Hi, Aaron, Thank you for your reply,
1. An Agreement of Sale usually states that the sale is, for example, "contingent on buyer obtaining a purchase money mortgage in the amount of $___________ at a maximum interest rate of __________ %.
So that if your seller drags his feet and your loan commitment from the lender at a certain interest rate expires, and the lender offers you a higher interest rate, you could get out of the Agreement of Sale because you do not have to accept the loan at the higher interest rate;
2. The fact that there are liens on the property does not mean that the property is the subject of litigation. If your seller took out a mortgage loan when he purchased the property, that mortgage would also appear as a lien on the property and would be satisfied at settlement with the sale proceeds.
3. Normally, the Agreement of Sale will state that,
"seller shall convey title to the subject property, free and clear of all mortgages, liens, and other encumbrances, and such as would be insured by any reputable title company"
This obligates the seller to convey title to the property free and clear of all liens, mortgages, and any other encumbrances and if seller is unable to do so, or a title company will not insure your title free and clear and also insure your lender as first mortgagee, then you can rescind the Agreement of Sale on those grounds;
4. As for which party had an obligation to inform you of the liens on the property, it would be the selling broker. However, even if the selling broker did not inform you of these liens, they would have all shown up on the title report issued by the title company which would conduct the closing and which would insist that all the liens be satisfied at settlement before the title company would insure clear title to the property to you.
Therefore, the only possible problem I see is that the seller drags his feet and your Agreement of Sale is silent on the maximum interest rate you would have to accept on your mortgage loan. But, this would be unlikely because Agreements of Sale will not normally leave the maximum acceptable interest blank, there is always a stated maximum. Therefore, if your loan commitment expires and you are offered a higher interest rate, you do not have to go through with the sale and you would inform the seller through the selling broker that their delays have caused your loan commitment to expire and you are, therefore, exercising your right to rescind and cancel the Agreement of Sale. Be sure this is done in writing so that there is no misunderstanding,
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