Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

nmml53705, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

Extend option period?

Asked by nmml53705, Austin, TX Mon Jul 16, 2012

We put in an offer on a house on Fri, seller accepted Sat, and we have a signed contract as of Sun. Our option period is 10 days.

However, the property isn't currently occupied and when we were about to try to schedule the inspection (hopefully for tomorrow or Wednesday), the seller's agent informed us that the gas is not turned on at the property and won't be on and functional until Friday at 5:00 PM.

This means we can't have our inspection done until 5:00 on Friday, and lose 4 full business days of our option period at no fault of our own. Is it normal for there to be these kinds of delays for a buyer trying to set up an inspection?

My question is: would we be within our rights to ask the seller to extend the option period? It seems to me if we have issues that need to be addressed or repairs that we want to try to negotiate, losing four of our eight business days because of something that's not our fault doesn't seem ideal.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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If you used the more or less standard TREC / TAR contract form, then yes it would not only be normal, it would be imperative as the seller is "required" to have all utilities on prior to inspections. Essentially, the seller may have already breached the contract by not doing so. Therefore the seller would be wise to accommodate your reasonable request since the seller caused the problem by failing to meet their contractual obligations.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
Dear NMML53705,
I just wanted to check back and see how your situation turned out. Were you able to get the seller to agree to the extension? Did the inspection results turn out the way you wanted? Were you able to close on your dream home?

Sincerely,
Betina

Betina Foreman- Realtor, C.N.E.
Austin Home Girls Realty
1601 West 6th Street
Austin, TX 78703
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
Yes, you are within your rights to ask the seller to extend the option period. As Guy has pointed out so well, there is a requirement in the standard TREC/TAR contract that the utilities are turned on by the seller prior to inspection. If you are using a Realtor and have used this standard form, it should be a simple matter to extend the option period. The first step is for your Realtor to request the extension of the option period in writing on a standard amendment form. The seller's Realtor should be advising him that it would be reasonable for him to extend it. But we've all had experiences when simple matters somehow don't turn out that way.

Here's my best advise to buyers: Try to keep from falling in love with any house until you are through the inspection period at the very least! There are a number of things that can come up during this critical phase that would indicate you should seek another property. When a buyer is so crazy about a house that they aren't willing to walk away, they can make bad financial decisions. Hopefully your Realtor is helping you stay focused!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 25, 2012
Guy said it best: have your agent notify them that they are in breach of the agreement and must either have the utilities turned on immediately or extend the option period for no less than the amount of actual days which you are delayed. If they are a reasonable seller, they will understand and comply. Just make sure your agent get's notification to them in writing asap.


Joe Casey
Keller Williams / Selling Austin
https://www.facebook.com/SellingAustin
http://www.sellingaustin.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012
This is really a question for your Realtor. Of course if you don't have a Realtor assisting you, I would ask the seller for the extension to option period. However on the Amendment Form you will have to give some consideration for the Amendment to be valid. The consideration can be as little as a dollar but it needs to be there. The sellers should be agreeable as its their responsibility to have the utilities on so you may have the inspection. I wish you the very best of luck!

Sincerely,
Betina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012
Your buyers agent should be assisting you with these issues. Be grateful not a foreclosure where you have have all utilties in your name PRIOR to inspection .

Your issues are not that big of deal where all parties need to work in concert with one another

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
972-699-9111
http://www.lynn911.com

Follow me on Facebook
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
Mike and Guy already answered your question correctly. Since you're asking this on Trulia, I'm assuming you do not have a Realtor to give you professional help and advice, not only at times like this, but throughout the transaction and possible renegotiations after your inspection. That's another reason why it's ALWAYS good to have a Realtor involved.
If there is an Option Period extension, there needs to be some sort of "consideration" on your part. In other words you can't extend the Option Period without paying something for that, even if it was it is just $1.00 for example. If you do have a Realtor, discuss this with him or her… If you don't, I would recommend using one next time to avoid issues such as this. There are so many hurdles and potential pitfalls in a transaction of this size that most people have no experience with. Last year over 69% of lawsuits were over real estate! Good Luck!!
Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor
Keller Williams Realty
512-261-4415
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
Guy pretty much hit the nail on the head. The seller has an obligation to provide the utilities. Another option is to do the inspection now and ask the seller to pay to have the inspector come back to check the gas items. However, requesting an extension of the option period under this circumstance would certainly be a reasonable request.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
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