Usually, but every contract is different, the sellers must notify you if the repair is over a certain amount and you may decide to back out, there are provisions also for the seller to try and deliver the property the way it was or assign the insurance proceeds to the buyer (that does get sticky as the damage may prevent financing)
The best thing for you to do is sit back and allow your attorney to assess your rights and negotiate the terms. You obviously are emotionally charged and you communicating with the listing agent and seller may not be in your best interest.
At this point it is a bit complicated. With out knowing exactly what is in your contract or what you are sitting quiet about.... it boils down to the contract and what the contract says. Let your attorney do their job and if you don't have one.... get one immediately.
The Seller cannot unilaterally back out of the deal if the buyer has complied with the terms of the purchase and sales agreement. There's a legal term called 'specific performance' which means that one party or the other can be compelled to complete a previously established transaction. If the P&S states that the Seller must fix this or that, then the seller must do it or face legal action from you. The only exception might be if there's a title issue which the seller can't fix; then your lender wouldn't give you a loan for the house.
If something happened to the house; let's say it burned down before the closing, or structural damage due to a storm. See if the Seller had insurance on the house. If the damage is very bad and the Seller can't fix it, then most likely your lender isn't going to give you mortgage.
As others have said, if the agent representing you is away, contact that agent's principal, the person who owns the agency, and have that person deal with the broker representing the seller.
Yes the P&S has the clause that stipulates that if they can't deliver the property the way it was, the proceeds come to us. The financing is 100% VA, and the appraiser was recently out at the house - it doesn't seem that will become an issue. The poor sellers are stuck in the tsunami of claims that have gone into the insurance system, thus nothing can be done until the insurance comes out to assess the situation and looks at all the quotes. In the meantime, the clock is ticking and our attorney has not returned a single call or email to speak with him. The P&S also stipulates that whatever actions are taken are to come to us in writing. In the meantime, the only way of getting an update is IF our broker calls the sellers broker, who we feel does not show the professional courtesy to her colleague of keeping her informed. We found out "defacto" that the VA appraiser had been out, because my agent got tired of the radio silence from attorneys and the other agent and called. Which only serves to increase everyone's stress levels. We are dumb founded by the entire process. And it seems, we may have to get another attorney, one who is responsive.
You situation seems to go beyond that if it is affecting the transaction. Speak with your attorney. The seller have their own attorney and yours can speak to theirs. No one can force someone to sell or not. Or buy.
This sounds like one of those scenarios where emotions get inflamed, especially because so many parties involved, such that people just stop communicating. I suggest you get your real estate attorney on the phone tell him/her your agent is out of town and that you would like his/her help in communicating to the other side. I would also ask your attorney about the language in the PS and how it protects your money in a dispute-type situation like yours. My guess is, if there was additional damage to the home that was not there when the PS was signed, your money will likely be protected.
Bottom line, get your attorney on the phone tell him/her your fears and that you need help communicating to the other side (sellers)
Have you look at the P+S? It is not necessarily that easy for the sellers to back out of this binding contract--they certainly can't do so jus because they don't like you (and don't forget that they likely won't want to put their house back on the market with the real estate market being what it is, not to mention that we're getting close to the holiday/winter slow down).
Oftentimes there is a provision in the P+S re: damage to the house post-P+S signing and pre-closing. Look at that provision--sellers are usually required to make reasonable efforts to fix it or they might be required to assign the homeowner's insurance payment to you. Also, you will likely have to let your mortgage broker know about the damage. The important thing to find out now is what's in your P+S (consult w/your atty) and the true extent of the damage.
Best wishes. As long as everyone is dealt with in a calm and respectful manner, things can get worked out better than expected.
With that in mind, the seller's agent is not a principal to the transaction and can't exercise anything. Your agent is not technically the broker, the real estate company is technically the broker and they have assigned someone licensed by the state to supervise your agent, so if your agent isn't available, that's the person to speak to.
As to whether you sit on the sidelines or not, that's really up to you. You are a principal to the transaction, and you are the one who reaps the benefits of speaking up and suffers the consequences, as well.
All the best,
If you have reason to believe that the seller's agent is obstructing your ability to obtain information about the house you are buying, I would find out who is covering for your buyer agent (or even better, his/her broker of record) and have that person get in touch with the broker of record of the listing agency.
You deserve full disclosure on your property. You have already put funds into escrow so deal cannot terminate outside of the terms in your Purchase and Sale Agreement. Stick with it!
However . . .
No. Don't "be nice about bringing up issues." Don't "keep your mouth shut." Now, certainly listen to your attorney. You don't want to compromise or weaken your position. But you have every right to raise issues that concern you. You're spending a lot of money. You're making a major commitment--one that will affect your life. You have every right to raise questions and concerns.
Your lawyer is a professional, so you should listen to him/her. Your real estate agent knows more about real estate than you, so certainly take your agent's opinion into consideration. But your lawyer works for you. Your agent has a duty to represent you. You're the boss. Don't be bullied or intimidated by the seller's agent . . . or by your own agent. Again: Pay attention to your lawyer and your agent. They know more about real estate and the law than you do. But, ultimately, you're the one spending the money and you're the one making the commitment. A month later, both the lawyer and the agent will be working on other deals with other clients. But you'll be living with the results, perhaps for decades to come.
Hope that helps.
If your agent is out of town, I would call her managing broker and ask her who you are supposed to talk to while she is gone.
Does your purchase agreement contain something that says the house should be in the same condition it was in when you inspected it?
Review your contract with your attorney/agent/broker to determine your remedies and the sellers' responsibilities.