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Author: artemis021 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 127738  
Subject: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay ins Date: 12/13/2013 4:55 PM
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I was in a contract to buy a house. My realtor send them a list of things I wanted repaired. They sent me back a list saying they would only do A,B, and C. We countered with do X, Y and Z.

The contract was set to "automatically terminated" at 5 p.m. the next day if there was no agreement on the repairs. At 3:30 that day, my realtor got a request for an extension of 24 hours. I (digitally) signed it.
The next day, again at around 3:30, they sent another request for an extension. My realtor was in a meeting and did not send me this until after 5 p.m. But the contract had automatically terminated.

Before we had signed anything to revive the contract, the sellers said they were only going to repair A,B, and C (not changing their original offer). Then they said they weren't going to sell.

My contract says I'm liable to pay for the $500 in inspections I had done on the house, even if it was the sellers backed out. I don't think this is fair.

The owners say they won't reimburse me. My real estate agent's company said they won't either.

I don't think I can go after the owners, because of the contract terms. It also specifically says my agent isn't responsible either. I'm tempted to take action against my realtor, based on how bad the contract was for me, their client, and the fact that it terminated with a pending request for extension and they didn't get it to me in time.

Should I threaten my real estate company with formal action if they continue to refuse to reimburse me the cost of the inspections?

They've already said they won't pay, but there are avenues: BBB, Attorney General's Office, Real Estate Commission, small claims court, social media.

(If you voted yes, and the threats fail, which method(s) should I use to try to get the money?)

Maybe this wasn't the best issue for a poll...
No
Yes

Click here to see results so far.

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126657 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 5:22 PM
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The inspector was paid $500 to inspect the house on your behalf, right?
And the inspector found a number of things that you wanted fixed before buying the house. Things that you felt were important enough that you weren't willing to take the seller's offer of doing some subset.

Seems to me that for $500 you got the information you needed and was a reasonable price.

If you still think you're not being treated fairly, call up another RE agent in the area. Ask them what happens if you get into a contract, have an inspection done, and the contract is terminated. Who pays for the inspection? I'd bet it's the person who ordered the inspection - which is you.

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126658 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 5:23 PM
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My contract says I'm liable to pay for the $500 in inspections I had done on the house, even if it was the sellers backed out. I don't think this is fair.

If you don't think this is fair, then you should not have signed the contract with that as part of the terms.

The inspection is purely for the buyer's benefit, so I don't see why the seller or your realtor should reimburse you for it.

Inspections can typically be used by the buyer to back out of the sale or to ask for repairs, which is what you did, both of which are to the buyer's advantage and not to the seller's.

Chalk it up to experience, and move on.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126660 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 5:31 PM
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The next day, again at around 3:30, they sent another request for an extension. My realtor was in a meeting and did not send me this until after 5 p.m. But the contract had automatically terminated.

Before we had signed anything to revive the contract, the sellers said they were only going to repair A,B, and C (not changing their original offer). Then they said they weren't going to sell.

My contract says I'm liable to pay for the $500 in inspections I had done on the house, even if it was the sellers backed out. I don't think this is fair.


And this is one example of why it is critical to have a Realtor who can get emails et all on their smart phone at all times.

Yes, your agent was at fault, but bottom line is this deal was unlikely to go through. If the sellers were willing to meet your offer, they would have stuck it out. Instead because they were not pleased with what many sellers view as games, they played the deferral game and even possibly got a better contract in while keeping you on the hook.

Is it fair that you pay your expenses even though it was the sellers decision to let the deal fall through? Absolutely. YOU changed the terms of the contract, and they decided they did not like it anymore. It was your actions that caused the deal to fall through, not theirs. For future contracts, keep it very simple. Inspect the property hard yourself and establish a price based on what you see, realizing that you will probably need to eat a certain amount of the repairs and bidding as such. Use the inspection to give some measure of comfort that your estimate of issues was on target.

As a seller there is nothing that irks me as much as a buyer giving me a laundry list of repairs to be done, as though they were not bidding on used goods. A certain amount of this and that is to be expected in a 20 year old home, and if it was clearly visible to the untrained naked eye, such as broken seal on windows causing evident clouding, that had better be priced in to the original offer. The pickier they get, the less I want to deal with them. And this comes from someone who tends to approach real estate transactions without emotion. Magnify that to the power of 10 for the typical homeowner, who often considers his home his castle, and that you are lucky to bid on it.

Next time, keep your approach much simpler. This time, suck it up and eat those costs, consider it a price of your education. Ditch your current Realtor, and get someone who is plugged in all the time, but particularly around contract deadlines.

Best of luck.

IP

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Author: artemis021 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126661 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 5:34 PM
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Inspections can typically be used by the buyer to back out of the sale or to ask for repairs, which is what you did, both of which are to the buyer's advantage and not to the seller's.

An inspection contigency, of course, is for the buyer's benefit!
Most of them are written so the seller can't back out of them.

when the contract terminated, I was intending to buy the house and thought we were still negotiating!

Beyond that, there was an electrical issue I'd asked to have repaired, and they'd had an electrician out, but the electrician didn't address the major issue. They backed out after the apptmt with my electrician had been set up. (but before it happened).

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126662 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 5:36 PM
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If you still think you're not being treated fairly, call up another RE agent in the area. Ask them what happens if you get into a contract, have an inspection done, and the contract is terminated.

I wouldn't do this. In some states unless you have signed a buyer's agency with a specific Realtor, they are not allowed to represent the buyer's interest and are still legally bound to represent the seller. No agent will give him a straight up answer to this question, even if presented as hypothetical. Why would someone without promise of pay put themselves out on a limb like that, particularly to someone who is clearly disgruntled? To get the business of course, which means telling him what he wants to hear even if not true.

IP

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126663 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 5:41 PM
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An inspection contigency, of course, is for the buyer's benefit!
Most of them are written so the seller can't back out of them


On what planet? I've bought and sold in multiple states and in each of these states the contingency is to protect the seller from going through with a purchase if the required repairs are much larger than expected, and the seller from having to be subject to a deal he did not agree to. The seller can only be held to the original contract, which in this case included drop dead by dates, as all contracts should.

Understand what you sign before you sign it.

IP

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126664 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 6:13 PM
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I've bought and sold in multiple states and in each of these states the contingency is to protect the seller from going through with a purchase if the required repairs are much larger than expected,
If the repairs are larger than expected, there is no reason the buyer can't continue on with the sale and the buyer make the repairs after the sale.

and the seller from having to be subject to a deal he did not agree to.
The inspection contingencies that I've seen don't allow the seller to back out. They ONLY allow the buyer to back out.
If the buyer wants to continue, the seller doesn't get to back out of it. At most the seller can refuse to change the contract if the buyer proposes a changed contract (ex. X, Y and Z have to be fixed)

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126665 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 6:38 PM
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The inspection contingencies that I've seen don't allow the seller to back out. They ONLY allow the buyer to back out.
If the buyer wants to continue, the seller doesn't get to back out of it. At most the seller can refuse to change the contract if the buyer proposes a changed contract (ex. X, Y and Z have to be fixed)


As soon as the buyer requested that the seller fix XYZ, he changed the contract. At that point, the seller is no longer bound to what was signed.

All contracts I have signed, and there have been way too many, have dictated that the seller can accept the counter offer by the buyer which now includes repairs, decline it, or negotiate further.

Any little change requires both buyer and seller to sign off on to continue the contract as valid. That is why it is so critical to understand exactly what you are signing and making sure it is accurate.

IP

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Author: CCinOC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126667 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 7:02 PM
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My contract says I'm liable to pay for the $500 in inspections I had done on the house, even if it was the sellers backed out. I don't think this is fair.

If you thought the contract provision unfair, you should not have signed the contract.

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126668 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 8:32 PM
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I was in this situation last week. I paid the inspector and the sellers declined to make the repair I requested and the contract was terminated.

Grow up- there's a contract. You made changes. It puts the whole thing in play. If you really want a property, you pay cash with no contingencies.

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126669 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/13/2013 11:30 PM
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As soon as the buyer requested that the seller fix XYZ, he changed the contract. At that point, the seller is no longer bound to what was signed.

I think that isn't true - but it depends on what was in the contract and the ammendment to the contract that proposed the buyer fix XYZ.


Any little change requires both buyer and seller to sign off on to continue the contract as valid.
However any change proposed by one and NOT accepted by the other means the contract continues AS-IS. Which is why all the contingencies really favor the buyer -because they are a relatively easy way for the buyer to back out of the contract.

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126670 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 12:32 AM
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My contract says I'm liable to pay for the $500 in inspections I had done on the house, even if it was the sellers backed out. I don't think this is fair.

Fairness doesn't enter into the issue. It's just dollars and cents. What would it cost you to hire a lawyer and go to court? Likely a LOT more than the $500.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126672 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 7:21 AM
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However any change proposed by one and NOT accepted by the other means the contract continues AS-IS. Which is why all the contingencies really favor the buyer -because they are a relatively easy way for the buyer to back out of the contract.

By the OP's own words he thought they were still negotiating. That shows intent to buy, not a contract to buy. But it depends on what was written on the contract. A "standard" association of Realtor purchase and sales agreement here basically states that if the buyer decides to make contract changes based on the inspection, the seller has the right to accept those changes, reject those changes, or counter. IIRC they started to counter and then simply rejected the changes, perhaps even deciding to pull the house off the market. This is the inspection clause that tends to be favored by Realtors, because it is clean and simple. The one I prefer is that the buyer will accept $XYZ in problems without renegotiating. The problem that can arise is when the problems are deemed over that point by the buyer's people, but the sellers counter that it is not over the dollar amount. It can wind up in the courts deciding what the true dollar amount is.

If you change the terms of a contract like the OP did when his inspection clause gave him that right, you had better be ready to walk away from the property and the money you invested to get to that point in the contract negotiations.

IP

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Author: artemis021 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126674 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 11:12 AM
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I wasn't really changing the terms of thw contract. The inspection. Contingency. Is there for the buyers protection to make sure they know what they are getting.

It was almost like a subcontract. But beyond that, the contigency required a written agreemen frm hw selles or a releas fom m to take it as-is. Sinc it terminated while I was waiting fir a especial Ms, didn't realize the release was my only real option to keep the house.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126676 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 11:39 AM
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I wasn't really changing the terms of thw contract.

Sure you were, by asking for work to be done. You can't consider yourself still under negotiation of terms and having a valid contract at the same time. BTW, it's typically better to just get the money from a homeowner and pay someone to get it done yourself so that you can control the quality.

Contingency. Is there for the buyers protection to make sure they know what they are getting.

Sure, and in this case you paid $500 for that insurance. But the seller is not required to bow to your demands to do work. He also has the option to say forgetaboutit, which is what protects him.

Contracts can be tricky things, subject to interpretations of individual words in some cases. One house I bought was only available because it fell through at a previous settlement, where the termite inspection clause was worded something to the effect that repairs were to be done to the buyer's satisfaction. The buyers showed up to the table with their lawyer, who said that his clients would not be buying the house because the work was not done to their satisfaction. When pressed, he further stated that his clients were under no obligation to explain what that meant, and only had to express dissatisfaction. They walked because of cold feet, and with all their deposit money given that loophole. The work was quite satisfactory by any normal judgement, and they would have been hard pressed to come up with a rational reason to back out based on those repairs. When they exist, these loopholes work both ways, benefiting the buyer or the seller.

Read your contracts word by word. IT IS A CHORE AND THEN SOME, but worth it. If you can't understand the clause, have a lawyer explain it to you. A Realtor does not give legal advice, and does want to minimize anything that will interfere with the sale, including you really understanding the contract, which they probably don't understand. I've lined through some pretty ambiguous working on P&S contracts. No doubt these contracts were used successfully 99.999% of the time, but if I could see the loophole it was getting eliminated.

IP

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126677 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 12:37 PM
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You can't consider yourself still under negotiation of terms and having a valid contract at the same time.

When he asked for XYZ to be done, they were still in contract.
When the sellers said "no", they were still in contract.
He could have waived the inspection contingency after the sellers said "no", and continued on.
It was only when the inspection contingency wasn't waived (and the time period expired) that he was no longer in contract.

Asking for a modification to the contract does NOT mean that the original contract is nullified. So you can indeed be attempting to negotiate and have a valid contract at the same time.

In this case the only reason that the contract didn't continue is because the buyer exercised his inspection contingency. You may think "but he didn't actually say he didn't want it, the time just expired". The way his contract was written is that when the time expired, that contingency was exercised (unless waived). So by his inaction (not waiving it or getting an extension) he did exercise the option.

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Author: wasmick Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126678 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 12:50 PM
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You learned a $500 lesson.

Don't sign contracts you don't understand. And don't work with realtors who don't have your best interests at heart.

If you didn't understand the contract you need to tell your real estate professional just how little you know so that he or she can advise you appropriately.

If you did that and still find yourself in this position then your realtor failed you. Get a new realtor, pay your $500 and move on.

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126679 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 1:03 PM
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It's hard to add to wasmick's excellent comment, but I'll note that of the seemingly endless opinions in this thread, the only opinionator who has seen the paperwork is OP, so everyone else (and, perhaps, OP) is guessing as to whether or not there was a contract and, if there was, what the terms were.

This thread's going gray for me. YMMV.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool

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Author: CCinOC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126682 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 1:23 PM
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When the sellers said "no", they were still in contract. He could have waived the inspection contingency after the sellers said "no", and continued on.

By the time the sellers said "no," the inspection had already been performed and the cost thereof incurred.

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126683 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 3:03 PM
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By the time the sellers said "no," the inspection had already been performed and the cost thereof incurred.

Yes - but not really relevant to what I said.

He still could have waived the inspection contingency and continued on with the purchase.

When I say waive the inspection contingency I don't mean not do the inspection, I mean the buyer signs a piece of paper saying essentially "I am not backing out of this contract via the inspection contingency clause." Most purchases waive that contingency at some point - either explicitly by the buyer providing a piece of paper saying they're waiving it- or implicitly because the contract automatically waives the contingency if nothing else is done by the buyer on X date. (As a buyer, I prefer the former - the contract just automatically ends if I don't do something. As a seller I think the latter is better - if the seller doesn't notify me, the contract continues)

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Author: CCinOC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126684 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 3:05 PM
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Yes - but not really relevant to what I said. He still could have waived the inspection contingency and continued on with the purchase.

Ah, I see what you're saying.

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Author: ToddTruby Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126685 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 3:51 PM
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You agreed to buy the house at $xxx

You found something(s) on the inspection where you thought the house was only with $xxx if the seller spent money on repairs.

You absolutely did change the terms of the contract. You are either getting terrible advice or completely misunderstood the process or perhaps both.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126687 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 6:11 PM
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Yes - but not really relevant to what I said. He still could have waived the inspection contingency and continued on with the purchase.


But it was already too late, having pi$$ed off the sellers with his request in the first place. They found their contract loophole and took their out, because contingencies do protect both parties. Frankly if the buyer is willing to make the purchase at the original contract, and the sellers are willing to sell at that price, the Realtors should easily make it happen. Sounds to me as though the sellers have deemed the buyer does not deserve to own their castle. So much about being a good Realtor is about managing the emotions on both ends of the transaction. This will make or break a deal.

IP

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126688 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 8:40 PM
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They found their contract loophole and took their out,
I'd say that the buyer handed them an out.
The contract expired because the buyer didn't waive the contingency in time.

Of course arguably it's for the best - the buyer and seller apparently could not come to an agreement on what should be repaired / how much the property was worth.

Sounds to me as though the sellers have deemed the buyer does not deserve to own their castle.
Or they thought they saw a long contentious sales process ahead for them, and decided they'd rather not deal with it at this time and see if they can find more buyers in spring.

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Author: artemis021 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126689 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 8:54 PM
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I asked for repairs.
They countered.
I countered.
they asked for an extension.
They got one.
The next day, they asked for another extension.
This was at 330.
My realtor was in a meeting.she didn't tell me abou it
Contract expired at 5.

Next day-how do we revive contract? Discussion with my realtor. Nothing signed.
Day after-sellers say we'll fix abc.
And I say I want an electrician to look at something
they won't fix.they say tomorrow.
Day after-Before appt, They say no deal.

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Author: FlyingDiver Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126691 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 10:09 PM
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Day after-sellers say we'll fix abc.
And I say I want an electrician to look at something
they won't fix.they say tomorrow.
Day after-Before appt, They say no deal.


Was this request for an electrician something new you added at the very end of this process? If so, I think a previous poster had it right - they decided they didn't want to deal with someone who was going to keep adding things to the process.

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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126693 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 11:30 PM
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artemis021: "I wasn't really changing the terms of thw contract. The inspection. Contingency. Is there for the buyers protection to make sure they know what they are getting."

Without the exact contractual provision, we have no way of knowing. I have seen contracts along the lines that inparadise described.

And if you really did not like that clause, then the time to change it was before you executed teh contract.

Regards, JAFO

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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126694 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/14/2013 11:36 PM
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foo1bar:

<<<You can't consider yourself still under negotiation of terms and having a valid contract at the same time.>>>

"When he asked for XYZ to be done, they were still in contract.
When the sellers said "no", they were still in contract.
He could have waived the inspection contingency after the sellers said "no", and continued on.
It was only when the inspection contingency wasn't waived (and the time period expired) that he was no longer in contract."


Maybe, or maybe not.

Depending upon contracct owrding, asking for repairs could have beena conditional termiantion unless the Seller agree to make the repairs. Whihc could then be accepted, counter-offered or rejected.

I am not sure how we on this board can know, absent exact contract language.

Regards, JAFO

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126696 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/15/2013 10:12 AM
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I don't know in what state this is occurring but do you have a contract with your realtor to represent you ? Otherwise, I think the realtor represents the seller since that is who pays them.

If I was the seller, I wouldn't allow your electrician to look at something in my house. If you really want the house, make an offer with no inspection contingency at a slightly higher price than the last contract.

I was happy to pay the inspector and let the contract terminate on the property I was buying because there were a couple of things that happened along the way that made me have no trust in the sellers(I was beginning to lean toward BSC). The final issue was a damaged window that was listed in the property disclosure but no one seemed to know the brand of window(not their realtor who had owned a unit one building over) nor the sellers. There's pretty much only one place in town that sells windows. Way too hinky for me - I asked for about double what they offered for the repair(which was replace, restain and ensure there was no additional damage). They declined and I let it go. I considered the inspection money very well spent and will move on.

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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126697 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/15/2013 12:51 PM
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Rad, I like your example, because I think it illustrates the true purpose of an inspection: to provide the buyer with information that he can use to (1) justify walking away with full refund of his deposit, or (2) negotiate with seller for price reduction and/or repairs, to the extent seller is interested in further negotiations.

OP seemed to have the impression that the inspection is a tool to guarantee a near-perfect house, and that if the seller isn't willing to bring the house up to the buyer's standards, that's the seller's (or Realtor's) fault, in which case the buyer should be made whole by refund not only of his deposit but also of his inspection fee.

OP, it doesn't work that way, and why should it? From the seller's POV, when he accepts your initial offer, he takes the house off the market (thereby losing other potential buyers) and allows your inspector full access. You pay for inspection. After that, if the deal falls through, you both lose something: he loses time on the market, and you lose the cost of inspection. Depending on time of year, that could well hurt him more than it does you.

As a buyer, I make an offer assuming:
- The house is being sold as is (even when the listing doesn't say so).
- The inspection gives me info so I know what I'll have to fix later.
- If I ask for any fixes by seller, it's with the understanding that the seller might say no.
- If the seller says no, I'll buy the house anyway, unless the inspection turned up something egregious. Every used house has its wear and tear, which is typically reflected in the price to begin with; and new houses also have their quirks.

OP, don't fixate on the timing of phone calls. Back up a few steps and think about what an inspection is really for.
And, best of luck with your house hunt going forward.

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126700 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/15/2013 4:05 PM
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As a buyer, I make an offer assuming:
- The house is being sold as is (even when the listing doesn't say so).
- The inspection gives me info so I know what I'll have to fix later.
- If I ask for any fixes by seller, it's with the understanding that the seller might say no.
- If the seller says no, I'll buy the house anyway, unless the inspection turned up something egregious. Every used house has its wear and tear, which is typically reflected in the price to begin with; and new houses also have their quirks.


When I first bought a house I ended up paying for inspections on 3 places before buying one. For the first two, I'm glad I had the inspection contingency in the contract because the imspections pulled up some issues that I didn't want to deal with.

One house had some foundation problems -- which were disclosed -- but the inspection showed it to be more extensive than we thought and with other issues in the house, I decided to pass. It also made me wonder why the buyer didn't fix something so important if they already knew about it. The next house had a pretty severe radon problem -- not unheard of in the area -- but I also consulted with a company that did mitigation and due to the deisgn of the house they couldn't figure out how to put in the vents. It would have taken multiple blowers & pipes ran thru several walls. The final house that I had inspected also had radon show up in the inspection, but the mitigation was straightforward and the other problems cosmetic; I negotiated the mitigation estimate into the final price and bought it. I consider the $$ spent on inspections and consultation with the radon contractor to be money well spent as it kept me from making a potentially huge financial mistake by buying the wrong house.

If the OP is dissatisfied with their real estate agent, then they should use the inaccessibility issue to break the contract with the agent. Then find another agent who will define how they would deal with last-minute calls and negotiations.

I don't see any grounds to get the agent to pay for the inspection. You did get a service for the inspection -- knowledge of the quality of a house. Just because you didn't buy that house doesn't mean you didn't benefit. Now if for some reason the seller was withholding the buyer's deposit, then that would be another deal.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126701 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/15/2013 6:31 PM
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For the first two, I'm glad I had the inspection contingency in the contract because the imspections pulled up some issues that I didn't want to deal with.

Amen to that! We did an inspection on a foreclosure that we LOVED, just to find out that this riverfront house was not anchored in any way to the ground other than by the soil pipe. We envisioned some future possible flood taking it downstream, and walked. It was a great location, but a bit much to pay for a houseless lot. Someone else bought it for way too much.

IP

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126706 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/16/2013 11:50 AM
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Eat the $500 - since technically you requested the inspection, it took place, and therefore the inspector provided the service you requested.

And take the rest as a learning experience to determine what you can do differently next time.

Since people can always get stuck in meetings, or have personal emergencies, or technology can fail, rather than having an "automatically terminated" deadline based solely on time, if you want an automatic termination on the contract to keep each phase moving swiftly along, than make it time-based but the clock starts ticking once the other party confirms they have received the new contract/request/necessary documents.

For instance, because the house I contracted to buy is under a Home Owners Association, there was a line in the contract that once I received the HOA documents (and I could choose via email or mail - and I chose mail) I had 3 days to terminate the contract if there was any HOA requirement I didn't agree to live under, when the 3 days ran out, if I didn't tell my agent I objected to any items in the docs, the contract would automatically move forward. I was instructed that when I received my HOA docs by FedX, I was to call my agent to let her know, and that's when the clock starting ticking.

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126709 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/16/2013 12:49 PM
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rather than having an "automatically terminated" deadline based solely on time, if you want an automatic termination on the contract to keep each phase moving swiftly along, than make it time-based but the clock starts ticking once the other party confirms they have received the new contract/request/necessary documents.
I'd prefer concrete dates/time myself.
Otherwise if it comes to a dispute, I have to prove the date/time when they received something.

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Author: CCinOC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126710 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/16/2013 3:00 PM
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I'd prefer concrete dates/time myself. Otherwise if it comes to a dispute, I have to prove the date/time when they received something.

Don't know where the OP lives, but here's how contingencies work in CA.

Real Estate Purchase Contract – Passive vs. Active Removal
http://www.sandiegolifestyle.info/2009/08/real-estate-purcha...

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126712 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/17/2013 10:48 AM
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I'd prefer concrete dates/time myself.
Otherwise if it comes to a dispute, I have to prove the date/time when they received something.


That's fine, but then like the OP you run the risk of human-error or unavoidable circumstances causing a contract termination. Plus in the OP's case, if the sellers had changed their mind before the last change-request, knowing there's a 24 hour deadline means they could have waited until hour 23:59:55 to give his agent the extension request, where even if the agent wasn't stuck in a meeting there wouldn't be enough time to relay that info to the buyer before the clock ran out.

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126713 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/17/2013 11:12 AM
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knowing there's a 24 hour deadline means they could have waited until hour 23:59:55 to give his agent the extension request
The sellers could have just not bothered with the extension at all and gotten the same result. Frankly I don't understand why the sellers were starting the extension. And why only for 24 hours at a time.
Doing it that way is a bit of brinksmanship I think.

like the OP you run the risk of human-error or unavoidable circumstances causing a contract termination.
If you put reasonable timeframes it's minimal risk.
And doing an extension is pretty easy - it's a 1 page form letter (contract addendum) and it is easy to push a date out by 2 days (or if necessary because of a weekend or something by 4 days or more)
Plus if you do the extension earlier it's probably a lot easier to get agreement. "Mr. Seller, the inspector can't get here until the last day of the inspection contingency and it'll take him a day to write up the findings, can we push that contingency out by 2 days so the buyers have time to read the report?"

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126714 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/17/2013 11:58 AM
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Frankly I don't understand why the sellers were starting the extension. And why only for 24 hours at a time.
Doing it that way is a bit of brinksmanship I think.


Maybe they were trying to get quotes on repair work to see if they would be willing to do/pay for the repairs - maybe their agent was trying to keep the negotiation open to close the deal, since often in a case like this sellers get offended and think if they got one offer another will happen right away with someone less picky if they let this buyer go and it's often the agents who want to close the deal more than the seller. Especially if the sellers are motivated to sell by something else, like having already purchased another house.

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126715 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/17/2013 11:59 AM
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Especially if the sellers are motivated to sell

Meant "aren't motivated to sell".

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126716 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/17/2013 12:18 PM
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That's fine, but then like the OP you run the risk of human-error or unavoidable circumstances causing a contract termination.

Happens all the time, and in most cases both buyer and seller are motivated and it gets back on track. The main reason why the seller lost motivation in this case seems to be because of repeated requests by the buyer. The less you interact, the more likely the deal is to go through.

IP

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Author: CCinOC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 126717 of 127738
Subject: Re: Poll: seller backed out: push realtor to pay Date: 12/17/2013 3:01 PM
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Sometimes the agent on the other side is simply dense. I recently transacted a sale + loan in the middle of the government shutdown. Since the IRS was closed, Form 4506-T (verification of tax returns) couldn't be processed. Do you think I could convince the seller's agent there was nothing I could do about it and that the lender was simply not going to fund any loans without it? You'd think I was speaking a different language. (Well, I was; English was a second language to this agent.) I sent her links to authoritative sources about the effects of the shutdown on real estate transactions. She simply wouldn't or couldn't comprehend what I was saying. She didn't know what a Form 4506-T is except to say, "That's your problem!" (No, it's a problem for all of us.) She needed the commission and that's all she could focus on. Finally, as lenders everywhere came to grips with the IRS being closed and constructed get-arounds, we were able to close but not without screaming and hand-wringing and threats to cancel and keep the buyer's earnest money. At one point, her response to my status email was, "This is war!" (LOL) I had to get my broker to talk to her broker (who spoke slightly better English) but apparently the seller was foreign, too, as well as the president of the Homeowners Association, with whom I needed to interact. It was exhausting! A RE transaction is a lot more difficult when several of the parties don't have complete command of English, I'll tell you that.

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