Home Buying in Baltimore>Question Details

Lisa1234, Home Buyer in Baltimore, MD

Can I sue the sellers for not extending the contract now that I have an approval with conditions???

Asked by Lisa1234, Baltimore, MD Sat Jul 2, 2011

We were denied by a broker, who didn't want to do the work for little money, for a flipping issue on a property... So we went to another broker who we later were denied for debt to income ratio... Then later seller's agent advised us to use his loan guy who is a direct va lender and so we did... Now we are approved with conditions, which weve met, the loan is back in underwriting, the appraisal has been ordered and now seller says they are moving forward and are done with us... Strange to me as I know the market is terrible right now and if we have an approval we would be much faster than them finding a new buyer to close... Also, we have had the contract extended twice already... This situation wasn't my fault it had everything to do with inexperienced loan officers. What should I do??? Should I go to the house and talk to sellers personally to see what really is the issue??? If now we have an approval... Also,, my agent isn't really a good agent either... What should I do???

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It may or may not be your direct fault - you did choose the agent and you did choose the loan Broker. But to sue or not to sue is a legal question to be addressed to an attorney, and you would probably need to prove fault and damages. The cost may not be effective for your desired outcome.

There are some things you can do; you can request another extension in exchange of a per day dollar amount up to that closing date. If you are approved with conditions you can get a copy of that letter over to the seller's agent. Depending on the conditions they may or may not be open to an extension.

Depending on all the circumstances surrounding this (which I'm sure were not fully revealed here) the Seller very well may be ready to move on, regardless of finding another buyer. They may have lost faith that it would ever close and believe cut it off now then prolong the inevitable.

If the house was a flip the lender's guidelines may have had restrictions that had nothing to do with the amount of commission the broker was being paid.

If your Broker truly believes he can close you loan then the two of you can draft letters and build a case. Then the seller will decide.

Have you considered that perhaps this is a sign that this isn't the right property for you? If you decide to let it go and find another home, just maybe, you'll get a better property.

All the best to you.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
What would you sue the seller for, Lisa? What did they do to you? You agreed to buy their property and obtain financing within a certain time, you didn't obtain financing within that time . . . that's why contracts have deadlines, so that people can go about their lives should they choose to do so.

I'm not sure why your agent isn't (or is) a "really good agent," he had a lender who would have been able do the job, if you had gone to that lender first rather than shopping around on your own.

Lisa, reading your story here, I don't think that anybody is really "at fault," and I think that the issue is that your sellers don't believe that your financing will hold up through closing, which - you have to admit - isn't a completely unreasonable thought.

All the best,
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
Congrats on your new home, and nice job on the perseverance!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
Just for updates, we finally closed on our home in July... Thank God!!! What seemed to be the problem was the communication with the sellers and their listing agent... So what I decided to do was go to the listing agents broker to see if he could give a conference call allowing for both the seller and us to communicate without a middle man...

After doing this, we were able to accomplish our settlement by agreeing on mutual grounds... The sellers were upset with the listing agent and apparently wanted to get rid of him for it... That is why things got really complicated after our approval... But in the end, it all worked out for our good...

With that being said, I have learned to never give up on what you want and to remember good things come to those who wait...

Thanks again for all your advice!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 21, 2011
Will do... I'll keep you posted...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 3, 2011
You are welcome, good luck and please update this "thread" with the eventual outcome, and if it's positive, what needed to happen in order to get the seller to extend the contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 3, 2011
Thanks a lot for all your advice, I really appreciated it... I will meet with the sellers next week to see if we all can get on the same page with closing this loan asap...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 3, 2011
Well you can't do much here on a message board other than get tips/advice, and you have received a lot of it, so if I was you at this point I'd ask if you could all have a pow-wow, where you, both agents, and the seller all meet to discuss everyone's issues and what you are willing to do to alleviate any of the sellers concerns/entice them to continue with the transaction. It's pretty extreme to do that, but since you technically aren't under contract anymore then I can't see what harm it would do, but your agent can advise you if there would be any potential issues that may present - see I am not a real estate agent, just a loan officer, so my take on real estate negotiating is from a slightly different point of view.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 3, 2011
@Shane... I don't think the sellers think they can get more money for the house because like everyone knows these houses are just sitting and sitting and dropping and dropping in prices, especially in my area... so why wouldn't they have allowed for me to finish this loan and give me an extension for another 15days max... They've waited this long why not wait another 15days... They've listed the home on the market for the same purchase price as when I put it on contract... So for me I don't understand... I can understand that they may be frustrated with this whole process, just as we are... But we are pretty much done... The appraisal has already been done with previous lenders and he has to come back out I guess to make sure sellers have done the repairs he sent to them earlier on with other lender... As I said before, the previous lender didn't want to do the loan because he wasn't making much on the loan so he came up with this flipping issue... Again, this situation to me is all kinds of strange... I don't know if I should take on the same attitude as the sellers and say forget it and find another, but we have to be out of our apartment asap, as we were a little over a month ago waiting on this house... Funny enough we were ready to walk away over a month ago to find another place but the loan officer, who was refered by the seller's agent kept calling me none stop and then I finally said if he believes he can do it and if the seller's agent please he can why not go try... So I did, then seller's agent keeps calling me later to check on the status and telling me the sellers aren't extending past the 30th and I'm like isn't this your guy why not call him... I've done all I can do... I'm waiting on him... Now the day of the last contract date, we finally get our approval with conditions, which were simple and now sellers are really like I'm moving forward.. so why the hell then the seller's agent have his guy keep contacting me and waste my time... What should I do???
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 3, 2011
Does the seller now perhaps think they can get more for their home? Perhaps increasing the sales price by $X in order to allow you to finish it up next week?

If the appraisal hasn't been done, how does the lender know you'll be able to close at the end of next week? Seems like it could be a bit short sighted, as what if the appraisal has an issue or something along those lines?

I don't understand if the current owner's have owned it for over a year, and reside in the home, what was the issue about "flipping" you mentioned? Usually lenders only have issues if it's within 90 days, and actually with VA loans there aren't any additional guidelines about flipping (like there are with FHA).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 3, 2011
Thanks Shane... Actually the sellers live in the home and have been for over a year... They brought it in a foreclosure and have fixed it up while living in it... I believe the sellers are aware that we are approved with conditions, but still are telling their agent they want to move on... Our conditions were very simple ones to which I've already gotten the information to them... Lender says we should be able to close late next week due to the holiday weekend...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 3, 2011
I like Terri's advice on having your mortgage loan officer write the seller's agent a status update letter, detailing what the remaining steps of the loan process are and when they are anticipated to be completed. You may even want to entice the seller to extend your contract by allowing them to re-list the property to new buyers, so that way they don't feel like continuing with you would be limiting themselves to new buyers (after all it is July, one of the busiest buying/selling months of the year, and the seller may feel if they don't get it on the market they may lose their chance to sell this summer).

So you see, it's about you and your past financing issues just as much as it's about the seller and what their goals are.

You also mentioned this was a "flip", so I assume the sellers are not living in the home, but are actually real estate investors who buy/fix/sell properties for profit, which would be another reason they are looking to sell the home ASAP as time = money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 3, 2011
@Mack... We have good credit and we do have a savings... However, we didn't want to put money down, in this market, that is why we decided to use the va loan...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
Lisa, what is your financing situation? You're going with a VA loan, do you have money for a downpayment, and do you have money in savings?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
@Terri... Thanks for the advice... This is something I may have to consider... I have thought about the last comment though... Maybe this is a sign because I have had so many problems, but I am a woman of faith and this could also be the enemy trying to block my blessing... I really love this home and just can't figure out what to do... That is whether I should leave or continue with the rest of the loan process to be completed in about a week or two, the lastest to close...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
@Gerard... Wow... that was brutal... And easy for you to say move on when your not an my situation or my circumstance where I have to be put of my place like last month.. Just like the sellers want to sell, I want to buy...However, logically and technically I know what you said is right... Obviously, my intensions are not to really sue the sellers, but in fact I want the house or I would've have been to 3 different lenders... Is it my fault they screwed up??? Nontheless, I'm now approved and ready to go in about a week and chances are they arent' getting another offer and who's to say the buyers aren't going to have similar problems like me and a lot of other buyers these days???

@Mack I'm sure they wouldn't accept another offer or they would extend this one for another 15days the maximum time I would need worse case scenario per my loan officer.. But what we've decided to do is go ahead with the final loan process with the appraisal already ordered and have the loan company call the selles up for settlement date and I'm sure the sellers will have a different attitude once that check is cut!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
Lisa, I would respectfully suggest that the sellers may have thought of that already.

I am reluctant to suggest that you talk directly to the sellers, especially if they are represented by an agent.

One thing you could do is to make yourself a stronger and better buyer. You might consider increasing the price, or offering a non-refundable deposit / earnest money, as a way of gaining favor.

But I agree with Gerard - it's really difficult to reconcile a situation where you want to sue the seller, fire your agent, and have made your way through three mortgage companies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
No! you can not, there was a closing date and a date for having gotten approval of loan, if the approval never happened by that time, the seller can dismiss the contract due to the fact that you did not live up to the contract and its deadlines! They gave up because you could not meet the contract requirements and they have no confidence or time now to give you! Find another house and move on!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
@Mack... I guess I can agree with that... However, it just seems to make more sense to me to work with me since they've worked with me this far and I'm almost there with probably a week left to close... Why start all over and have to wait, if they get an offer, another 45days minimum... To me it's common sense... True, if I would have known all of this was going to happen, I would have used his lender guy a long time ago.. But you live and learn... How was I supposed to know... Do you think that I should go talk to the sellers personally because I'm in an akward situation myself all packed up and ready to go... I have to be out of my place...This is not my fault and I understand where they're coming from also...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 2, 2011
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