What is Vermont law regarding seller's default on real estate closing - notified day before he would not be?

Asked by Susan, Stowe, VT Wed Feb 4, 2009

ready to close, after third extension by buyer. Listing was fraudulent. Seller admitted it. Said he had two legal buildable lots but did not. Tried to get permit but didn't complete work in timely manner and couldn't finsish by 3rd closing date. Then didn't want to refund deposit. I don't want to litigate, but what Vermont real estate laws can I point to? The contract did say time is of the essence.

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Jim Bellville, Agent, Brattleboro, VT
Wed Feb 4, 2009

Time to call in the attorneys. The law depends a good bit on the contract that was signed by both parties.

I really can't be much more help than that without getting the full story from the beginning.

Good luck.
1 vote
Mark Duchaine, Agent, South Burlington, VT
Thu Jul 10, 2014
Good Answer. There is also an entire section on Default and what happens if you do default in your Purchase and Sale contract.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Jun 18, 2014
This is a legal issue that is best referred to an attorney for their review and recommendation.

Good luck,

0 votes
Pete Kelly, Agent, South Burlington, VT
Wed Jun 18, 2014
As a Realtor, I would first advise you to seek legal counsel in hopes of securing your deposit back. I would also verify if the buyer agent you where working with was representing you as a customer or a client. If you were represented as a customer that agent should treat you fairly but ultimately is representing the sellers best interest. On the other hand if you where a client your realtor should be working in your best interest and should be able to advise you on where you stand given the contracts and addendums in place and may be able to help secure your deposit back prior to getting a attorney involved. In Vermont, the listing agent’s brokerage should be holding the deposit in trust account and if there is any dispute between buyer or seller the deposit check cannot be released until there is written consent from both parties. It ultimately should come down to how the contract and addendums were written and your legal counsel should be able to let you know where you stand.
0 votes
Ben Thomas, , Montpelier, VT
Wed Feb 18, 2009
it could just be a learning experience, depending on how big the deposit was. Many buyers will insist that the buyers attorney hold the deposit, or the real estate agency. here in vt, realtors are governed by the real estate commission and as such cannot release a deposit check in either direction (if it is disputed) without the written consent of both parties.

are there any other contingencies that you could use to get out for bonafide reasons? what does your attorney say?

Like the others said, i am not an attorney and do not intend to give legal advice, but given the information, that is what i see.

Ben Thomas REALTOR
Century 21 jack montpelier
0 votes
Pike Porter, Agent, Burlington, VT
Wed Feb 4, 2009
Hi Susan,

your Realtor can point you in the right direction. If you used the standard Vermont Association of Realtors contract, there are several clauses regarding remedies for breach of contract and mediation prior to litigation. There is no law specific to seller's default on real estate closings.

Good luck with it.

Century 21 Jack Associates.
Web Reference:  http://www.startinghome.com
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