what if you accept an offer and don't want to sell at closing?

Asked by Tina Rybak, Green Bay, WI Mon Mar 2, 2009

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Fred Glick’s answer
Fred Glick, Agent, Mountain View, CA
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Dear Tina,

You have signed a contract and if the buyers have performed what they were supposed to do and you don't, they can hold you to the contract.

They can actually file and action that puts a cloud on the title called a Lis Pendens. What that means to you is that you cannot sell the property until the dispute has been resolved.

I suggest you consult an attorney!
Web Reference:  http://fredglick.com
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Anything is possible. It just requires money.
My guess is that the buyers can prove damages, meaning the seller will have to "buy them out.".

Your profile says home buyer. If you are the buyer, then I would talk with my Realtor and find out why they want to cancel the transaction. There may be a compelling reason. Find out.

I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice. I would suggest getting the facts, then assess your damages, and perhaps come up with a range of responses:
Heck no, I am going to force you to let me buy
Okay, you have a good reason for not selling now, but I have invested time and money
Somewhere in between.

Good luck.

For a new perspective, put yourself in the seller's shoes. Sometimes that helps you see what is fair.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Speak with your listing agent you are held by terms and conditions of executed agreement. In the sales contract it will govern what can take place due to lack of performance for buyer or seller. You could be sued or requested to pay for buyers expense.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
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Trey Miller, , Tampa, FL
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Hi Tina,
The short answer is you can be sued for specific performance. If you do not sign the settlement papers/closing documents you are in breach of contract with that buyer. However, you would not be the first buyer or seller who refused to sign at the closing table. Sometimes the agents, buyer and seller are able to work out the problem and the closing is delayed but still happens. Other times, attorneys get involved. Talk with your agent, if you have one, and let them know what you are planning to do and why. One more thing, you may still have to pay the commission to both agents because you had a contract for sale that was agreed to by both buyer and seller.

Best of luck!
Trey Miller
Prudential Tropical Realty
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Karen Wenzel,…, Agent, Brookfield, WI
Mon Mar 2, 2009
the first thing I would say is that you will probably need to see a Real Estate Attorney. When you are in a legal binding contract- each party is responsible for carrying out their "end of the contract". If you should
decide not to comply, and refuse to sell (assuming that the Buyer is willing and able to complete their end of the deal) you could be sued by the Buyer for "breach of contract" and "specific performance".

Again, if there is any chance that the contract would be breached- it would be prudent to get an Attorney involved immediately.

All the Best To you
Web Reference:  http://GoPackerUp.com
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Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Mon Mar 2, 2009
Hi Tina,
I am not sure I 100 % understand your question.
I am assuming that you just want to find out what happens, but have not yet accepted an offer i.e. you do not yet have a fully executed, agreed upon and by all parties signed contract is that true?

You are the seller - you get an offer, you accept or agree on all terms with the buyer, all changes are made and both parties buyers and sellers sign the contract and initial all changes, you then have most likely a
7 or 10 day inspection and attorney approval period, then you have raised earnest money, and a time period agreed upon for the buyer to bring in the lenders loan commitment in writing, thereafter the date place and time for the closing will be set up.....

Once you have a signed contract based on the terms of the contract what is spelled out in there will happen,
The buyers if they have done everything acc. to contract will not only have lost time and effort, and money, but they also may have lost out on being able to make an offer on another property.

Therefore it is a good idea for you to work not only with an experienced Realtor who can explain all terms of the contract you will be signing and all parts of the offer you are receiving, but you will also have that 7 day or so time period after you signed for your attorney to review the contract and possibly point out some terms you may want to change or have the buyers change....

Just be careful..... And get good professional advice......a good Realtor and a good real estate attorney will guide you through the process....
Why did you think about asking this question in the first place, if you can explain a little further, may be our advice will be a bit better....
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