The escrow will close next week. The buyers requested to have their carpet company

Asked by Peter, Los Angeles, CA Sat Apr 12, 2008

to measure the area. We refused because we are still living in the condo and buyer's carpeting work should be done after closing the escrow.
They scheduled a walk-through today at 2pm, but they came at around 12pm with a carpeting estimator, a handyman to check the house, and their agent (who is not a broker). We called our agent, who is a broker, and he also said that the appointment for the walk-through should be at 2pm, so he hurried and came at 12pm as well. We ended up letting them to do the walk-through, carpet estimation, and handyman inspection.


1. Are the buyers and/or buyer's agent taking advantage on us sellers? If yes, what can we do about it?

2. We got the feeling that our agent/broker is not on our side. He seems to agree all the requests from the buyers and their agents even though we have refused them. What can we do about it?

3. If we decide not to sell the condo at this moment, can we still back out? What will be the problems?


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Karen Miller, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Sat Apr 12, 2008

You have fund qualifed buyers willing to buy your home for a mutually agreed upon price!!! You are the lucky sellers. There are sellers all over Southern California who would love to be in your shoes.

Why do you want to back out of the sale? What provisions do you have for backing out at the last minute in your contract? Most likely you will have huge problems for backing out. You cannot unilaterally cancel an escrow.

If you truly didn't want them to enter your home at 12:00, you should have told them to return at 2:00, as it is your home. I don't understand how you were harmed. You were obviously at home. How can having a carpet estimator & a handyman in your home for a short period of time take advantage of you?

What specifically has your Realtor said or done that makes you feel he isn't on your side? Why do you feel that it is significant that your agent doesn't have a broker's license & the sellers' does?

I would love to have these questions answered to better help you & to understand what cause you may have for backing out of your contract.

Best of luck,

Karen Miller
3 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sun Apr 13, 2008
The other advice here is very good. I'd just go a step further than some (who note, correctly, that in today's market you should be delighted you have a willing and able buyer) and say: Even in a seller's market, the request from the buyers would have been entirely reasonable.

Understand: They're buying a new home. They want it to work for them. They want new carpet and they want some repairs done. That's understandable and reasonable. And it can take awhile to order carpet (especially if it's a special order, not something already in stock), and it can take awhile to schedule repair people to come in. They'd like their new home to be ready for them as soon as possible after they buy. So they're scheduling the carpet and repair people to come with them on a walk-through. Sorry about them showing up a couple hours early. However, a lot of home service people seem to work early hours--7 am-3 pm, or some such. (I'd never be able to do that, but more power to them!) It's difficult enough just getting a handman or carpet person to show up sometimes; getting them both there at the same time is a nice accomplishment. And noon was probably the only time that worked. Yes, the buyer should have called you regarding the time change. But there was no nefarious plan to inconvenience you or upset you.

And, to answer your specific questions:

1) The buyers and buyer's agent are not taking advantage of you.

2) Your agent is on your side. Both legally and functionally. Your agent's job was to find a willing and able buyer so that you could sell your home on terms acceptable to you. And your agent's job is to facilitate that transaction. And your agent's job is to provide professional advice to you. Sounds as if your agent is doing all that.

3) If you decide not to sell, you can back out. I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. Before you do anything else, get a lawyer. But there will be major problems from the buyers and even from your agent, who (depending on your listing agreement) probably is owed a commission for finding the buyers.

Hope that helps.
2 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Sun Apr 13, 2008
Hello Peter. Are you serious? Why on earth would you not want the buyers be able to have measurements for new carpet taken? If I were you, I'd be delighted as it indicates that these buyers are committed to the purchase. Most sellers these days are concerned about the buyers changing their mind at the last minute and they welcome any sign from the buyer that they'll go through with the transaction. They can't order the carpet until the measurements are taken. They probably have the installation already scheduled and they should not have to wait until the day escrow closes to order carpet as that will then delay their move-in day. You hired your agent not to always agree with you but to sell your condo and to guide and counsel you through the process. Sometimes disagreeing with our clients becomes necessary.

Showing up early for the walk-through may very well have been a result of mis-communication and I am glad you did not deny them access just to have them come back at 2:00 p.m. In my experience, a little bit of flexibility can go a long way and sometimes that flexibility can pay off big time. I once represented buyers in a transaction in which the sellers were very inflexible and denied reasonable requests from the buyer. The contract called for the property to be vacant 3 days before the close of escrow and the seller called on day 4 before the close of escrow to request that he can move out on the day of the closing instead because of a miscommunication with the moving company about the actual moving day. Guess what, do you think the sellers' prior refusal of the buyer's reasonable requests helped or hurt them when they needed something from the buyers? The point I am trying to make is. You never ever know when you might need something from the other side of the transaction and you should always keep that in mind when you make your decisions.

One more thing. You should call an attorney to ask what happens if you back out of the contract now. Based on what you described, I don't see any good cause for a cancellation of the agreement by the seller. I can only tell you that a seller's cancellation rights are much more limited than the buyer's cancellation rights and the legal concequences of cancellation without good cause are different for buyers and sellers. If I were you, I would start packing instead of thinking about whether you'd want to cancel the agreement at the 11th hour.
1 vote
L.A. Real Es…, , Los Angeles, CA
Sat Apr 12, 2008
Hi Peter,
Id have to tell you that you are in a very good situation. I would not consider backing out at this point. In today's buyers market, sellers need these qualified, ready-to-close the deal buyers! You found one...dont lose it for some minor inconveniences. Take a step back and try to look at it in how much you helped your buyers get a head start on their new house...Karma is a good thing and it will come back to you in a positive way when the time comes.
Good Luck to you
Lou & Alex
LA Real Estate Group
1 vote
Laarni G. Om…, , Orange County, CA
Sat Apr 12, 2008
Hi Peter,

Although I empathize with your situation, the fact that your escrow will close next week maybe the reason why your agent is accommodating your buyers although this is not a total excuse for not following the set time for their appointment. But right now it is almost choosing the lesser of the two evils, let the buyers get a little leeway to do their homework so they will be ready once they move or for the buyers to cancel this transaction. Although the buyers may loose their deposit, they can still cancel their transaction and THAT is a REAL headache and if you will back out this close in the game, you have not seen the last of these buyers yet. Hang in there, you are almost in the finish line-- keep your eye on the ball-- get it through!

Good Luck,

1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sat Apr 12, 2008
IN this market, having a willing and able buyer is a plus. My experience is that most issues are due to a lack of clear communication. I suggest that you sit down with your Realtor and discuss your concerns candidly.
1 vote
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sat Apr 12, 2008
Hi, Peter. It is not the least bit unreasonable to allow the buyer (you are fortunate to find a qualified buyer for your property) to have someone measure for new carpet. It is a very common courtesy that happens on a daily basis. Are you angry with this buyer for some reason?

You should let your agent know how you feel about his representation on your behalf. Also, all you had to do if it was inconvenient for the buyers (I'm sure they are very anxious and excited about their new home) to see the property 2 hours early was to tell them to come back at the appointed time - you did not have to let them in.

I agree that if you choose to back out of this sale you may be in more trouble than you would like to be! You have rights and so does the buyer.

Hope this all works out well for you.
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1 vote
Kathleen Sei…, Agent, Gainesville, FL
Sat Apr 12, 2008
You say walk-thru, is that the 'final' walk-thru?

1 & 2: Put yourself in their shoes - wouldn't you ask your agent if you could go measure? If they said it was OK you would do it.

They can bring people with them for the final walk-thru, unless your contract says otherwise - not really taking advantage of anything. As long as they don't do damage.

It sounds like your agent was making the best of a bad situation when the buyers showed up 2 hours early. Sounds like there was a miscommunication about the appointment time.

3. Why do you want to cancel the sale? I am betting it has to do with more than the buyers bringing in a carpet man. What does your contract say about canceling? If you cancel for a reason that is not allowed in your contract then the buyers may sue you - in Florida they can sue for non-performance and often the judge will make the seller go through with the contract.
1 vote
LuLu DeBolt, Agent, La Crescenta, CA
Tue Feb 26, 2013
Is very common to do measures ,Buyers seems very interested and sure is buying the place ..if you drop all contingencies ,you are maybe in risk of loosing their deposit...Do you want to sell it ?
0 votes
Jamie Tian, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Feb 12, 2013
Hi Peter,

Like the others said, I don't think the buyer's are trying to take advantage of you. They are just serious about purchasing the property and want to change the carpet!

There may have been some sort of miscommunication about the appointment time for the walk through, but this doesn't seem like a reason to back out of the escrow!

Good Luck!

Jamie Tian
Rodeo Realty
(310) 717-1321
DRE #01920120
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0 votes
Nicole Lee, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Feb 12, 2013
Iam in the same situation. In my contract I listed I wanted all inspections done within 14 days. They did a home inspection right away. Plus have brought a guy from Home Depot to measure kitchen cabinets, a window guy to measure windows, a carpet guy to measure for carpet, a plumber to check plumbing out, an air conditioning guy to estimate new central air unit. And I have never heard or had any buy be able to come get all these estimates on 'my time'
My realtor says he's allowed to have any one come inspect or measure or estimate for anything he'd like until the 14 days are up. I feel like my realtor is working more for the buyer then me. I had family here from out of town (I'm moving 2500 miles away) and the visit was interrupted by these estimates the buyer wanted. Even after asking my realtor to have them rescheduled when my family would not be here.
I want to know am I required to allow the buyer to have all these home improvement estimates during escrow?
It is still my home and a great Inconvienience.
What are my rights? Do I have any!?
0 votes
Irina Netcha…, Agent, San Marino, CA
Sun Apr 13, 2008
Hi Peter,

I know that selling a home can be a very draining and difficult experience. The great thing is that you're almost at the end here.

A little flexibility will go a long way with your buyers. Just put yourself in their shoes. They're excited about buying your home and they're planning what it's going to look like and the types of things they'd like to do to make it theirs.

I just sold my personal home and moved to a new one. I changed carpetting and did some other work in both homes. It takes a lot of planning and coordination. Almost everything now needs to be prescheduled and preordered, especially carpetting.

If you are seriously thinking of backing out of this escrow, please check with a real estate attorney first for ramifications.

Good luck to you,
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