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.
You must be at least 18 to be bound to a contract.
I think I might be a bit late with this answer, but I will give it a shot. I had a similar situation a few months ago. We had 60+ showings without an offer. The home did sell, but it took some time. Your neighborhood is fantastic, and buyers are clamoring to get in. My best guess would be that you are the lowest priced home in the neighborhood, but you are also, by far, the smallest. People are viewing it, because they are going to view the other homes at the same time. A few are interested, but can't seem to get over the size. I am sure when you sat down with your agent, he/she gave you a good idea of the value of your home. Right now, prospective buyers are not aligning the value you were told your home holds with what the market will bear. I hope this helps, and good luck with the process!
As you mentioned, short sales require some sort of hardship, and it doesn't sound like that is the case. If renting isn't an option, a land contract might work for you. Your first move should be to contact a Realtor, and have them deliver a CMA to you, so that you can see EXACTLY what things are selling for. They can give you their opinion on a price, and armed with that information you can make a decision. I hope this helps!
There is no standard rate, as that would be a violation of most federal anti-trust laws. Personally, I have seen everything from 2%-8%.
That was really well put, Danielle. You will most likely know better than anyone, but it is always a good idea to speak with a realtor in regards to the trends in the neighborhood and the 3, 5, and 10yr forecasts for the area.
I am going to second what Jeff mentioned and commend you for the hard work it takes to raise 4 by yourself. Prior to speaking with a Realtor, you should find a loan officer. They are going to be able to sit down with you, pour over your finances, and figure out exactly what loan your are eligible for and what you can afford. Once the finances are sorted out, then you should consult with a Realtor. That way, when you find the home of your dreams you are able to pull the trigger. Best of luck, I am sure you'll find what you are looking for!
Hopefully, you signed a document with the agent disclosing the limited agency and their fiduciary responsibility to each of you. I work with a partner for exactly this reason, we want to make sure that everyone has independent representation. However, many people feel better working with the list agent. It's a matter of preference. Regardless, you should pursue a limited agency agreement if you have not yet signed one.
Finding exactly what you are looking for can be difficult. It is important to recognize that many investors who are buying in that range are purchasing homes before they go on the market. This does not mean that you can't find it! Please feel free to contact me to discuss finding a home that works for you.
At a minimum you will want to involve a title company. The risk is limited given the price of the home, but when you sell the property it will be helpful to know that the title is clear from your previous transaction. A lawyer is not necessarily a must have, as all title companies should have counsel on hand. Good luck!