Seller refused to give us a termination letter.

Asked by CUSH20N, Spring Lake, NC Fri Jun 29, 2012

My husband and I signed a contract to buy a home. Seller agreed to all terms, but later reneged. Earnest money was paid and an inspection was scheduled. We received a notice from our agent that seller reneged due to health issues, but when we asked for a termination letter, we received a termination letter with language that we mutually agreed upon this termination which is not true. The seller is the one's that reneged, even with a contract in place. I am getting the feeling that the seller reneged because of our race. What recourse do we have?

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Jun 29, 2012
If you believe the seller backed out because of your race, contact HUD. Here's a link:…

The next question, though, is what you want. If it's return of the earnest money, check with your Realtor on the language needed in the letter to satisfy whoever is holding your money in escrow. I don't know, but it may be that the language you were presented with--even though it's not accurate--is the standard language used in such letters. That is, while it wasn't your idea to terminate the purchase, you now might be agreeable to it.

If you want to continue pursuing the property--and blocking anyone else from buying--there are some strategies you can use. A good real estate lawyer can advise you on those.

So: Determine what your goal is. Then work with your Realtor and, if appropriate, a lawyer. And there's always HUD as well as state agencies dealing with discrimination.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Edwards Prop…, Agent, New Paltz, NY
Sat Jun 30, 2012
You absolutely have options out there. For the best course for you, you really need to consult with your attorney. If you do not have one ask your agent to recommend a few who could review the contract and letter.
Best Wishes!
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri Jun 29, 2012
When it comes to recourse, for any necessary legal advice it's really in your best interest to consult with an attorney....
0 votes
Jacques Ambr…, Agent, Forest Hills, NY
Fri Jun 29, 2012
Not sure wether you have any recourse. It would be hard to prove. Have they actually taken the property off the market? I would reccomend talking to an attorney about this
0 votes
No, the property has not been taken off the market.
Flag Fri Jun 29, 2012
No, the property is still on the market.
Flag Fri Jun 29, 2012
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Fri Jun 29, 2012
Specific performance either direction is pretty hard to enforce, it may not be mutual but if the deposit is a large one it might be a prudent move.

If the deposit isn’t that large just sitting tight and having your realtor notify the seller you still intend to purchase will shed some light on the race question.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Fri Jun 29, 2012
You need to visit a lawyer and let them advise you.
0 votes
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