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No, you are not under contract if you signed all the proper objections and rejections within the allotted time period. Because it was contracted that you could back out of the purchase pending the inspections (ONLY if you did so within the allotted time frames), you are owed your earnest money.
Your earnest money cannot be released until both parties have agreed upon what should be done about it. Until the seller signs, they have not agreed to give the earnest money back to you. Each contract should have a section within it that addresses the consequences should both parties disagree; sometimes mediation or arbitration are required. Look through your contract for the section regarding earnest money.
Your contract to purchase the house is, in reality, an Earnest Money Agreement. Earnest money is the seller's sole remedy against a breach of contract by the buyer. If you are in breach of contract, you will lose your earnest money. If you back out as per your agreement, you are entitled to receive your earnest money back. It sounds like the latter.
It's time to submit a second, more stringent, request for your earnest money. You said that you dealt with the listing agent; as the seller's agent, they are the person to speak with first, and the one to submit the request to. Don't be shy. If the agent is of no help, step up and ask their broker for clarification on the contract and to help you.
Should both of those fail, you can either go to court for your money or let it go.
I think the previous answers are spot on regarding your options of accepting the roof 'as-is' or moving on with your deposit in hand. The real question is to try and understand the owner' objection to finding some sort of compromise with the roof. See if you can work out a solution and make sure to point out the fact that future potential buyers will have the same concern regarding the roof! Your agent should be able to help determine if a comprimise can be worked out! Good luck!
You can sue anyone anytime for anything. This is the land of sue happy people. It doesn't mean you will win.You said it yourself, you "assumed" that the house was in move in condition. Seller disclosures IMO are worthless and that is why you do your own home inspection and due dilligence investigating. You can terminate the contract and ask for your earnest money back or proceed with the house purchase if you think you are getting a deal good enough where you can replace the roof yourself.Naima
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