Home Buying in Tampa>Question Details

Matp.2000, Home Buyer in 33626

We put an offer an on home we thought we liked. On the day of the closing, I saw multiple issues with the home. Contract was as-is.

Asked by Matp.2000, 33626 Sat Jan 26, 2013

The sellers left the fridge not working. We decided to walk away. I understand that we loose escrow deposit. Sellers have already moved out of the home. What impact can it have if they sellers decide to sue us? My mortgage is not fully approved yet.

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Dear Matp,

Absolutely, you may be liable for tens of thousands of dollars for the Seller's attorney fees, your own attorney fees, the listing agent's realtor commission, your agent's commmission, the extra cost to the seller to have to "restage" the property with furniture to allow it to sell for the same or higher price, the list goes on and on. This can easily add up to a large sum of money. You entered into a legally binding contract and it doesn't allow you to simply walk away if you change your mind--unless you cancelled during your initial inspection period. At that point in time you could have cancelled for any reason without any explanation. On the closing day, you are surely too late to back out.

Now as far as the refrigerator not working, if it was working at the time you made your offer then the Seller should repair it. If you're buying a short sale then the seller will probably not do anything to fix the refrigerator and you're lucky the fridge is still in the house. Perhaps the listing Realtor will agree to repair it and her/his expense. Here's is an excellent appliance repair company and they may be able to fix it for very low cost: Carrollwood Appliances, Mike Danskin 813-936-0221

Additionally in the Westchase area there is a very limited inventory of available homes so you will surely pay a higher price if you decide not to buy this home and wait to find another home.

Bottom line is you should immediately contact an attorney to give you the best advice before simply "walking away" from your contractual obligation to purchase this property or you may have significant costs well above your "good faith" deposit.

Hope this helps.

All the best,
Alma
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
http://www.SoldOnTampa.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
You walked away from thousands of dollars because of the fridge?
Are you nuts?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
i said several other problems. bad amateur paint job throughout the house, drywall and laminate wood pieces coming out, bathroom countertop shaking etc.
Flag Sat Jan 26, 2013
As many have said, you really need to talk to a lawyer. Two points that others have mentioned stick out to me. One, as is in most cases refers to the condition of the property when you came to an agreement to purchase. All though not in the same expense category, the fridge not working is in reality the same is if the roof caved in. It's not what you agreed to purchase. If the frig was working when you signed contracts or did your home inspection than it is expected to be working when you close. I disagree with Alma in your responsibility for any commissions. If you didn't sign the listing contract than you have no binding contract with the seller as far as commissions are concerned. Can the seller sue you? Of course. People can sue for anything, but that doesn't mean they are going to win. Talk with your attorney. Realtors may have lots of experience with these things, but they can't offer you legal advise or they could be the ones that end up in court.

Good luck.

Donald Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

http://www.nyhomeseller.com
http://www.elliman.com/real-estate-agent/don-mituzas/6752
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2013
Call a real estate attorney.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
Matp, even with an as is contract there are deadlines within the contract for you to renegotiate the price, ask for a seller's credit towards repairs or have the items fixed.

Sounds like your buyer's agent did not represent you very well.

First of all, the As Is contract provides 15 days for the inspection period. This time frame can be negotiated less or more. For this comment, let's use the 15 days. Did you have an inspection? At the time of inspection was the fridge working? Then per the terms of the contract the Seller has to maintain the home in the same condition through closing.

If the Seller's switch out the refridgerator for another one and it was not disclosed in the MLS then the original one has to be put back.

Your mortgage might require that the kitchen appliances be working at closing.

Seems as if you did not work with an experienced agent in this transaction. At this point, the experience has most likely left a bad taste in your mouth. Hope you will try to buy a home again. Chose your agent more wisely.

Best regards,

Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.
http://www.brockrealty-inc.com
941.313.1234

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 9, 2013
As many have said, you really need to talk to a lawyer. Two points that others have mentioned stick out to me. One, as is in most cases refers to the condition of the property when you came to an agreement to purchase. All though not in the same expense category, the fridge not working is in reality the same is if the roof caved in. It's not what you agreed to purchase. If the frig was working when you signed contracts or did your home inspection than it is expected to be working when you close. I disagree with Alma in your responsibility for any commissions. If you didn't sign the listing contract they you have no binding contract with the seller as far as commissions are concerned. Can the seller sue you? Of course. People can sue for anything, but that doesn't mean they are going to win. Talk with your attorney. Realtors may have lots of experience with these things, but they can't offer you legal advise or they could be the ones that end up in court.

Good luck.

Donald Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

http://www.nyhomeseller.com
http://www.elliman.com/real-estate-agent/don-mituzas/6752
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2013
On the day of closing without an approved mortgage? Over a refrigerator? With as AS-IS contract! Something doesn't smell right.
Roan and Alma summed it up well. We'll see if you become a 'poster child' for the consequences of breaching a contract. Keep us informed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2013
If you walked away due to issues and not due to your mortgage being denied, they could technically sue for failure to perform (meaning failure to close). Did you discuss these issues with the Sellers? Did you have a home inspection prior to this? Are you represented by a Realtor? Have you spoken to a real estate attorney? This is a binding contract and not something you should just walk away from without considering the consequences of doing so.


Liane Jamason, REALTOR
Smith & Associates Real Estate
813-486-4997
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2013
If the home is not in the condition that it was in on the day your came to a written agreement, then a judge should rule in your favor. If the seller's hurt the home so as to affect the materiel condition of the home, after you came to a written agreement, then the judge should rule in your favor.

Get an attorney to go over your legal liability.

I hope everything works out.

Josh Barnett, Realtor
Metro First Realty
Web Reference: http://www.GetSoldOKC.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
We have some personal issues also that made us unsure if we really want a house right now. The question is whatever is whatever the reason, in a Florida FAR-BAR As-Is contract, can we be asked for more than the escrow deposit?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
The contract was As Is...surely you understood that. I would never have a client put in an As Is offer without the right to inspect. Then I would recommend a professional, licensed home inspector. You want to know what you are getting. The offer would also be contingent upon financing. I'm surprised you would be ready to close without a mortgage fully approved. Are you using a realtor? At this point, you should contact an attorney for advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
Hi,

On the day of the closing the mortgage was not yet fully approved?

Did you have an extension of the closing date?

Your question needs advice by an attorney. Please have someone refer you to a good real estate attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
yes, it was not approved but in process. would have been approved in a matter of hours and we could have closed the same day. talk about stress!
Flag Sat Jan 26, 2013
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