Seller's agent playing games... any recourse?

Asked by Rbhill76, Mon Nov 26, 2012

We've had a contract on a new house for about 3 weeks, with the closing date set for this Friday. Our inspector found 3 things that needed to be addressed prior to closing, and we paid for our own contractor to do an estimate. We had our estimate in hand within 24 hours. The sellers also had a contractor come in over a week ago, but they haven't heard back from him, citing the holidays as a possible excuse. The sellers' agent then asked if he could just use our estimate to take to the sellers, stating that, to expedite the process, the sellers would just use it to give us a credit at closing, and that way we could have our own contractor do the work. We agreed. Two days later, the seller's agent tells us that the sellers still want to wait on their contractor's estimate, and that they'll then "decide how they want to negotiate"! The closing is 4 days away!! This whole thing stinks. Any recourse??

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Maria Gilda…, Agent, Manchester, CT
Mon Nov 26, 2012
The seller's agent might not be playing games. He/she must be following what the sellers' wanted to convey.

Review the home inspection contingency date on the contract. I don't have any idea or clue what the stipulations are on your agreement. Normally, there is a window or period wherein a mutual agreement should be met. Otherwise, either party can initiate rescission. Then a release from the contract should be signed by both parties.

Try to settle or resolve the issue amicably if you intend to pursue the purchase. Weigh the pros and cons with an open mind.

If you are represented by an agent/realtor, review this with him/her and ask for advice. Or consult your lawyer.

Best of Luck.
1 vote
Michael J. L…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Nov 26, 2012
Be careful as to your assumptions, as they impact your perceptions. It is prudent for a seller to want their own estimate. Could be yours is twice the norm. Who knows? Your agent should be taking steps to protect your interests such as delaying close or putting contingency plan in place. You will have no leverage at settlement, so best to put everything on hold until resolved.

And indeed, Thanksgiving is a big deal. Many people are with their families and try to not work. God knows I blew off emails this weekend so I could have a couple days off.

Most likely seller wants to resolve things fairly. Doubtful anyone trying to screw you.
2 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Nov 28, 2012
Pay special attention to Michael's caution, "Your assumptions will cloud your perception."

When you came to the seller with a list of repairs, you reopened negotiations. Too often buyers think negotiations is all about what additional the can squeeze from the seller. In reality, when negotiations are reopened, you, the buyer, can end up with nothing but pocket lint plus a bill for the inspection and appraisal..

It isn't playing games...this is serious business. You still have options. Accusing others of being anything other than professional will not help your position. Try to salvage this situation YOU HAVE CAUSED by reopening negotiations. In the meantime, get your Plan B defined.

Sellers not longer need to take it on the nose when selling their home.
1 vote
Candace Deshe, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Mon Nov 26, 2012
In our area, negotiations about repairs need to be agreed upon prior to the end of the due diligence period. After that time, changes to the agreement will be made only if both parties agree. If your contract is similar to ours, then you may not be obligated to agree to any additional changes.

Keep in mind that sellers have been hit hard over the past few years. Sometimes selling a house requires them to put in all the resources they have. Sometimes they stress heavily once they get to the repair negotiations. It may not be "playing games," on the part of the agent, but just a seller who is trying to figure out how to manage.

Best of luck.
1 vote
David Herren, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Wed Nov 28, 2012
If your inspection period has ended, the seller has you in a corner. He has every right to get his own opinion of the repair costs. You should discuss your options with your agent immediately.


Dave Herren
Best Atlanta Properties
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Mon Nov 26, 2012
It depends on how your purchase contract reads. Ask your Realtor (and/or real estate attorney).
0 votes
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