Home Buying in 30014>Question Details

Mercedes, Home Buyer in 30014

Can a buyer reject a home sale if seller won't agree on changing the closing date?

Asked by Mercedes, 30014 Mon Mar 14, 2011

My husband & I have a home in NJ and don’t intend to move right away, but we have signed a contract to purchase a home in Covington, GA as our future permanent residence. The seller has moved up the closing date to March 21, but we told our realtor and mortgage broker in February that we are going on a vacation (already planned and paid for) and can’t close until the first week in April. Our agent and the listing agent are pressing hard for 3/21/2011 while knowing we have prior commitments. It is a Fannie Mae Home Path property and the seller has made no concessions. Now we are told the seller doesn't want to make another interest payment on the house and will rescind our offer and put the house back on the market if we don't close by their settlement date and we would forfeit our earnest money. Since we'll be away on March 21, we can't possibly be available to travel to GA. In addition, we signed an addendum to extend the closing date (but we haven’t received signed copies from the se

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As others have mentioned, what is in your ratified sales contract? Do you have a ratified sales contract? What is important what all parties agreed to, so if in the ratified sales contract is says April, than that is the agreed on date, but if you signed an agreement to move the settlement date up to 3/21 than and all parties signed and agreed than 3/21 is your settlement date. You should review your sales contract and see what date is in it.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
If it's not in writing it's not. Unless both parties signed and agreed to changing the closing date, the date in the accepted contract is the closing date.

What was the closing date in the original contract and why would that need to be extended - your last sentence. If you're intimating that you are looking to extend because of the vacation and they are unwilling, well then maybe you have a problem. If you planned around the vacation and they want to move it up, different story.

Nothing sticks unless changes are acknowledged and signed by all parties - but that last sentence has me curious....

Hank
Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Hi Mercedes -

Joshua is right, all that really matters is what you signed in the original purchase agreement. If you signed a GAR form used here in Georgia, look at item 6 on page 2 of your agreement. It is very specific about your closing date. You do have one 7 day extension which you can file notice to the seller without getting their approval, but this is only allowed if your lender can't complete the mortgage docs in time, or if the closing attorney finds problems with the title (liens, etc. on the property). Otherwise, if you must change the agreed closing date, then both parties must agree in writing. You wrote "the seller moved up the closing date to March 21" - they cannot do this unless you AGREED IN WRITING. If you did not sign anything saying you agreed to moving up the date, then they are just blowing smoke and cannot rescind your offer without being liable for damages. Did you sign any other special addendums with Home Path that possibly gave them the right to make unilateral changes? In any case, these are all questions for your agent - remind them that they work for you, and have them explain why they are trying to move up the closing date if you never agreed to it in writing.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Read your contract and see what it says. If your agent is pressing hard to change the date ask the agent what the consequences are and talk to the agent's broker.The agent should be working for you.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Did you sign any paperwork acknowledging that you agreed to have the closing date moved up to March 21? If you did you need to speak to your agent and closing attorney.

I must admit that I'm curious as to why your Buyer Broker is pressuring you rather than working to resolve the problem. Frankly I doubt the home is going to get sold between March 21 and the frost week of April and honestly were I your broker (I'm not nor am I licensed in GA) this would have been resolved long ago.

The listing agent works for the Seller, and is simply repeating whatever the Seller says regardless of whether it makes any sense or not. Your agent works for you and I'd would remind them of this strongly. I would advise both agents in writing (email is considered writing) that should your earnest money be touched without your written permission you will be filing written complaints against both of them and both their firms with the GA state real estate commission.

If you did not sign any papers agreeing that the closing date was to me changed to March 21, then I'd tell my agent that they are on very thin ice and that if they do not get this resolved in the next 24 hours that you will be taking legal action against them and their office and have already prepared a written complaint to be sent to the real estate commission. That you expect them and their office to represent your interest and only your interests and that you are not feeling that they are. Get the names of and speak to both agencies Broker in Charge and let them know you expect this to be resolved today.

By the way, you are not blameless. You are buying a home and should be focused on this and paying attention. Whenever you sign something and send it to your agent you should expect an acknowledgment that they received it and if it requires another signature from someone you should receive it back signed within 72 hours and if you don't get it you should be on the phone and demanding to know why. If you were unhappy with the Sellers refusing to make any concessions after your inspections, you should have canceled the deal right then and there. It does not sound to me as if you are focusing on the transaction, you certainly aren't getting good advice and you are waiting too long while you hope the problems solve themselves, which they won't. It sounds to me as if most of your problems could have been easily avoided by paying more attention and by engaging an attorney in the process early on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Mercedes,

Most of what you wrote in your question is unfortunately completely irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what was signed by all parties.

If you signed paperwork that says you will close on the 21st then, you should close on the 21st. I'm assuming here that you wouldn't have signed this KNOWING that you had a vacation planned.

Assuming you didn't sign something that put you in this position (meaning you didn't sign it thinking you could change it later), then tell your agent to be a Man(or Woman) and start representing you.

Let's review the market.
Are there a ton of buyers buying foreclosures, YES... but...

Is there another buyer that can close as quick as you can (meaning before you get back from vacation)... NO

There's also not a lot of buyers in Covington right now either.
Web Reference: http://GaHomesDigest.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
MVP'08
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