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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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In Maryland, as part of the contract for buying a potential

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In Maryland, as part of the contract for buying a 'potential' short sale, we signed a "Short Sale Contingency Addendum to Sales Contract". It had a "Short Sale Deadline" for approval by the seller's lenders of yesterday, 4/30/13. It further has language that says the contingency will continue until the Buyer delivers notice of intent to void the contract (in which case it becomes void on the third day following - unless the lender approves in the meantime.
Our RE agent is telling us that we have to sign a 30-day extension (until 5/30/13) in order to keep the contract in force. I told her that the addendum language doesn't reflect that. Signing would freeze us out of other opportunities for another month. I would rather keep options open, and live with the 3 day scenario.
Do we have to sign the extension? Thanks for any insight.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.

RayAnswers :

Since the original contract ended you do not have to sign an addendum.You have the right here to either negotiate better terms or move on and have your earnest money returned.

RayAnswers :

You have a valid thought here that this does tie you up.Short sales in general can be time consuming, frustrating, and many do not close.You may want to keep your options open.

RayAnswers :

You do not have to agree to an extension here since the original agreement expired.Alternatively you have the right to negotiate the terms you want.You are not under any obligation here to agree to something you do not want to.

RayAnswers :

You have the option to end this and walk away since the original time period has expired.

RayAnswers :

And I agree with you totally that that if the addendum does not have limiting language you would not want to sign it because of that.

RayAnswers :

I wonder if your agent is being truthful with you or trying to force you into terms you are not agreeable too.

RayAnswers :

Everything here would be on the table--you can either seek better terms or simply decline to extend and move on.

Customer:

Ray - Thanks for your rapid reply. I understand that we can end it, but if we just do not sign the extension, it seems to me that the contract will remain in force. That way we can continue to look, but if we hear from these lenders in a reasonable time, we could go through with the contract the way it stands. Would that be true?

RayAnswers :

You would want the addendum reworded to limit the time here.If the deadline for approval expired on 4/30/2013 as far as approval then it likely expired if there was no written approval prior to deadline.The realtor should have told you that but again they might be wanting to make a deal.I have so many clients that have short sales collapse.The lenders can be real slow and many times will not approve or want the buyer to pay more.

RayAnswers :

I would consider seeking to lint the addendum here if you want to keep options open.You have legitimate concerns.

RayAnswers :

Why wouldn't you want to do so.Not sure why the realtor tells you otherwise.

RayAnswers :

You can seek better terms here and any limits you want make sure the contract reflects those.

RayAnswers :

That is prudent on your part to do so.

Customer:

And by saying "limit the addendum", you mean give them an additional 10 days (or so) and not a full 30?

RayAnswers :

Yes that would be negotiable here on your part.I can understand why you are thinking this way.It is a well thought out concern on your part and the realtor does not seem to be addressing it.So be persistent here.

RayAnswers :

I think you have the right ideas here to seek a better and clearer addendum.

RayAnswers :

I do appreciate the chance to chat with you tonight.I wish you the best.

Customer:

OK, Ray, thanks for your insight. It's been very helpful. Signing off. John D.

RayAnswers :

Take care.If you can leave a positive rating it is much appreciated.

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