can a seller legally suddenly call for closing in 3 days or quit, even when he has not even started his contractual obligations?

Asked by sue_andersen, Los Angeles, CA Sun Nov 17, 2013

nor allowed the appraiser entry to the property (even though the loan to the buyer is approved)

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Douglas Lagos, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Nov 17, 2013

It is good that you check with other realtors as to your rights. It would appear that you are encountering some doubts about the experience and/or advice of your current real estate agent.

Everything that Cindy Davis wrote, in addition to:

1. Check with your agent. - What is he/she advising you?
2. Check with a real estate attorney. - Your ultimate guide as to your legal rights in this particular case.

The seller is not obligated to sell or allow an appraiser in the house, even if you are still within your inspection period and have not release the loan or appraisal continengy.
A purchase agreement is supposed to have two willing and able parties. One that wants to sell, the other that wants to buy. If one, or the other does not uphold their end of the agreement, you may have the options to cancel or seek legal remedies. No judge will ever force a homeowner to sell their home, in the end, but other penalties may be forced on the seller. Seek legal advise.

Since, the owner seems reluctant to allow you your due diligence, you have some options.
1. Send the homeowner a Notice to Seller to perform.
2. Cancel the purchase agreement (if nothing else is stipulated in the standard CAR residential purchase agreement, to the contrary), and you are withing your inspection and/or loan/appraiser contingency periods.
3. Make sure that you are still within your rights to get your earnest deposti (down payment) back without any penalties.

Best of luck,

Douglas Lagos
Tel. (310) 463-8088
Coldwell Banker Residendial
CA BRE# 01921046
2 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sun Nov 17, 2013
If you have used the standard California purchase contract, then no. The question is what do you have in writing? Is there an escrow company? Are Realtors involved?

Seek counsel!
2 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Mon Nov 18, 2013
That is why there is a contract, it states when the property has to close by. Any changes must be agreed by all parties to that contract with initials and or signatures. before you go any further your buyer agent should be working for you to eliminate any seller resistance. The listing agent should be coordinating getting the appraiser in. That is why you have agents, you should not be dealing direct with the seller.
1 vote
Randy Spaldi…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Nov 17, 2013
You have not provided sufficient information to give absolute answers. Are you represented by an agent? Did you use a CAR contract? The most important question is what does the contract say? If you used a CAR purchase agreement, and stipulated in the contract that you would be obtaining a loan, and had a loan and appraisal contingency written in the contract, then you have a legally binding right to obtain financing and a right to have the lenders appraiser gain access to the property. There were a couple of false statements in the previous response. If a loan and appraisal were agreed to in the contract, then the seller does have an obligation to grant access to the appraiser. If he does not, he is demonstrating bad faith and is in breach of contract. He must make the property available to your appraiser as well as any and all inspections during your contingency periods. Secondly the prior agent has apparently never heard of specific performance. If the seller refuses to sell or breaches the contract making it impossible to perform, you as the buyer can file a lis pendens on the property and sue the seller for specific performance. It would require you to hire an attorney, but after the filing of the lis pendens tying up the property, you could request mediation assuming you included that in the purchase agreement. If mediation is unsuccessful, then the next step is arbitration. If the seller refuses to comply, the attorney would go ahead with a law suit, and the seller would be responsible for his and your attorney's fees. That is a routine procedure when the seller breaches the contract, and a judge forcing a seller to sell who had breached the contract has happened tens of thousands of times. If you are represented by an agent, you should be talking to your agent about this. If he is not knowledgeable, then talk to his broker, and get their legal department involved if necessary. If you want to play hard ball, you can advise you agent and broker that you will retain an attorney if they can not resolve the problem promptly, and they will be drawn into the law suit as a defendant. If you did not have an agent, and did not use a standard California Association of Realtors purchase agreement, and did not have a loan contingency and appraisal contingency, then you need to cancel, and get your deposit back.
1 vote
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Sun Nov 17, 2013
Hi Sue:

First off, check your contract and escrow instructions. That will tell you everything. If the Seller is not complying with a mutually agreed upon contract, I would recommend contracting a real estate attorney to discuss your options.

All time lines are spelled out in your purchase agreement and escrow instructions. Everyone must comply or there are consequences.

Good luck!

1 vote
Kevin and Ju…, Agent, Wildomar, CA
Mon Dec 2, 2013
Typically that answer is no, but your purchase contract and associated addenda are your guide. Ask your Realtor® to details the specifics of your transaction.
0 votes
Brad Korb, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sat Nov 23, 2013
The standard answer would be no,but you need to check your contract to make sure everyone is performing to the contract,you should consult with a real estate attorney to determine your rights ! Good Luck !
0 votes
Randy Spaldi…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Nov 21, 2013
That is correct. The seller can give the buyer a notice to perform provided the seller is in compliance with all the seller obligations in the contract and the buyer is not. However, the notice to perform is 2 days by default unless mutually changed in the contract which rarely happens.
0 votes
Shannon Chang, Agent, Arcadia, CA
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Read your contract carefully. If there are items you have not complied with, the seller can give you a 3 day notice to perform.
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Tue Nov 19, 2013
The contract is the contract and all parties must sign to it's terms. You can't suddenly change the agreement at a whim. If your Realtor is no either need another one or a Real Estate Attorney!
0 votes
, ,
Mon Nov 18, 2013
Any legal questions like this you should go straight to a real estate attorney.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079

0 votes
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