I am selling my home and I now have a buyer that I am under contract with.

Asked by Jamie Stroup, Orlando, FL Thu Apr 25, 2013

Today, I received an email from her agent stating that they are canceling our contract because she is relocating and she wants her $5000 deposit back. They are claiming that this is included in the "right to inspect and cancel" addendum. From what I can tell, this addendum only pertains to the home inspection aspect of it, not because you are now moving elsewhere. We have been under contract for the past 10 days. A home inspection was scheduled and cancelled by her 2 days ago. What are my rights in this? This doesn't seem right to me.

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Alan Martin’s answer
Alan Martin, Agent, Orlando, FL
Sun Apr 28, 2013
I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advce but if yu e mail me a copy of the whole contract then I will take a look and give you an opinion as a real estate professional. alan@frontlinefloridarealty.com
0 votes
Michael Joynt, Agent, Orlando, FL
Sat Jun 8, 2013
I am selling my home and I now have a buyer that I am under contract with.
Asked by Jamie Stroup, Orlando, FL • Thu Apr 25, 2013

Really your still answering questions from April? Wow! Its 6/8/13
I am sure they moved on by now, if not intervention should be called into play.
GOI ! Mike Ferry once yelled out to all the agents at a conference.
0 votes
Josh Barnett, Agent, Carney, OK
Sat Jun 8, 2013
Get with your agent and go over the contract with them. If you do not have an agent. Hire an attorney to review your contract and tell you what your rights are.
0 votes
Vincent Paige…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Sat Jun 8, 2013
Was it an "AS IT" or standard contract? Was she still in her inspection period? If it was a standard contract, or if she is out of the inspection period, then get a lawyer and fight to keep the money.
0 votes
Michael Joynt, Agent, Orlando, FL
Sat May 4, 2013
This is a legal question and you should seek competent legal advise. No license real-estate agent/ Realtor should be giving any opinion or advice as per article 13 code of ethics.
Some questions just can't be answered by anyone but an attorney.
Even though you may have a contract or paper work, there is he said she said they implied and the list grows.
Spent a couple bucks and get your attorneys opinion or simply move on to the next buyer. I will say this, if you decide to just let them cancel get it in writing signed by all party's and deliver the signed cancelation to all.
0 votes
Jeff and Gin…, Agent, Vero Beach, FL
Sat Apr 27, 2013
Which contract is she using? The Florida As Is Sale and Purchase Agreement contract will allow your buyer to cancel the contract without penalty and the escrow deposit will be returned. Read the Inspection paragraph and notice the words ". . . buyer at buyer's own discretion . . . that allow your buyer to cancel for any reason during the inspection time period.

The Florida Sale and Purchase Agreement, on the other hand, obligates the Seller to repair covered inspection items up to an agreed percentage, but does not allow the Buyer to cancel at will.

You should be using a Realtor to assist you with this and all real estate matters.
0 votes
Mark LeMenag…, Agent, Lake Nona Orlando, FL
Fri Apr 26, 2013
All depends on which contract was used, the Standard or the As-Is. If they used the Sandard contract, then get a lawyer and fight to keep the money. If they used the As-Is contract, then good luck.
0 votes
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Fri Apr 26, 2013
Hello Jamie,

This has to do with how inspection period rules are worded in your contract.
We have different types of contracts in FL.
So, read the whole contract and especially the part about inspections.
Inspection period could last 15 days, for example - so the buyer could still
have time to inspect and cancel.

The selling agent is not doing a good job for the buyer, it seems like.
It would be easier for the buyer to inspect and exit, then explain her
relocation situation. Depending on the contract, the buyer does not even have to
hire an inspector to exit the deal.

Normally, buyer and seller have to cancel by signing a release form.
If you refuse to sign it, the deal will go into dispute - to FREC (overseeing committee in FL).
FREC then will decide who is right or wrong.
If you disagree with FREC, then you can sue, which is very expensive, and this could be
decided either way. In court, the winners, for the most part, are attorneys...

While you are disputing, you still need to sell the house. The faster you start, the better it is for you.
What is important now, is to make sure that your agent properly handles prospective buyers
questions about why the house went under agreement and then went back on the market.
They might think that there was something wrong found during inspection.

A solution to this is to ask your current buyer to provide the inspection report (and do the inspection maybe), and then put the report into the MLS (in attachments). If issues found, you can also show the receipts from contractors who fixed the issues. Being upfront is the best approach. Everybody likes transparency.

The buyer may or may not agree, however, to do the inspection or provide the report.
If the buyer disagrees, your agent should put into MLS something like:
"Back on the Market! Buyer relocated, so you could take advantage of this amazing deal - with prices on the rise" I'd even raise the price, just a little. This shows confidence in how good your property is, and there is no "buyer didn't like it" aftertaste.

You can also consult an attorney on this matter.

Best of luck,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes
Whywhywhywhy, Home Buyer, Jackson Center, OH
Fri Apr 26, 2013
Jamie with the way the properties are selling around Orlando you wont have any problems getting another buyer. I know this because we have been looking since November and aren't even close to getting a house. where's it at lol
0 votes
Darrell Hess, Agent, Asheville, NC
Thu Apr 25, 2013
What does your agent say? Even better, what does your contract say? Without being your agent and without the contract in front of me no one knows the wiser. If you don't have an agent I know a great one in your area I could put you in touch with.
0 votes
Antonio Vega…, Agent, Saint Cloud, FL
Thu Apr 25, 2013
So you have been under contract for 10 days. Do you feel so strong that it will be difficult to find another buyer, as to force someone not interested in the property to by it? Can you actually prove those 10 days caused you financial damages in the amount of $5000?

Only you can decide how to proceed. Hold on to this initial disappointment or move on to the next buyer and be done with the sale faster. I agree with all other that your agent should be able to advice you as to your options.

I personally don't understand how forcing someone who does not want to do business makes it better or easier on anyone....specially when there are so many other wanting to do business, but of course we are all entitled to our opinions.
0 votes
Michael Bell…, Agent, Altamonte Springs, FL
Thu Apr 25, 2013

Trying to retain the buyers escrow deposit could cost you more than its worth. When you factor in your time, frustration, and legal fees it may not be worth it.

This is the buying season in Central Florida, and there is a great deal of current activity. Well marketed, and priced right properties are getting multiple offers with some being above asking price. So the chances that you can find another buyer quickly is highly probable.

Lastly, a escrow dispute could possible cloud title and put the title insurer in a position where they are hesitant to issue at title policy. They may require that the matter be resolved prior to issuing the title policy.

If you don't have a good Realtor representing you, I suggest getting one right away. The value of having a good seasoned Realtor representing you, knowing the right questions to ask perspective buyer, and managing the process will far exceed the compensation.

Michael D. Bellamy, P.A.,
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc
1900 Summit Tower, Ste. 220
Orlando, FL 32810

407.536.MIKE(6453) (direct)
407.622.2122 (office)
407-567-7551 (fax)
"The Standard of Excellence"
0 votes
John Bennett, Agent, Orlando, FL
Thu Apr 25, 2013
And you should know, if you want to keep the $5k, you might spend all or a good chuck of $5,000 on attorney fees. Your attorney will be able to advise you as to your odds.
0 votes
John Bennett, Agent, Orlando, FL
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Your Realtor can guide you through this. This happens all the time and your Realtor will know what to do, or will advise you to get attorney.

Best of luck.

0 votes
Karen Weathe…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Do you have an agent who is representing you in this sale? If so, him or her should be able to guide you through the process. I understand how frustrating it must be to have had your home off the market for 10 days. Hope everything works out for the best for everyone involved. Take care!
0 votes
Cliff Clover, Agent, Kissimmee, FL
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Are you For Sale By Owner?
0 votes
No, I have a real estate agent, as does she
Flag Thu Apr 25, 2013
Tom Sommers, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Don't do a thing until you speak to a real estate attorney who can advise you of your rights. If the inspection contingency is still in play the buyer may be able to walk. They can cancel simply because they don't like the water pressure or the color of the home. You really need to speak with an attorney.

Good luck,

0 votes
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