What to do if seller wants out of a signed deal? We love the house got a good price so we want it to close.

Asked by Wsuredleg, Bonney Lake, WA Mon Apr 27, 2009

We found a great house at a good price, and after an offer and counter-offer, the seller signed. The deal has gone to escrow so we are proceeding with the loans, inspections, etc, but the seller is making noises that she regrets the deal and wants out, and she is beginning to fuss at the inspections (which are all standard-nothing unusual). Should we try to force this deal if she continues to balk or start looking elsewhere?
Our realtor is walking a fine line between being nice and being firm/keeping the deal on schedule, and she says it like walking on eggshells to avoid an emotional reaction from the other party. The seller has had 3-4 realtors, and the one she has now is not real good- she has not helped negotiations and we have a tough time getting straight answers to our questions.
We are a military family that is moving in a month and it would be very nice to move straight into a house we like- the only problem with this deal is this strange reaction we are getting.

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The Luxe Life…, , Atlanta, GA
Mon Apr 27, 2009
If your seller has signed and approved the purchase agreement, she cannot back out of the deal. If she has gone through many Realtors it could be because she is flaky and has pulled this before. I would recommend consulting a competent real estate attorney to advise you of your rights to be sure, as each state has different laws. However, since this transaction is at the point of escrow, it is likely the seller will have to go through with the transaction whether she likes it or not. But don't waste time assuming, find GOOD REAL ESTATE attorney. You may contact your local board of Realtors for a referral.
1 vote
Kevin Olson,…, Agent, Colorado Springs, CO
Thu Oct 7, 2010
Any buyer in this situation should continue on, she can't back out and if she tries you can get an attorney for legal ramifications all of the way up to and including specific performance. So what ended up happening? Hopefully all went smooth.
0 votes
Gentry Stretz, Agent, Kent, WA
Thu Oct 7, 2010
So what happened? Were you able to close on the deal?
We've experienced this twice with our buyers over the year.
With a well-written PSA, the seller generally decides they need to abide by the contract.
0 votes
Karla Wagner, Agent, Bonney Lake, WA
Tue Sep 21, 2010
I'm curious too...update?
0 votes
jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Sep 17, 2010
It's been a year, what happened ? Let us know...
0 votes
Derek Eyring, Agent, Lake Tapps, WA
Fri Sep 17, 2010
I'm curious to know what the outcome of this was if you have time maybe give us an update!
0 votes
TONI SPALDING, , Bonney Lake, WA
Thu Jan 14, 2010
It not unusual for a seller to have strong emotional attachments to their home. Her agent should be experienced enough to work with the seller to ease her through the sale and find out why and address the issue. If the seller is upset about the costs involved with selling her home, like required "inspection" repairs, maybe a compromise can be reached whereby the buyer and/or agents agree to pick up some of these costs, especially if she can't afford them. One way is by adding these costs back onto the sales price and keeping the commission on base price.
One way to prepare a seller for the sale of there home in advance is to have the seller start packing their personal belongings and if they can't afford a storage unit, then put the boxes in a spare bedroom. This starts the psycological process of changing "their" home to just a house. For you I would suggest you might make reservations in temporary military housing on a near by base, so that if a problem does come up you have a place to stay for your family, assuming your person effects will be shipped and stored til you get them, this will ease the stress of having a place to live when you arrive. Don't worry. Your agent seems to be handling what ever has come up. That's why you have an agent to represent you. Best wishes in your new home.
0 votes
Amanda Smith, , Federal Way, WA
Tue Apr 28, 2009
I agree with proceed ahead. The papers are signed and that is legal and binding. Selling and buying is a very emotion thing for a lot of people, that is why working with a realtor is in everyone's best interest. We can negotiate on your behalf with out getting emotional with other side. Your realtor and the other realtor should not be talking about anything that is not in writting and signed around. That tend to get everyones emotions in the wrong place. Just move forward to closing and let your realtor know that you don't want to hear anything that the seller didn't put in writting first. Good luck!!
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SeattleHome.…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Apr 27, 2009
Proceed as if everything is fine. A seller's emotional state is not a part of your transaction. If the seller tries to back out, get a real estate attorney involved, but until that point it's just background noise.

Real estate transactions can be stressful enough on their own, you can't worry yourself with the seller's emotions. The Realtors are paid to deal with that. Do your standard inspections, negotiate in a way that works for you, and try to close the transaction.

Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://SeattleHome.com
0 votes
Julie O'Brien, Agent, Tacoma, WA
Mon Apr 27, 2009
I would recommend you have your agent speak with her broker and find out what options you have to proceed. You may also want to have your agent just give you the facts of the situation so you don't have to deal with the "reaction" of the seller. You would just deal with the issues.

Without being a real estate attorney and never looking at the contract or knowing the exact terms; I cannot advise you of what you should do, but I do know that with some of my previous transactions we have "forced" the seller to close. It's usually not very pretty and certainly not a position I like to be in, but we represent our clients and we do whatever may need to be done to get it closed.. If she still refuses, then I believe you could sue for actual damages "fees, cost of staying in hotel until you close on another home, etc." That would definitely be a question for a Real Estate Attorney.

It may just come down to how much you want this home. Is it the home you see yourselves in for 10 years or was it a "quick fix"? It may be that there are others out there that fit your needs even better. You may have your agent do a search of available homes as well.

Good news is that it is the perfect time to move here. We are toward the end of the rain and will have a beautiful summer! Being that close to Lake Tapps will be a great benefit to you.

Good luck to you!
0 votes
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