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  • Can they make me close even after contract expires?
    I have a house under contract to sell that was supposed to close this monday. They are going FHA. Long story short, their lender was not able to close on time and they are now going to try for tomorrow. No one has asked me to sign an extension of contract. The contract expired on 11/30/09. Yesterday, after they drop another bombshell - They need to inspect and certify the septic and I have to pay for it - I decide to call a cash buyer backup offer I received a couple of weeks ago. This buyer is thrilled and is ready to close in one day. I would net about $5K more by going with this cash buyer - no contributions. I call my title company to tell them that I want to switch buyers and they tell me that even though we are out of contract with the FHA buyer, they would need that buyer to sign a contract release in order for me to be able to close with my cash buyer. And since the FHA buyer will likely be upset, they could refuse to sign the release and prevent me from closing. Additionally the FHA buyer could likely take me to court since their lender was still acting in good faith in trying to close the loan. They expect the packet to be ready tomorrow and will try to close the same day. This person at the title company also mentioned that the statute of limitations on Real Estate contracts is one year. This just doesn't make sense. What is the point of having an expiration date on the contract if I am still bound by it after it expires? Has anyone had any experience with this? I'm not sure what to do here. I fell like I'm being forced to sell for less than I can get. Thanks, Bill (FL)
  • Re:Can they make me close even after contract expires?
    I'm no attorney, but it sounds like your buyer has breached the contract. Get another attorney (to represent YOU) and see if you can get it sold and closed with your back-up buyer. Or, tell your first buyers to stick it with the septic inspection, come up with $5K more, and close in the next 10 days or else.
  • Re:Can they make me close even after contract expires?
    @Bill, I learned about real estate contracts the hard way...sued by a dual agent and the buyer...similar scenario... 'time is of the essence' the five most important words on a P&S contract...imo A date is a 'date' on every other contract in the USA...except on a real estate contract...unless you specify...'time is of the essence' in reference to that specific date or all of them... without 'tiote'...a date on a real estate contract is left to interpretation of a reasonable time more if they are acting in good faith...imo from experience... this suit was in Ohio, Butler County...close to Hyre's woods the agent had a pocket buyer, with horrible credit, this was a historical property that he had originally sold to my second ex wife, he pressured her to list the property while I was out of town for a ridiculis low price and then immediately delivered a contract...the contract was not the standard realtor contract used in that county...which would have had the phrase in it... when they couldn't close and the closing date passed, we said goodbye and told the agent to pull the house off the market...they sued...the ex was sued for specific performance...a year and half later...we went to court....settled with them to let them buy it...the judge wanted to know why we there, why I hadn't signed the contract...the idiot buyer said he only needed 7 days to close...the judge said...are you sure? Six days later we get a call from the lawyer requesting an extension....I said can have an extension on somtin...but if you don't close tomorrow it ain't gonna be on this house... then we tried to canx the contract we had put on another house without any contigencies...cause I thought when that gavel fell a week earlier that house was definitely gonna be gone....the agents told us they were going to sue us if we didn't close on new, I bought it, then wound up selling both and making more money on both... my take....anyone can say sue...or threaten it...or say specific performance... if you say sue...make sure you will back it up, and beat them to it...ask me how I know that...nother story... as far as them requesting the extra other stuff...take a hike
  • use the septic issue
    Why not call the agent and say "I am not going to pay for this septic thing." I am assuming of course that the contract does not call for you to pay for a septic issue. Now, see what happens. They may threaten to back out, in which case you say "have them sign a contract release and at the same time I will sign a release of their earnest money". They will likely be surprised by this. Most sellers are so anxious to sell they will agree to anything if they think a closing is coming. This way you are not asking them to get out of the contract, they are asking you for earnest money back. Worst case, they find another way (such as the agent pays for the septic) and you close with them. Looks like you are going to close either way, so congrats.
  • Re:use the septic issue
    Brilliant Ken........
  • Re:Can they make me close even after contract expires?
    You're right, that doesn't make sense. If you're out of contract, and no one has brought you an extension to sign, then it seems your buyer would be in default. I've never heard of a statute of limitations for a real estate contract. All RE contracts state "time is of the essence" for a reason. It also doesn't make sense that they need to reinspect, and would still be ready to close in the same day. If you're sure your backup can close, and they can pay you a deposit ASAP, I would send the FHA buyer a release and close with the backup at a different title company. I agree with Ken that you should return their earnest money. I'm not an attorney, so talk to your attorney first.

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