ironically, she has yet to provide information from multiple requests/questions from 3-4 weeks ago, yet two hours is all we get. Thanks!
  • July 23 2014 - Indianapolis
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Answers (3)

You and they are bound by the contract you both signed. Within the contract should be a section addressing inspections and inspection response time. What does your Realtor say about this? Are they in breach or are you? Timelines and ultimatums don't mean much unless they are backed by the written contract.
  • July 24 2014
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Time deadlines make me laugh when I see them, at least those requiring acceptance or approvals in hours. What a joke. Agents doing this are either showing off or doing what the seller/buyer asked for thinking it helps or puts demands in place that will be followed. What a joke. So the seller says your offer has expired, not accepting it ends up in the same way -- an offer that is not a contract because it was not accepted. So make another offer or move on. Moving on will often get the sellers attention as they see you walking away. Sometimes you get a seller and a buyer that just want to fight to the death and this sounds like a case of that with two hot-shot agents added too.
  • July 24 2014
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Profile picture for Stuart Drake
Any time you get in to inspection repairs the contract makes clear that either side needs to give ample time to respond appropriate to the size and scope of the repairs. It doesn't sound like that took place on either side. Your realtor can request an extension, but it does not have to be accepted. Without a written amendment altering your expiration dates, your contract was voided. It is key that any changes be made in writing and signed by all parties. The short answer to your question is yes, although you might have a case of abuse of the timeframe.
  • July 24 2014
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