Can a seller walk away from the contract if the closing date has passed?

Asked by First time buyer, Austin, TX Tue Mar 5, 2013

I am the buyer. The closing date on my contract has passed. My agent sent in an extension amendment - but it was NOT signed. And now the seller says that he is not interested in selling. He is willing to pay back my earnest money. Can he do that?

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Guy Gimenez, Agent, Manchaca, TX
Tue Mar 5, 2013
Why are you not asking your agent? He or she is the only one who has presumably seen your contract.
1 vote
Guy, I am in discussion with my agent. I am looking for a second opinion.
Flag Tue Mar 5, 2013
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Mar 8, 2013
Not closing by the contract is a breach of contract and per the contract the seller could most likely even keep the earnest money. They could even sue for specific performance of the contract. While it does not usually get to the last part it is an option for either party who does not perform to the contract.

So the simple answer is yes, they do not have to sell. Consult the contract for any other factors that may be coming into play that I am unaware of but that is the usual circumstance. If the seller is willing to give you back your earnest money that is great. Consider yourself lucky.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Austin Real Estate Pros | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157 |
0 votes
First time b…, Home Buyer, Austin, TX
Wed Mar 6, 2013
Bill Austin - Thanks Bill. My agent says that given that the condo is selling a lot higher than the appraisal and given that the seller is being unreasonable - we should just let it go. He really is saying it in my interest that we can get something better at a lower cost. So he is watching out for my finances and the seller has even offered to return back the earnest money - but I do not want to go through the steps of looking for bidding and closing yet another condo. so looking to see if I can say something or do something by which we can just close this condo and move in.
0 votes
First time b…, Home Buyer, Austin, TX
Wed Mar 6, 2013
Thanks everyone for the answers.

The reason the closing got delayed is that the HOA delayed sending in the condo information which caused the lender to delay the final approval.

I was looking at the contract and it says "the closing date will be on or before _2/28/13___, or within 7 days after objections to matters disclosed in the commitment have been cured, whichever date is later (closing date).

We had an issue around appraisal ( which came in much lower than selling price and I asked them to lower the price - they refused and I am still going ahead by paying the difference myself). They got back on 3/1/13.

Doesn't the seller have to give me 7 days beyond that date (after the objections to matters - in this case appraisal - were settled on 3/1 ) so I have till 3/8 to close?
0 votes
Bill Austin, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Mar 6, 2013
For some reason I think there is more to this story. I'm with Guy, what does your agent say? Without seeing the contract I do not have a specific answer to give.

That said, the standard Texas 1-4 Family Contract would allow for the contract to become null & void when the closing date passed "without closing" unless there was something added in special provisions or with an amendment to the contract. A seller is not obligated to sign an amendment.

0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Mar 5, 2013
All is based on the executed sales agreement therefore no professional can render an opinion

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant
Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer

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0 votes
Shelley Tucci, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 5, 2013
I have to ask WHY was your agent attempting to extend the closing date? Without knowing more I'd have to guess that if you couldn't perform to the contract timeline then you'd be outside of the contract and he has the option to move on.
0 votes
Perry Hender…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Mar 5, 2013
You need to check with an Attorney about this. Many times the answer is yes and sometimes no. It depends...

I suspect that when you asked to change the contract, with the addendum, and the seller didn't agree with it, you may be found in breach of the original agreement. I have personally seen the seller want to walk away and accept another offer many times.
0 votes
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