The answer to your question is easy....YES, there are numerous legal proceedings that a buyer can initiate to compel the sale or a settlement to go away. So buckle up and bring your attorney, it could be a bumpy ride. Did your broker not send over a Notice to Perform followed by an escrow cancellation? The "wouldn't return my calls" excuse isn't much of a defense. Even if they did send those forms, escrow cannot cancel without both seller and buyer signing instructions to do so.
See, this is a real life example of what many agents do understand, that in truth, a contract cannot be unilaterally cancelled. Both parties have to agree to cancel. 99% of the time, they do...but you found part of the 1% that like to be difficult.
I am trying to understand what you mean by the RPA expired. I don't know that the contract has an expiration date...unless you wrote an additional term in to that affect...your listing agreement does expire, but that is a different deal.
They were likely in breach of the contract for not closing within the timeframe prescribed in the contract. But signing off on contingencies certainly shows they had intent to close. Now they are coming to you to cure the breach and fulfill the contract. This is another case for Kenny Tan!
CA DRE 01775528
P.S. Consider finding a different Realtor next time.
generally speaking you are not required to give anyone an extension on their escrow... therefore they are in default for not performing and you should be able to cancel escrow and refund their money.
Anyone can tell you I am going to sue you, and there are tons of attorneys that would draft a letter for $200. Don't be too intimidated by it. If they did not perform, then you are not obligated to close escrow and certainly you do not have to give them an extension... consult with a local good real estate attorney and they can advise you...
Also your agent should be able to do some of the leg work for you... that is why you hired them... hopefully you did a good job at selecting a good and experienced accomplished agent and not just a family member that has a license... :)
We can not give legal advice.
Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
Get your question answered by an experienced attorney:
It sounds like the buyer's agent was behind the 8 ball or are we only hearing one side of it?
Typically, if a buyer is running late on a close, the buyer's lender is creating problems. A good Realtor would be proactive in communicating this to the sellers and listing agent.
If the buyer sues, you will no doubt have to secure an attorney - why not have the buyer and seller's agents get together and try to sort out a solution?
It says you are "HOME BUYING IN LOS ANGELES"
but you say you are the SELLER.
You say you offered to return their deposit, but you don't say that you changed your mind, didn't want to sell; yet, you were not prepared when the Escrow was ready to close.
You say the Buyer's Agent wouldn't return calls, but you say that they Buyers really wanted to buy.
You had a Contract to sell, yet you chose to ignore it.
I think you need to decide what you want to do, and you should see an Attorney.