Firstly, thanks to everyone for the advice - it truly is appreciated. We were not working with a realtor when we came upon this house, so as we talked to the buyer's realtor she explained the limited agency concept and said that she was representing both us and the buyer per that status. She explained that she would be fair to both parties, etc.. I unfortunately didn't think to question that.
Regarding payment for the days that the sellers have been in the house since closing - we have received nothing. The only thing denoted in the contract is that the sellers are required to pay us $150 per day they remain in the house AFTER the 30 days. I asked the realtor about this prior to closing, and she made it seem like it was common for sellers to live in a house without paying rent for an agreed upon time. Now, as I've learned more, it certainly seems that we could have negotiated that. This was NEVER presented as an option to us by the realtor.
We did call the realtor's office, and were forwarded to another realtor who is apparently handling the clients for this realtor. We came to find out that she has been pursuing another business venture and this is the excuse for why she can't return calls, e-mails, etc... So, now this other person is trying to help us, but I think it's too late for them to establish a very effective relationship with the sellers. The original realtor apparently didn't explain the contract to the sellers, so they think possession is at a later date and refuse to agree to vacate per the contract. My husband and I have tried to contact the seller to try to find a middle ground. It's a tense situation because the sellers did not want to move in the first place but were forced to due to financial circumstances.
So, right now, I'm still waiting to hear something from the proxy realtor or the sellers. We are supposed to get possession tomorrow... I'm just worried that if things are destroyed, what are the odds that we'll actually be able to collect any damages since I've now learned that NOTHING was held in escrow. All in all - TERRIBLE experience.
I would appreciate recommendations for an appropriate attorney. Thanks again!
Adl, I wish you the best of luck moving forward. I hope that you are worried, and at the end of the 30 days, I hope they are all out, and this was all for nothing. If not, you may want to get your lawyer envolved. One last thing that I would add though. It is easy to ignore a call, but you can drive to an office or a house, maybe just go talk with these people in person. Who knows????? Good luck!
I like Kline's and Joe's answers below.
But my advice: Start with your agent's Broker: Is your agent taking "care" of
you, as is her legal obligation - would the Broker please see to it that the agent
verifies the seller will vacate as agreed, and gives you a time you can begin moving your things in - on the date promised in the contract, or you will use legal means. That will serve to inform the seller you are serious about the date. Sometimes, a little nudge/reminder of consequences is all it takes.
Do this immediately. You are understandably nervous, and frustrated with your agent's lack of communication.
And - DO speak with an attorney - immediately. Maybe the sellers will move out after the Broker's call. And maybe, as Kline suggests below, the Demand Letter is all it will take to make the sellers see the light. But know your legal options and be ready to use them.
Hopefully, the sellers just hit a snag for a day or two.
Good Luck .... (PS: and next time, use your own buyer's agent)
I'd also encourage you to make every effort to keep the conversations with the prior owners amicable. See if you can discover why they're delayed and see how you might help them. Maybe their new home isn't ready, or perhaps the mover they hired flaked out on them. There are lots of reason why a moving day can get delayed. Creating ill will may result in them damaging the property or somehow creating other problems.
Regarding the agent, I'd escalate the calls and ask to speak to the managing broker. Who knows...there might be a legitimate reason why the agent is unavailable. Regardless, speaking with the managing broker may result in a favorable outcome.
Principal Broker, REALTORÂ®
MacDuff Realty Group, LLC