My wife and I have signed a contract to buy a new home, within a couple of days from signing the contract, we came to know about different energy

Asked by Frank, Houston, TX Thu Oct 8, 2009

inefficient issues of the home (just one AC unit for the two story 3000 sq ft home, no radiant barrier etc.,). The sales agent brushed our concerns aside saying “changes to an inventory home would be prohibitively expensive, so nothing can be changed”. Annoyed with the treatment, and the fact that our concerns were not being addressed, we decided to back out of the contract. The agent now says they can put the radiant barrier, but still does not acknowledge our other concerns. Now, she has agreed to return the earnest money but wrote the reason for cancellation on the ‘Cancellation Agreement’ says “Buyers Remorse”, which I do not agree with, as they have not put in efforts to come up with any solution. Should I get the words “buyers remorse” changed before I sign the cancellation agreement? If yes, to what? Please advice.

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Frank, Home Buyer, Houston, TX
Fri Oct 9, 2009
Thanks everyone for sending in your ideas, I have collected the check and did not bother about the words on the cancellation agreement. The quickness in responses was a very pleasant surprise, thanks again :).
1 vote
Judson &…, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Are you represented by an agent? If so, what does your agent say? It depends on what kind of contract you signed. If you signed a TREC contract and had an termination option, you can simply terminate the contract for any reason. If you used a builder contract (which is usually heavily weighted in the builder's favor), the wording she uses on the cancellation may be important.
I have two recommendations for you in your next possible purchase. Get a buyer's agent. Normally the seller pays the fee for the buyer's agent. There is no out of pocket cost to you and you will be represented. The builder's agent is not representing you. Second, and most importantly, get a home inspection by a licensed TREC inspector. This is important whether the home is new or resale construction. Some of the worst reports I have ever seen are on new construction.
Best of luck!
1 vote
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Buyers remorse covers a large spectrum of things. The fact that the seller does not want to address your issues has made you decide not to go through with the deal. Anytime a buyer changes their mind, for any reason, it can be considered buyers remorse. If it really bothers you as to what they are calling it, see if they can change it to something such as "couldn't come to an agreement" or "mutually disagreed to terms". I wouldn't worry about what is written as the reason for the cancellation, I'd be more concerned about getting the earnest money back.
1 vote
Karen Melillo, Agent, Sedona, AZ
Thu Oct 8, 2009
YOU are the person who should write out your exact reasons for cancellation - Buyer's remorse is NOT a valid reason for cancellation. Your earnest monies are in jeapordy. And be sure you are within your inspection period. Review your Buyer Inspection Notice paperwork.....AND contact the broker immediately.
You can also write out your reasons for cancellation, short and to the point. Call the Title CO to make sure you are w/in your inspection period for cancellation...Then take your written cancellation directly to them, and ask for your earnest money.
1 vote
Carol McAlis…, Agent, Nashville, TN
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Take your earnest money and move on. Next time be sure you excercise buyer due delingence and check anything you are concerned with.
0 votes
Stephanie Ed…, Home Owner, The Woodlands, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Hi Frank,

If they are returning your earnest money that is probably the most important part just make sure its in writing and have your agent handle it if you are represented by one.

As a certified EcoBroker and CGP I had a couple of thoughts somewhat unrelated to help find the right home for you:

I do not know what else you are uncomfortable about regarding the energy efficiency but typically it is cheaper to have the radiant barrier and hvac done properly during construction. Remodeling can cost up to 60% more. Also, if you purchase the home to have it done later it will be difficult as the efficiency comes with how the home is constructed. The tax credit for energy efficiency stuff right now from my understanding is a once per lifetime deal.

I suggest finding a builder that builds to a program that tests every home such as Environments for Living, LEED or NAHB Green. Programs such as Energy Star batch test homes meaning often times only 1 in 10 homes are tested. With these other programs you typically also get documentation on how your particular home performs.

These programs rely on not only the hvac and radiant barrier but loss of air through sheathing, ceiling, windows, etc.

I have several resources on my site if you would like to browse. The link is below.

I hope you get your situation worked out and hope you find a highly efficient home!
0 votes
Amber Carril…, , Houston, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
Hi Frank,
I agree with the other suggestions here about working with a good Buyer's agent. However, the fact is that they are giving you your earnest money back which in most new construction contracts I have done, they don't do for any reason except inability to obtain financing. It really doesn't matter what the cancellation says if they are willing to give your earnest money back. I wouldn't question it...just sign and move on. That's my two cents. Thanks!

Amber Carrillo, Broker/Owner
It Homes
Web Reference:
0 votes
Gail W. Nash, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Oct 8, 2009
I would ask to speak to the supervisor of the builder rep (who is probably not a licensed real estate agent), and express your concerns to that person. Next time, be sure to select a great Realtor, who will work to make sure your concerns and interests are heard and considered from the beginning. A builder often doesn't have a vested interest in your needs, but a Realtor does, and would want to be your agent for life! I hope this works out for you!
0 votes
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