The previous post covered a lot ground and looks to be the best.
Most first time buyers are not adequately prepared for the purchase process. Remember the first time you bought a car? A lot of things go on that may concern you and make you feel uncomfortable because they are not known in advance.
The period called the contingency period is when you perform your investigations. Normally a buyer can cancel with no harm within that period for almost any reason.
However, there is a difference between having an accepted offer, opening escrow, and the contingency period. As the previous poster stated, look at your contract.
Normally the buyer shows the seller a preliminary deposit check for a small percentage of the purchase price. In CA it is around 3% by custom, but any amount can be used.
Once both parties agree to the offer, then the buyer's agent opens escrow with the initial deposit check.
Now the contingency period starts. You do your investigations, the appraisal, get the loan approval, etc.f
Usually the contract states what additional deposit (say 20% down). If you've given them 3%, then the contract states when the remaining down payment needs to be deposited with escrow. In most cases that is AFTER you have removed contingencies and are sure you are going to buy.
Read your contract, ask your Realtor questions.
Also, contained within the contract are the BUYER timelines set for having an inspection, application for financing and homeowner's insurance. These timelines are setup according to what the projected closing date will be, in order to complete all 3 items by then.
Sounds a little backwards the way this is handled. So I'd have to ask did you and seller sign a contract laying out timelines for all inspections, financing and homeowner insurance? When this is done, there is no rush needed since timelines are in place and agreed to by both parties.
A moment ago - Delete this answer
If anything, although maybe a little pushy, the Realtor, believe it or not, was doing you a favor by trying to move you forward.
My question is this, wasn't your attorney having any conversation with the seller's attorney?
With all due respect...even though I am of the old school belief that #1. "the customer is always right"... #2 If the customer is ever wrong...please see rule #1....I must interject only because it is for your benefit to know how things work in the real estate world and the why's and wherefores.
It is not to say that some agents are not "pressuring" their clients into making the decision as fast as possible because at the end of the day...if you are a full time agent...if you don't make the sale you don't eat and are on the street.
THAT said...I am STRONGLY of the belief that you cannot make others invest in a home they are not sure about...and I have worked with people for over 9 months and counting to make sure they are happy with the place they end up calling their new "home".
All of the above said...I do want to point out that to anyone reading your post it reads as a bit of a criminal intent...you say your agent "alleges" that the seller said this or that or that their lawyer said this or that...why would you not believe your agent? I think most important thing of all, you need to develop a rapport and even trust with your agent - I say this to anyone...never work with an agent you feel you cannot trust. Ask for references...talk to people and ask who they've used...look online for agent reviews if need be...but don't put yourself in this kind of situation.
Now to play devil's advoate here...or better yet...just point out the other side of the equation.
First...remember there are 3 sides to the story...there is the seller that has their own motivations, then the buyers that have theirs and the agent that must try and make both parties happy to make the deal work.
I currently have 3 deals in the works that are in the same situation. The seller is pushing to make things move faster....the buyer is slow to respond...the seller is threatening to move on to the next bidder if the buyers does not move as fast as they'd like or answer by certain given dates...it is the sellers perogative to do that...as we don't know what THEIR situation is and why THEY are in a hurry...but the bottom line is...if they DO have 3 offers on the table and they want to sell asap...it is their perfectly given right to tell a buyer that is on the fence...listen...if you don't sign by end of the week we are moving on to the second accepted offer. It may sound horrible to the buyer and I understand where you are coming from.
But unfortunately in business...each side is only concerned about their own deadlines and budget...the buyer cannot expect the seller to care that they are not sure yet...nor is the buyer expected to care that the seller needs this money this month before the house goes to foreclosure or whatever the stories behind each is.
When dealing in real estate you must keep things in perspective and understand that the agent is most of the time put in between a wall and a hard place...and we end up taking the rap...the seller wants to move too fast the buyer wants to move too slow and both buyer and seller end up blaming the agent for the lost deal. This happens to all of us at one time or another.
At the end of the day...I just wanted to point out to you that your agent really just may have been telling you the honest to goodness truth...now...if you were not ready to purcahse or had too many doubts...it's a good thing you did not go through with it. But if you DO have an agent you can trust. since our jobs are not just to show houses and negotiate we always try and answer each and every single concern so that the buyer feels confident to move forward. We are there to provide you all the information you need...so that you can then weigh your options and know whether you should go for it or walk away.
I think I speak for ALL realtors when I say...we are not interested in playing games...we are interested in making things work out...but are only as good as our buyers and our sellers.
On the other hand, the seller has to give the buyer enough time to do the inspection, a week is fine, and another week review and negotiate the results of the report. The review time and negotiaton time may be longer in case you need estimates for repairs you are considering doing yourself. Any longer is a waste for both parties especially if the delay is caused by both not agreeing to 1 or more terms. Move on, there are more homes out there or give in to the term(s), waiting a month to come to this realization does help anyone. Who know the seller may come back and say they agree after you moved on or you as the buyer may reconsider and take the deal later.
Now if the both the parties agree to certain terms have your attorney add the agreement to the contract, sign it and send it to the seller attorney to be signed ASAP. Once the seller signs you have a deal, the terms of the agreement have to be met prior to closing.
If you delay and some offers more money and better terms to seller and you can loss the deal and all your effort and the money you spent.
Milton D. Johnson