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CALawyer
CALawyer, Lawyer
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I just bought a house contingent on sale of old.When I made

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I just bought a house contingent on sale of old.When I made an offer the contract said inspection had to be done by July 6.Found out 2wks before closing that the seller of new house was going to buy old and therefore I needed to get inspection.Inspector was there the next day and I gave the list to the seller who agreed to have it completed prior to closing reguardless of time.Day before closing he said all would be completed 2 hrs prior to closing.Inspector there a 2nd time, nothing completed. Decided to push back closing.Seller, myself, and inspector came up with plan about contract.At closing,seller wrote legal contract that stated "list will be completed to buyers acceptance in 30 days.$4000 is being held by buyer to be returned when list is completed."Some of list was completed,and some not.33 days past,cashed check.Seller aggressive and threatening lawsuit.Says since no inspection by July 6 everything void.Wants part of $ back for partial completion.Money mine or contract void?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CALawyer replied 5 years ago.
Without seeing the exact contracts issues like this are hard to determine. <br /><br /><br />Here is my take. Remember, this cannot be construed as legal advice. <br /><br />Parties can enter into any agreements they want. If there is a contract signed by the parties that says the buyer can hold $4,000.00 and the seller has to complete items, then that is a contract. This sounds like a whole separate contract from the buy/sell agreement, or a modification of the buy/sell agreement. Either way, if the contract itself was written after the inspection date and doesn't say its contingent on the inspection being completed by a certain date, then the inspection doesn't have to be completed by a certain date. Additionally, it would seem that the seller agreeing to this would essentially waive any claim that the inspection had to be completed by a certain date. <br /><br />Now, on the other hand, penalties in contracts aren't typically enforceable although liquidated damages may be. That means that usually courts wouldn't allow someone to keep the whole $4,000.00, what they would typically allow is to let the person keep whatever it costs to do the rest of the repairs. If finishing the rest of the repairs costs $4,000.00, then ok. If it costs less, the seller typically gets part of the money back.<br /><br /><strong><br />If this information was helpful, please click </strong><strong><u>ACCEPT</u> to give me credit for answering. Bonuses and positive feedback are appreciated if deserved. If you have any related follow up questions or need clarification, just ask!</strong><span class="smtext"><br /> <br />Remember, this is for entertainment and educational discussion only and is not intended as legal advice and that no attorney client relationship is formed.</span><span class="smtext"><br /></span><br /><br /><br /><br />
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Would it be appropriate to keep the money until further action is taken or just get quotes for remainder of repairs and offer the seller the difference back? I don't understand the legality of contracts if the parties don't have to follow them. But thank you for the help.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 5 years ago.
Does the contract specifically say that buyer gets to keep the entire $4,000.00 if seller fails to complete entire list?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
States "agrees to complete list to buyer sastisfaction within 30 days. List is in possession of both buyer and seller. Four thousand dollars is being held by buyers until list is completed."
Expert:  CALawyer replied 5 years ago.
Parties can agree to liquidated damages (ie. saying if someone breaches, other person gets $4,000), but it has to be specifically worded that way.

Easiest thing to do, would be to get quotes, do repairs, then give back remainder and get receipt signed saying it is accepted as payment in full of anything seller is entitled to.


If this information was helpful, please click ACCEPT to give me credit for answering. Bonuses and positive feedback are appreciated if deserved. If you have any related follow up questions or need clarification, just ask!

Remember, this is for entertainment and educational discussion only and is not intended as legal advice and that no attorney client relationship is formed.
CALawyer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1655
Experience: Practicing Real Estate Attorney
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