Left without a house

by Parm Wite on April 13, 2009

I wrote an offer on a house last November which was accepted by the seller subject to me and wife qualifying for financing within 5 days. Completion of the deal was 3 months from the date of our offer. On the 5th day we asked for 1 day of extension on on financing subject which was communicated between our Realtors and granted verbally by the seller’s Realtor.

We removed our subject the next day and put a deposit of $10000 in the sellers’ agent’s account. The subject extension for/addendum was faxed by the sellers’ agent to our Realtor 3 days later as it was signed by the seller only after he came back from is holidays according to the seller’s agent.

We were all happy and planning to move into the new bigger house. I sold my house in the mean time. But much to our surprise on the completion day the seller refused to complete the sale. He claimed that our contract was void as we never removed our subject to financing within the time stated in the contract. He also says that he never signed that extension to our subject.

When we asked his real estate agent about this he says that he dropped off the addendum at the sellers house and picked it up later, signed. He did not witness the signature.

Now we are renting a place. Suing… spending $$$ on lawyers. What should we do?..

This post was submitted by Parm Wite.

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vivtherealtor April 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Unfortunately at this point the only thing you can do to enforce the contract is seek legal advice. I’m sure there’s more to this story. The lawyer will have to sort this one out if the realtors can’t resolve problems with the seller.

Mike April 26, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Remember the difference between promises and contingencies. Terms must be written to reflect the intent of the party who will benefit, provide a time limit for the term to be satisfied and a provision for the consequences in the event of non-compliance. By writing “Buyer to make loan application,” the seller may have no recourse in the event of non-performance. “The obligation of the seller to sell is contingent upon the buyer making loan application within five days of acceptance” provides both an avenue for declaring the contract null and void as well as setting a deadling for satisfaction of the contingency.

Do not neglect to provide for the return of the buyer’s deposits with deductions, if any, in the eventa contingency is not met by a specific deadline. When a contingency depends upon an approval by either the buyer, seller, or third party, it is best to indicate that written disapproval must be provided wihtin a specific time frame in order to declare the contract null and void, or that approval will be deemed to be granted and the contingency thereby removed.

Somebody dropped the ball. It seems that the conditions of the contract continued up until closing. You should be able to work with your local Real Estate Commission to get your escrow money refunded. In the meantime the market has continued to drop and you can problably get a better price. It would seem that the seller will get a lower price. It may sound hokey but “there’s something better out there for you and your family”.