Home Buying in 44460>Question Details

Lucyloo, Home Buyer in 44460

If buyer and seller cannot come to agreement about a roof repair and the buyer chooses to back out, will the buyer get earnest money returned?

Asked by Lucyloo, 44460 Fri May 20, 2011

We made an offer on a house contingent on inspection and financing. Our inspector found that the roof was at the end of its life. We enlisted the opinion of 5 licensed roofers and they all gave the same answer of approximately 3-5 years left on the life of the roof. There were already some damaged areas but no active leaks. The sellers have delayed the sale for over 2 weeks by asking for extensions and other delay tactics such as questioning the original home inspector's credentials (which were legit). We have expressed the entire time that our offer is our offer, minus the cost of the roof ($7,000) take it or leave it. Now the real estate agency is trying to scare us into buying on seller's terms by repeatedly calling and telling us if the seller does not "sign off" on our release of offer, that we will lose our $1000 earnest money. They said we have no grounds to call off the offer because the roof is not actively leaking. I feel like we are being threatened and held hostage.

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UPDATE: We stood our ground and the homeowners accepted our terms! Thank you all for your advice. I'm glad it paid off to wait.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
You are entitled to walk out of an agreement if their are previously unknown serious conditions discovered in inspection. The roof thing is questionable as far as a serious condition. If it does not currently leak then someone can always say that it is not a serious condition. However, just because you signed a purchase agreement, doesn't mean that negotiations are over. I think that what you are currently offering is very reasonable. Considering all of the other problems with the home, it does seem as though you should at least be able to negotiate at a lower price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011

If you truly want this home, than you should stand your grounds with negotiation. They should either A. repair the roof; or, B. credit your for the estimated cost of repairs.

If you inform the escrow company that they don't want to sign; and they don't inform the escrow company they want to rebuttle, which then they can't open a new escrow and they can't relist in the MLS as active, for another buyer until settled. SO inform the escrow company to inform the Seller that if they don't sign in whatever the legal days are in your state, they will release the EMD to you.

If you are looking for a way to back out of this purchase, just read your contract, their are often plenty of contingencies, which require you to approve or disapprove.

Thumbs up for the good answers below are appreciated ;)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
You don't NEED to do the roof to pass the appraisal... even though the home inspector was thorough enough to find the roof issue, it isn't a MUST do. 3-5 years usable life, arguable. You don't want a leak or issues, I get it.

So, instead of going through the expense of a renovation loan, (which I can do of course), why not use... MY REPAIR ESCROW LOAN??? We will give you up to $5,000.00 to FINANCE in your loan, above and beyond whatever your loan amount is. You DO NOT have to come out of pocket with these funds.

You simply submit the invoice from your contractor. If it is for $7,000.00 you will have to pay the difference when the job is done, but we will put up the additional 5K.

The only caveat is, the home MUST appraise for the additional escrow funds.

We are a bank and because of this, we can do things other typically can't.... WE WILL DO THE ESCROW LOAN ON ANY LOAN : VA / FHA / CONV / JUMBO / HOMEPATH You name it. ;)

Give me a ring, be glad to help.
Web Reference: http://www.203kworld.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
Thank you so much for all the replies. The real estate agency is saying that to release us from the offer we have to sign papers. The seller has to sign the same paper, or we will not get our money that is in escrow. They are assuming before even asking that the seller will not sign. The grounds are that there are no active leaks, so our contingency is moot. Is high pressure selling like this legal?

No, we have not signed off contingency on the roof. There were also red flags on the inspection about electrical (no GFIs were installed anywhere in the house, including the kitchen and bathrooms), a sump pump that did not have a dedicated outlet (it was plugged into a screw-in light bulb socket with an outlet on the side of it, connected by an extension cord), and the wrong shut-off valve installed on a hot water tank gas line. We signed off on these because they were all corrected.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
I dont know about specific lines or paragraphs within your contract document, but make sure you re-read the section regarding Earnest Money and its disposition. It will be stated there.

I would think that it should come back to you.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Hello Lucy,

I really hope your EMD is with an Escrow Company, not with the Seller.

If it is, contact the Escrow company and notify them that you are not satisfied with the inspection results, and you wish to cancel.

Please, verify that your offer states that the purchase is contingent upon inspection; you should have no issues then with receiving your EMD back. Of course they are trying to scare you into agreeing... they know that if they lose you, they will have to go through the same thing with the next buyer. SO!... stick to your offer! If they refuse to return your EMD, contact your local real estate division.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Hi Lucyloo,

As long as you have not removed the contingency covering this (in writing), you should get your earnest money deposit back.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
if it was pointed out in the home inspection and you made a written request with in the time line put forth in the contract you should get yore money back. Read page 4 paragraph 20 of your contract. You might have to go through mediation to get your money back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
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