Home Buying in 92627>Question Details

Stressed, Home Buyer in 92627

I was supposed to close on a home in California; sellers did not finish repairs until after the planned closing date; meanwhile, new cracks appeared

Asked by Stressed, 92627 Mon Dec 20, 2010

on the house and the yard turned into jungle due to no maintenance. Seller also did not furnish receipts for repairs. I never signed the repairs contingency. At that point there was only one week until I had to travel for a month; I asked for extension but was pushed to close. Seller's agent was inappropriate and threatening with me, which aggravated preexisting stress-related condition - I got sick and would not have been able to complete the transaction anyway (documented). I had to leave without a chance to fully explain my position (other than through a letter to the escrow) or present my damages. They demand my deposit. I feel threatened by the seller's broker and afraid I will have to give them the money even though sellers did not keep their end of the bargain properly – they present this as if everything was my fault and I simply defaulted for no reason. My concerns regarding house deterioration or receipts were ignored. Mediation? Other? Thank you for advice.

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Felix Hung’s answer
Where is your REALTOR? He/she should be reading the contract in conjunction with legal help from their board's "legal hotline" or that of their company attorney to help you through this. We cannot assume anything since we don't have our eyes on the contract and don't know the full scope of your situation. I would have your REALTOR help you resolve this with his/her broker's assistance and the help of an attorney. If you're not comfortable with the way they handle the situation, then I would recommend you contacting a real estate attorney yourself. Protect yourself and please protect your health.
Web Reference: http://www.felixhung.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
Dear Stressed,

I suggest you get the power of the law behind you, especially because you are feeling threatened.

I highly suggest you contact a reputable real estate attorney ASAP. Even if you go through mediation, you should meet with an attorney to help you:

1.) understand your rights and CA real estate law as it pertains to your case and
2.) prepare the documentation you will need to support your assertions (reasons why you were no longer legally obligated to close escrow and purchase the property) at mediation

Some attorneys may waive fees for the initial consultation.

I also suggest the following:
-Any and every conversation with your agent/broker as well as the listing agent/broker and seller should be in writing at this point.

-If you do decide to get advice or seek legal representation, let your real estate sales agent and broker know and ask for their help including gathering any documentation supporting your case (emails, timeline of events, communications regarding the new cracks and photos if possible). They have fiduciary obligations to you, the least they can do is provide documentation showing your due diligence and willingness to move forward.

-List all the questions you have for the attorney and be prepared to give the attorney your reasons for not completing the transaction. The more information you provide the better they can assess the situation.

Good luck to you.

Louri Groves
Prudential California Realty, Newport Beach
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 21, 2010
Stressed,
Hi!
Without the actual timelines, it would almost be impossible for an Agent or Broker to offer the best advice in order to be able to assist you properly.
When you state you would be unable to Close anyway, please elaborate.
Also, please explain what you mean when you say they ignored your concerns of the deterioration of the house and receipts.
Did your agent/broker provide them a repair request?
If so, did the seller agree to the request?
As we all know a real estate transaction is extremely time sensitive.
Your agent/ Broker should have been assisting you and the other agent/Broker in maintaining the proper order described in your purchase agreement.
If you truly feel you were in the right, I would do the following:
First - Make a Log consisting of dates and facts. Look closely at your contingency removal period in your contract.
Secondly - Hopefully you are being represented by an Agent or Broker. If so, their purpose is to assist in protecting your interest. Speak to them. If they are an agent, insist their Broker be present as well!
Compare your log with your representatives (agent's) log.
Again, every real estate transaction has an order.
When both parties (buyer and seller) abide by the pre-determined contractual timelines, the transaction goes smoothly.
Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world. Unexpected issues can and will arise.
Although unexpected issues may occur, the order should not be interrupted without something in writing.
If the order is altered, amendments should be drafted to maintain the buyer’s and seller's expectations and obligations.
If you are not getting the desired result and are feeling you are being railroaded, so to speak, contact a good seasoned real estate attorney and ask their opinion.
Purchasing real estate can be stressful and the purpose of your agent/broker is to assist in making the process easier, better and without litigation.
Good Luck and Have a Wonderful Stress Free Merry Christmas!
Steven Abraham
" 25 Years of Professional Real Estate Experience"
lagunacastles@cox.net
http://www.lagunacastles.com
Prudential CA Realty
949.378.4005
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
Where was your agent during all of this? Your real estate agent should have been helping you along the way on the proper steps to take and been mediating between the listing agent, escrow and you.
The sellers should shave completed the repairs prior to closing per the contract or should have given you a credit thru escrow to complete the work yourself.
I recommend contacting a real estate lawyer to review your contract and discuss your rights.
I wish you the best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2012
Stressed- The power is in your court- you don't have to close the escrow until you are ready. Also, if you are unsure of which way to go it would be smart to hire an attorney for the matter. There are lots of good local real estate attorneys here in Costa Mesa that could guide you through the situation.
Best of luck!

Colin Delaney 714-743-9882
Broker, Veranda Homes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
Stressed- The power is in your court- you don't have to close the escrow until you are ready. Also, if you are unsure of which way to go it would be smart to hire an attorney for the matter. There are lots of good local real estate attorneys here in Costa Mesa that could guide you through the situation.
Best of luck!

Colin Delaney 714-743-9882
Broker, Veranda Homes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
My husband and I used Eric Meller a few years ago. He did a great job fixing our "issue". If he can't help he may be able to refer someone else. Good luck to you!

Eric Meller
Meller & Floyd
2001 Wishire Boulevard, Suite 510
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310-829-0469
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 22, 2010
No matter what has happened, you need to refer back to the written agreements / contract. I suggest you speak with your agent and their Broker to determine how to proceed.

I also suggest, as other have already, you seek out a Real Estate Attorney to look at your situation.

Best of luck,

Thom Colby
Broker
Newport Beach CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 21, 2010
Thank you very much. Would you be able to suggest any reputable real estate attorneys?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 21, 2010
Thank you all who replied. My agent has been OK, but not really interested in any fighting - told me they could not do that, but not really willing to put more effort into this one, most likely.

I would be OK with legal action, but I think everything has to go through mediation first. The weird thing is, there I would be fighting the seller, but I think the seller really is a victim of brokers as well - if not for them, the house would have sold long ago.
In addition, if there will be action, I can't really do anything for a few weeks because I am far from the area - which is the main reason I am seeking help here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 21, 2010
Stressed,

What has been the role of your buyer's agent during this process. As described, you may be heading toward legal action. It may be advisable to contact an attorney to process this information with them.

Good luck,

Bill
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 21, 2010
You need to work with a Real Estate attorney to get the situation under control. It the sellers broker is being unreasonable and trying to pressure you, then only communicate with them in writing and through an attorney.

Best of luck to you and God Bless.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
Stressed,
To keep it short and sweet, if they didn't comply with terms of the contract, you should get your deposit back. Interpreting the contract, the terms how tightly it was written may take an attorney, but have your agent or their broker go over it with you to give you an idea what to discuss with the attorney. I wish you the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
At this point, if your agent and or his/her broker owner can't help to you in resolving the matter, consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in real estate--have all documentation reviewed and see exactly what options you may have--then go from there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
Felix - thank you for your answer. Yes, it would have been great for my realtor to do something, but after some soft arguing which does not work on this type of people my realtor would not do much. I am not sure if this is out of fear of these people (I have a distinct impression I am not the only one scared of these people, I think the seller might be as well, and perhaps my realtor. They act as typical bullies). Or else, my realtor might have pretty much sided with another realtor all along.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
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