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Seller cancellation

My wife and I have a contract on a home that we would very much like to purchase. The seller agreed to pay for a small amount of repairs which were completed after the home inspection. Between the home inspection and the appraisal, the seller decided that he no longer wanted to sell the property and asked us to cancel the contract. We refused.

The appraiser listed on the report that the home needs to be inspected by a structural engineer prior to closing. We had the home inspected by a structural engineer who stated that some rafters in the attic be repaired. The repairs are very minor and inexpensive, but the seller is refusing to allow us to have them made. We have contacted our lender and explained the situation. We asked that the money for the repairs be put in escrow and the repairs done immediately after closing. We are awaiting their reply, but our scheduled closing date is fast approaching. 

Any advice? 
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February 12 2013 - Edmond
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Replies (10)

I think that you need to have your buyer agent have a nice talk with the listing agent, to see how they can make this situation work.  Regarding the cancellation of the contract, I would run it by a real estate attorney, the seller may have to pay some expenses that you already incurred.  Check with a real estate attorney to be on the save side. 
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February 12 2013
What has your Realtor suggested? 
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February 13 2013
After talking to your realtor, I would suggest talking to a real estate attorney.
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February 13 2013
Contact a Real Estate Attorney and place a lien on the property.  You can sue the seller for Specific Performance and will likely win.  Remind the agents that they can also sue the seller for commissions. 

The seller may agree to a settlement in order to stay, but in the end, they does not help you.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.
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February 13 2013
rg270,
Did you ask for additional repairs after the seller expressed desire to cancel the contract?
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February 13 2013
This is a very frustrating situation for all involved.  You absolutely can sue for performance and would likely win.  However, these situations often end up very poorly for all involved.  If sellers are forced to sell their home, then the buyer often ends up with a "sabatoged" property and bad feelings abound.  I would highly recommend negotiating with the seller for a "buy out" of the contract.  The seller would need to pay you for all expenses incurred and possibly a settlement for your time.
Best of luck to you!
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February 13 2013
It appears the seller is balking at having repairs made prior to settlement. If you can hold off on these repairs then maybe the seller will agree to go forward. I am confused about why the mortgage company needs to be involved in a minor repair. It was probably a mistake to involve them, unless these repairs are safety related or occupancy related. You seemed to indicate they were optional and minor.
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February 13 2013
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Thank you everyone for the advice. The seller's broker was able to convince him to go ahead and allow us to move forward and finish the sale. Our Realtor said that it sounded like they were going to have a dispute over the listing fees that the seller would have had to pay out of pocket as opposed to out of the proceeds. We never really had to move forward with anything, they worked it out on their own. 

Thanks again! 
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February 14 2013
I am glad to hear its working itself out.. not a good situation when the seller wants to back out. Good luck with your purchase.
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February 14 2013
So the seller won't get enough net proceeds from their sale price to pay their closing costs including their Realtor! They are going to bring some of their own savings to settlement? That means it really wasn't about the inspection issues at all. That's troubling. Watch out for more surpirses. Good luck!
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February 14 2013
 
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