Home Buying in 94954>Question Details

Stephen, Home Buyer in 94954

failure by seller to provide timely access to home for inspections

Asked by Stephen, 94954 Sat May 5, 2012

Seller had change of heart on selling home, tried to cancel the sale and refused access to home for inspections. We engaged attorney to sort out legalities and now house sale is going through. Can I recover my attorney fees from seller?
Thanks!

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Stephen,
First, we are not lawyers and our advice is not strictly legal advice. Second, decide what is most important in how you proceed. If you pursue legal action to recover your additional costs prior to closing you may end up back where you started, without the house or the money.
Quietly talk to an attorney and consider waiting until the sale is complete for any further action. If the amount is small enough, you can take them to small claims court without incurring additional expenses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 5, 2012
I just experience this with my buyers last week. The sellers refused entry and reported the day before closing they were not moving out, not closing, and not permitting entry. My buyer's were angry, but patient and immediately contacted a local attorney who advised us he would be collecting his fees from the seller's! Good luck and glad to hear the sale still went through.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 5, 2012
Somehow, I get the feeling that you have done this without the assistance of a Buyer's Agent;
I'm guessing, since you would have been advised by them on this.

Did you both, (Seller and Buyer) mark the boxes provided for Arbitration and Mediation?
You would have been advised on this too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 5, 2012
If your offer was written on the standard CAR contract, your agent should be able to answer this question for you by reading item 21: "Attorney Fees: In any action, proceeding, or arbitration between Buyer and Seller arising out of this Agreement, the prevailing Buyer or Seller shall be entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs from the non-prevailing Buyer or Seller, except as provided in paragraph 26A", which discusses Mediation, which is supposed to be resorted to prior to arbitration or court action.

Actually recovering these attorney fees might be an additional cost to you unfortunately. Your attorney should be able to give you a cost estimate for what it would take to get "recovery of fees". I'm not an attorney, but I do know that getting "justice" can be costly. Check with your attorney for advice and cost estimates prior to making a final decision. Ideally the attorney fees would be reimbursed to you from escrow out of the seller proceeds of the sale of the home.

And good luck with your new home! cj cjholmes@cjholmes.com
Web Reference: http://www.cjholmes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 5, 2012
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