Home Selling in Houston>Question Details

delacruz.cha…, Home Seller in Katy, TX

We have a home that is a week away from closing and the buyers decided not to buy our home because they no longer like it. Katy, Tx

Asked by delacruz.charles32, Katy, TX Sat Feb 9, 2013

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Jennifer Fivelsdal’s answer
This is a contract situation and a buyer just can't walk away for reason other than the contingencies. In NY the attorney's would be talking. If the buyer still decide to walk, he or she could lose the down payment and in many cases that would be a good sum of money.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
Lots of good advice here. The reality is that "forcing" the Buyer to perform when they do not want to may work, but will not be a pleasant experience in any way. You have legal remedies. That's why you sign contracts. If there are no legitimate contingencies that will let the Buyer out, you at least will have the Earnest money.

Realtors are not lawyers and cannot give legal opinions. But the real scenario here is that you have a home in Katy. The market is hot, and you have everything in place to quickly sell your home.

It is a hassle, but renting some furniture and putting the house back on the market will probably bring you a much better result. Selling your home should be a pleasant experience, not a dreaded one.

I'm sure your Realtor can help you through all of this. If you did not have a Realtor (For Sale By Owner) you now know the reason why you should.

Best of luck to you.

Arnold Richie, Realtor®
Terry Burnaman Realtors
http://www.yournewhomehouston.com
arnold@yournewhomehouston.com
713-396-2017
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2013
Charles,

Take a deep breath. Then speak to your listing agent and his/her BROKER immediately for their advise! Meet at their office to make sure the broker, the listing agent's boss, is fully engaged.

Have them find out the reason for the sudden reverse. Is this a financial reason? Was their a loss of a job? Is there something around your home they discovered such as a sex offender or a barking dog? There has to be a reason other than "not liking Katy"! Good idea to check in with the lender to see if there was something discovered last minute that would not allow the financing to go through.

Most contracts are marked you will mediate issues before hiring an attorney. Check on that. See if there is anyway to keep the contract alive. If all else fails, including mediation, then seek help from an attorney. You have rights beyond just keeping the earnest money the buyer deposited.

So sorry. Keep pressure on everyone and hopefully you will get a good result. The market in the Katy area is strong, you will likely be able to sell it quickly once the home is back on the market...to a stronger buyer this time!

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
Thanks Mark. They just told us on Friday that they just did not like the house anymore, no other reason. The appraisal was never done because they put a stop to it on Friday the 8. We were told that it was a go so we moved on with clearing our house, now we have nothing including job. Now back to square one. Very unfair of this family.
Flag Sat Feb 9, 2013
Charles - don't give up yet!

You have a contract in place, and, assuming all the contingencies have been met, the buyers cannot just walk away without suffering a loss.
Does your contract allow you to sue them for breach of contract, and for your losses..... or do you only get to keep the $2000 that is on deposit?

You really need to speak with an attorney. I also hope your agent is working on your behalf to encourage the buyers to honor the contract.

This is a terrible situation for you and your family. I am so sorry for you, and I do hope things work out.
I also hope that an attorney can help convince the buyers to be honorable and remain in the deal.

Best wishes.......
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
Debra, thank you so much for all your help. Yes the contract was in place till Friday when they just said they were waking away from it beacuse they just did not like the house anymore, 4 day before closing. The agent told them that they should not do this and that it might get legal, they said it was risk they were willing to take. I am seeing a lawyer on Monday and hopefully we can put this behind us. We have sold everything in the house, left our jobs, one of my kids is in FL and the other one had his last day next week. This family has no heart, and my family is falling apart and they think is ok.
Flag Sat Feb 9, 2013
This is a devastating development ... I'm so sorry it happened. It is certainly of no comfort to know that such incidents have occurred before ... but assuming that there are no unfulfilled conditions or "weasel" clauses, your options are limited. This is not to be construed as legal advice, and you are encouraged to contact an attorney. As I understand matters, you may either retain the earnest money deposit as damages and terminate the contract, or initiate litigation for "specific performance" (i.e. force the buyer to fulfill the terms of the sale), but not both. A glimmer of hope here is that you'll still have the home to sell if you opt to keep the earnest money. I sympathize with your family and wish you well.
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/algeffon
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
You should contact your listing agent to work with the buyers agent to see if teh buyer can be comforted throug buyers remorse to continue. You may also want to meet with an attormey to draft a letter stating the buyer is in defalut and you will seek damages. An attorney and your listing agent should be your first 2 calls for advice.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
Good advice all around and as Mr. Richie states you are in a hot market where you shouldn't have much trouble putting the house on the market and selling it to the next buyer. As the others have said, have your agent contact the other agent and their broker. If the buyers aren't willing to go through eith the sale though please remember, if you take them to court to force the sale (which could easily take 6 months) you cannot sell the house to anyone else because there now is a cloud on the title. Keep your aganet and your broker deeply involved to review your options and if need be an attorney but keep the big picture in mind. Your main goal was to sell your home at the best price to a buyer in the shortest amount of time. Legal actions may not allow you to do that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2013
While I believe that there's more to this than simply buyers' remorse, it unfortunately still appears as if your only viable options are to sue for specific performance or keep the earnest money deposit ... again, since we're not legal practitioners, your best resource is a real estate attorney. I'm assuming that the financing had been approved ... otherwise, the transaction could have been voided with no consequence to the buyers.

You haven't mentioned your Realtor ... what is his/her reaction, and what advice has he/she given you? Has the buyers' agent been involved in any manner, other than being the messenger of bad tidings? Is the other side aware of possible litigation, or do they believe that buying you off for $2000 will suffice? Sometimes the real possibility of being sued can dissuade people from taking a course of action that can prove disastrous.

Are both brokers proactive? They should be. Let's hope for the best ... please keep us posted.
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/algeffon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2013
Get your realtor involved....pronto.
If the loan is approved you might can force it to go through.
You may need your attorney to write a strongly worded letter to them if they are in breach of the contract.
Review with your realtor, their broker, the title company and your attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2013
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
How did you find out the buyers no longer wants the house
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
I hope there is at least a substantial deposit being held in escrow.

In my area, we routinely hold 10% of the purchase price for the very reason you are describing - it is a large amount of money - enough that should keep most buyers from thinking they could simply change their minds, breach the contract...... and walk away without any pain or penalties.

I would find a real estate attorney, ASAP, who can send a letter warning the buyers what they might expect if they do indeed breach the contract, and do not show up at closing.

Now.....with this being said - are there ANY open contingencies the buyers could use as a reason to walk away? Is their mortgage in place?
Are all the "i's" dotted, and "t's" crossed??

Seek legal advice right away.
How did you find out the buyers are planning to walk away?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
Thank Miss Debra, Everything was in place till yesterday and we are suppose to close on Friday the 15th. They only had $2,000,00 in earnest money tha they said it will come to us. My oldest child is in a different state do to our move there. A week ago the buyer came again to measure the floor to put wood floors and our agent said to pack beacuse this was done. I am speachless to lack of consideration this family had. I have lost everything
Flag Sat Feb 9, 2013
Great,
we sold all our furniture and appliances, rented trucks, flew people her to help with the drive.
When is the buyer responsible if a contract has no meanning.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
I would tell then that I'd release them from the contract, provided they reimburse me for my costs (truck and furniture rental and other things that you may have spent or lost money on) AND if they forfeit their deposit. Otherwise, their option may be a suit for specific performance and for the additional expenses as well. You need an attorney's advice - pronto.
Flag Sun Feb 10, 2013
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