What's wrong with buyers? We had our home"sold" in March 2008, and

Asked by madseller, 95037 Mon Aug 17, 2009

buyers cancelled the agreement after holding the contract for them for 10 weeks. Anyway, to make a long, sad and very unfair story short., my husband did not want to pursue getting any of the deposit from buyers, even though we lost a lot of time and money "holding" the property for them. We also had completely moved out as we were assured by both realtors that the deal was going to go through. I refused to sign to give the deposit back, and my husband only signed. Our realtor (would never use him again) did not even try to get the money we spent for all the inspections (well, septic etc). We even tried to lure the buyers back with a price rededuction. We lost months of mortgage, utilities and of course time considered "on the market". Also moving expenses. Any recourse?

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Bob Georgiou, Agent, Danville, CA
Mon Sep 7, 2009
Running to attorneys is the WRONG answer, not to say that isn't an option soon enough.

1) Call the agent's broker. Get him involved. He is going to do everything possible to not end up liable for his agent. If he is a good broker, he will try to help you. If he goes into litigation defense mode...then get a lawyer.

2) When you get the broker involved, ask for help from their in house counsel. If he doesn't help you to your satisfaction then get an attorney.

The problem likely isn't with the buyer though.

On the upside you should have a full set of reports and you can now ask for true as-is offers.
Web Reference:  http://bob2sell.com
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Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Sep 7, 2009
Your contract will spell out your options. If the buyer built in contingencies that the seller were to perform a BLA (binding lot adjustment) by a certain time frame and the sellers failed then that is a one story. If the Buyers signed off on all contingencies and then they failed to perform then that is a another story.

This is where the parties need to get their agents and their brokers involved, contact attorneys if they can not remedy the situation based on what the parties agreed to in the contract.

My frustrations with our field is that the contract is not given the weight it deserves. The whole reason for the purchase contract is to build in remedies for performance and consequences for failing to perform. The deposit is there for a reason. My fellow agents may chastise me for this, I think the sellers should also be required to put money up front into escrow too. The contract is for two parties and it is designed for both parties.

The Deposit is there for a reason, in the event the Buyers fail to perform it is to cover the Seller's loss. It may not cover your inspections, but moving and lost market value are losses. It is not the agents job to make the other party perform and pay. You hire an agent to put into place contracts and advice so that in the event something goes sideways you have your best protection forward. Then should you have to go to arbitration and/or attorneys they will review the contract and all documentations and decide, based on who put together the better file. This is what agents are paid for.

So when you are interviewing another agent your questions will most likely not even include how much they charge, but more on their experience and skills, which is invaluable.

Best of luck to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.terrivellios.com
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madseller, Home Seller, 95037
Tue Aug 18, 2009
Thanks everybody. The escrow was only suppose to be 60 days. The buyers simply changed their minds (that's what we were told). We had an issue that I could not write in last question because to long,. We were doing a lot line adjustment with our neighbors and wanted to record at the same time. Tittle Co did not tell us until ready to close that we had to get out neighbor's lender's approval. Since that took 2 weeks, buyers were able to get out. This was when home prices were falling drastically, and what our home was worth in March 08 it was not worth in June 08. We are in another escrow with a buyer for $230,000 less right now. Different realtor, but I'm still afraid something might happen again. Bought and sold lots of property in Ca, but never had such problems. It's the times!No fun for sellers
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NonRealtor, , 23456
Tue Aug 18, 2009
It sounds as if you made too many assumptions. Deals fall apart--seems to be common in the current economic climate. Maybe you can move back into your house--and stay there until it is sold. Good Luck
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Equity Homes…, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Aug 18, 2009
This is a long contract. I wonder why you had such a long time period to close. Why did the buyers not purchase the property? Could they no longer qualify for the loan, or did they simply change their mind? The contract should state that under certain instances the buyer is entitled to receive the deposit money back --including the inability to get a loan provided this was not a cash contract.
I would talk to the Realtor. They should be in your court . Did your Realtor also have the buyer?
Then talk to a Real Estate attorney about how to proceed from here.
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Jesse Sierra, Agent, Pomona, CA
Mon Aug 17, 2009
Tell your husband that you cannot pay for necesities with "nice". Keep the deposit, if the buyers were in your shoes, they would keep the deposit.

Get a real estate attorney, not a regular attorney.

I wishing you the best,

Jes Sierra, B.Sc., Realtor®
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon Aug 17, 2009
I suggest talking with an attorney AND your Realtor.

Selling a house is not like selling a car. It sounds to me (just based on your post), that your time would be best spent talking with three new Realtors regarding how to get your home sold.

You have options
Keep it as a rental and wait for the market to turn around.
Keep it as a rental period. (my vote)

You need to learn your options.

Also, talk with your CPA regarding deductions....
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Abe Mills, Agent, Greenville, SC
Mon Aug 17, 2009
Great answer Matthew! I agree totally, go talk with your attorney.

Good Luck!
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