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AttyHeather, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 512
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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We where interested in a house that was in pending status

Customer Question

We where interested in a house that was in pending status meaning there was an offer on the table already, our realtor asked the sellers agent if they where still taking offers, they replied back with "they were".
Our realtor started a contract on 6/18/16 making mention of Line item #33 Cancellation of Prior Real Estate Contract with a date of 6/20/16. From that point on we started the ball rolling on inspections until they told us we needed to cancel the contract due to the initial buyers threatening to sue the sellers for cancelling the initial contract. Our realtor told us we needed to sign a cancellation of contract letter, which was done to cancel our contract.
We have been waiting several weeks to know when we can get back into contract due to initial buyers not meeting their contingent dates and got word that the initial buyers had until last Friday 7/8/16 to meet the contingency date. Our realtor mentioned a cancellation letter was sent on Friday 7/8/16. I followed up with our realtor on Monday 7/11/16 and he said that the original buyers do not want to sign the cancellation letter and keep moving the date out. Now they are saying they have until this Friday. Not really sure what options we have at this point since they are just getting dates extended and if there is something we can do I would like to know.There is mention that the original buyers put some type of lien on the property and the realtors are really not sure what to do or what options we have. The initial buyers are not signing the cancellation letter.
Are they following the right process?
Can they keep extending the dates and keep others from making offers on the house?
Is this something that can be disputed?
Should I be hiring an attorney to look into this?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 3 months ago.

Hi, I'm Heather, an attorney with 15 years experience and I'd like to assist for informational purposes.

When you agreed to cancel your contract and sent the cancellation letter, which you were instructed to do by your realtor, at that point (depending on what was in the letter), the seller did not have any further legal obligations to you.

The seller is now only contractually bound to the original buyers, and although the seller may have the option to cancel the contract rather than giving time extensions, if the seller wants to work with the original buyer and if the seller opts to give the time extensions that is his choice. On the other hand, the seller can send the original cancellation letter and then choose to work with you. Since you canceled your contract with the seller, it's not really up to you at this point.

If you really want the house, then it might be a good idea to do an hour's consult with an attorney to have them review the documents you have signed. He might be able to find something in the cancellation that works to your favor, but based on the facts you have stated, I don't see you with an option to compel the sellers to work with you.

Let me know if this has answered your question.

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 2 months ago.

Hi, Please let me know if I have answered your question. I see that you viewed my answer, but did not give me a positive rating, and did not ask a follow up question.

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