The biggest problem that I find is that sellers often say things about when they plan to close, and how much of a hurry they are in, to accomodate the buyer before contracts are signed. I have had numerous situations where the buyer and the agents swear up and down that the seller will be out by a particular date, usually the date in the contract. I lock them in until that time because they are begging me to do so. We come to a week or 2 before that date, and the sellers are adamant that they cannot be out by that date. If a buyer is in a situation where they cannot extend their rate lock at no charge, or the lease on their current apartment, they might have to close and have a post closing possession agreement. the seller continues to pay maintenance and leaves money in escrow until they move out. Once in a while the seller will agree to pay the buyer's interest also. I had 1 deal where I agreed to give the buyers a rebate because I knew I shouldn't have listened to them, and should have looked at the contract before locking them in.
Specifically, your contract has an "on or about" closing date written into it. What we don't know is if you are asking for that contract date to be changed, OR if you have scheduled a closing already, and the other party wants to put it off a few more days, and you're being inconvenienced or it's costing you money, and you want to know if you have any recourse.
I don't like to say this too often because it always sound like a cop-out--But of course you really do need to consult with your attorney. I will observe that you can't put a gun to somebody's head and make them sign the closing paperwork ;)
Karla Harby, VP
Charles Rutenberg Realty, New York City
I will agree with the answer below and add if you have your own buyers agent the listing agent is probably going to want to know why you need the extension, or why you want it. If it has to do with financing do not be suprised if they seller wants you to make your earnest money hard (non refundable) this will show that in good faith you are not withholding anything that may be affecting your ability to obtain the lending that you are seeking or know of anything that might interfere. If it is simply that you need extra time or the underwriting is taking longer than expected. (It happens a lot these days) generally buyer and seller agreement is not a hard thing to get. Now this could also depend on the sellers plans...are they waiting on you to close so that they can close on another home etc. You may be in a domino type situation. Obviously I don't know the circumstances of your transaction. So always consult with your real estate agent or your attorney when making these types of requests.