There are three conversations that should take place while processing this issue.
1. Speak with your real estate professional
2. Speak with an attorney
3. Once you have clearly identified your options and their implications, talk with each other about the best course of action.
Understand, that in most cases like this one, a very large portion of what is gained is channeled to the attorneys involved.
Best Regards, -Steve
Sorry to hear of your distressing situation. This certainly puts you in a difficult spot.
If the buyer cancels after contingencies have been removed, the seller can usually claim the deposit. If the seller cancels, however, itâ€™s a different matter because the seller has no â€œskin in the gameâ€ other than their home. As a buyer, you have no access to any part of their home and, typically, you have no recourse unless you have incurred actual expenses or costs as a result of the transaction. You have to prove that you were â€œdamagedâ€ in some way to be able to have any recourse. â€œDamageâ€ is usually interpreted as a financial loss of some kind.
Section 14. E. of the purchase agreement states that a notice of cancellation from either party must be in writing and must include instructions as to the disbursements of funds in escrow (your deposit). This is where you would begin your negotiations as to â€œdamagesâ€ if, in fact, you have any. Damages might includes the following:
(1) Cost of inspections, appraisal and related fees.
(2) Prepaid moving expenses.
(3) Loss of the home you were renting, deposits, etc., and fees associated with finding new rental accommodations.
This section of the contract also stipulates that if a party will not cooperate (in this case, the seller), a civil fine of up to $1,000 can be levied.
You will need to add up any expenses you may have and forward these on to your Realtor/Broker. Have them negotiate with the seller and/or sellerâ€™s agent/Broker to reach a settlement. If that settlement is not to your liking, then you have the options of arbitration or small claims court. Your Realtor should be able to clarify your options for you.
The Realtors in the transaction can also put pressure on the seller by claiming their commissions. Once a property is in escrow and contingencies have been removed, both Realtors have technically earned their commissions. You cannot force the sellers to move, but through these various channels you may be able to make the cost of them staying higher than they might want to bear.