If you show up for closing and sign your documents, and they refuse, Texas law allows you to sue to enforce specific performance. Your REALTOR should know a good attorney who can write them a demand letter and "explain the benefits" to them for a minimal (if any) fee. If suit is brought, you may also be able to recover damages and legal fees.
I assume that your first goal is to close the deal and get the house. So, keep the emotion in check, be polite but firm. As long as you have done what you agreed to, you should expect the other side, regardless of any bluffs they want to run, to be required to perform as they agreed. Failure to do so can be VERY expensive for Sellers in Texas.
One other thing - If the Sellers' agent is advertising the home as not being under contract, and if you have not breached the contract, file a complaint with the Texas Real Estate Commission (http://www.trec.state.tx.us) and help get them out of the business. Call your local Board of REALTORS and ask them to appoint an Ombudsman to resolve the issue.
Doc Stephens, REALTORÂ®
You've had several comments suggesting you seek legal advice. I see that you live in Texas. If you are buying in Texas and have fulfilled ALL of your obligations as a buyer (per the terms of the contract: financing approval, etc.) and a Seller is threatening to terminate, you have specific rights and remedies (per the contract.) I am assuming that the seller is threatening to terminate; however, you don't actually state that. Are they threatening to terminate? Or, are they wanting to continue advertising the property for sale? What is also not clear to me is if got under contract on this property while utilizing the expertize of a licensed real estate professional or not Are you dealing with a "for sale by owner?" Do you have an agent? Was this property listed with the local MLS system? If so, there are specific rules regarding how a licensed agent, who is a member of the MLS can code (or advertise) a property once it is under contract. While your agent cannot give you legal advice, your agent can tell you the terms of the contract. Regardless, you have the right to seek legal counsel.
If you are dealing with a licensed professional, that agent should be working to assist you. Good luck!
Keller Williams Realty
Yes they are an older couple and have been in the house for 25 years they claim they want to leave. I am just waiting for the next excuse. They actually called our banker and tried to get our financing details. They have been told by banker, realtor and underwriter that our financing was set and there were no issues yet they still wanted our details.
I am a Real Estate Attorney here in Austin with 8 years of mortgage (mortgage broker) and 4 years of real estate (Realtor) experience prior to starting my practice. My firm is well adept and working with issues such as yours.
The link to my firm's website is below as well as my office and cell numbers
Best of luck and please do not hesitate to contact me. I included my LinkedIn profile as well for your reference.
Hay Compere PLLC
Get 'em out of the house! My gosh: Offering a lease-back agreement when the homeowners are trying to back out anyway?!? They'd just love to still be sitting there. No. The instant the property closes, you get the keys. They're the last sort of people I'd want in a home I'd just purchased. If they've gone so far as to update a listing, removing the "under contract" notice, I wouldn't put anything past them.
I stand by my original advice: (1) get an attorney, and (2) ask your agent whether it would be appropriate for him/her to rationally explain the situation to the sellers.
Let us know how this turns out.
I would have your Realtor speak with them to get a resolution and if necessary consult a real estate attorney if you feel they are violating the terms of the sales contract.
It sounds like they are moving out tomorrow, day of closing.
Don't forget to ask your Realtor about your final walk through before closing. There may be a 2 foot hole in the wall behind a couch they were covering up, etc, etc, etc, all the way through the house with so many possibilities.
Why they are moving out the day of closing sure is "last minute". Do your walk thru first!
In response to previous activity, your Realtor should have contacted listing Agent/Broker to find out why the home went active, and why taking back ups (if the home should be Pending status).
good luck, congrats! and don't forget about your walk through prior to closing!
I would consult a good real estate attorney. The people at Hay Compere are lawyers that specialize in Real Estate law. You can find them on the Trulia website. Give them a call or make an appointment to speak with them and bring copies of everything you have. The key to any transaction is to have everything in writing. Make sure your Realtor is involved as they will be one of your best assets. I wish you luck closing on the home.
A few quick tips:
The ONLY people who should advise you need to have read all of the documents. As one poster mentioned, in real estate, it all needs to be in writing.
The broker that they have selected to list their property may or may not be a member of the National Association of Realtors. They may just be a DRE licensee. None the less, they are bound to follow the laws of Texas regarding real estate transactions.
The financing side of Real Estate is very tough right now. Many sellers are concerned about buyers being able to close on time, if at all. Because it appears that your sellers to not have (just my opinion) professional representation, YOUR Realtor is going to need to go the extra mile to get this home for you.
1. Ask for a meeting with the sellers and your Realtor and their agent.
2. Identify the concerns that they have.
3. Resolve to answer their concerns, in writing, asap.
MOST transactions are NOT closing on time these days. They will close, but if your seller has a hard deadline, since you are already well into the process, they may need to know that you are:
Capable of closing
Are fighting to proceed vigorously....as opposed to sitting back and letting the chips fall as they may.
Confer with terms and conditions of contract of buyer/ seller obligations close or cancel clause of purchase of home.
Anyway without knowing all the details that maybe whats going on.
But the most important thing for you to do is to be working with your attorney on this. Good luck, so sorry that you are having this experience, heaven knows the process is stressful enough.
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Also, your agent should talk to the sellers and explain the situation--specifically to (1) reassure them that the sale will take place, and (2) to inform them that you will protect your interests if the sale does not take place.
Be sure to have both done. (Don't try to play the understanding buyer and just pursue the agent route. That's necessary, but so is the lawyer.)
Hope that helps.
In a situation, like this you need to make the seller feel like you are not personally jerking them around. Do everything in good faith to make it so. If it means putting some additional money in escrow, do it. Besides, if you are really going to close it doesn;t matter how much money you have in escrow.
Typically, sellers do not threaten to breach or break a sales contract unless there is the perception that the buyers have, in some way, violated the terms of the contract. I know you feel that you've done everything possible as the buyers to fulfill the contract, but there is obviously something still wrong to create doubt so great that the sellers have made moves to present the home for sale again.
Talk with your real estate agent to obtain more information. Both the listing and selling (buyers' agents) should be communicating right now to see if there is any way to restore the seller's confidence.
As for what can be done to enforce the contract, this is a question best answered by a qualified real estate attorney in your area. Talk to your agent or contact the local Bar Association for the name of an attorney in your area.
Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA