Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker â€“ Sr. Loan Officer CA only
REO & Short Sale Specialist
20+ Years Experience
"We just found out that the area the house is in has had 4 shooting in the last year, which was not disclosed to us and it just clicked to us to go down to the police station."
I agree with Lance in that whether you have removed your inspection contingency is important. If not, your knowledge of the shootings is obviulsy material to you, and hence, I believe would be a valid reason to cancel the contract (which would likely be subject to the cancellation fees Skip mentions).
Now, if you have removed the inspection contingency your ability to unilaterally cancel the contact turns from an inspection contingency removal focus and on to a "non-disclosure" focus whereby you would need to assert the Seller(s) knew of the shooting and did not disclose.
"Can we still pull out of escrow and what fee or pentalies usally come with doing this?"
Discuss pulling out of escrow with your RealtorÂ®. Call escrow to determine any cancellation fees.
Should you cancel escrow and need to research "crime" in any area I would recommend you use http://www.crimereports.com RealtorsÂ® typically do not comment on "crime & safety" due to Federal/State anti-steering law exposure. Once you enter an address go to the "Incident Layers" tab to select what type of information is important to you. Next, choose the duration of time you want to look at under "Date Range" (now limited to a 6-month view). If the area you are looking in is not covered by crimereports.com try these alternate sites:
To save money I would first talk with your agent/broker, or perhaps get the firm's broker involved to try and work it out without attorneys first as an attorney will likely eat up a lot of that $5K. If things don't get resolved that way then talk with an attorney.
Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
You didn't say the home inspection discovered any structural defects, so that contingency, in and of itself, isn't an "out" unless the sellers won't address problems. You didn't state there are any problems or repairs that are needed.
In regard to the appraisal......the onus is on you to apply for the mortgage in a timely manner......at which time the appraisal will be done........now, if there is an issue with the appraisal, and the home doesn't appraise out, well, that's a potential "out" for you, but right now, that's not the case............and no one can say if you have any legitimate reasons to walk away, or what penalities you might incur.
Speak with your agent if you have one......or a RE attorney.............do not rely on advice from strangers on the internet who haven't even seen your contract, or know what steps you have already taken (or not) to act in good faith.
You need to ask your agent.......if you don't have one, then ask a real estate attorney for clarification and advice as to your rights. You might also read your contract to learn how the contingencies work.
In regard to crime statistics, agents aren't allowed to discuss that information - it isn't something that would or should have been "disclosed".
You had the right to investigate that on your own prior to making an offer.