Real Estate Law
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Hi! I have several follow-up questions.
Since I know the builder, and I know how he might react, should I mention that if he doesn't agree to replace the cabinets, I will contact my attorney, file a complaint, etc.?
You can always keep that in your back pocket depending on how he reacts.
When os the closing?
Well, it was supposed to be September 31st, but then was pushed back to October 15th, but now we are told it will likely be the first week of November.
Which is my next question.
He is slow and unprofessional?
The contract reads: "The estimated completion date is approximately . . . This is approximately when the home will have passed the final inspection of the appropriate building inspector. Buyer acknowledges above completion date is an estimate only and Seller will not be liable for any delay in completion of work caused by factors outside its control such as weather conditions, material and manpower shortages and delay in selections by Buyer."
Does this give him the ability to keep changing the closing date?
Forever . . .
If he wants to.
Yes and no.
In law there is the requirement that parties contract in good faith.
If his extensions become unreasonable he will be acting in bad faith.
Bad faith breaches the contract
You have a great contract clause
"Buyer has the right to have an independent home inspection done, at Buyer's expense, prior to closing, to Buyer's complete satisfaction.
Buyer or Buyer's designated representative may enter and inspect the House at reasonable times and in such manner as not to interfere with the progress of construction for the limited purpose of determining whether the work performed or being performed conforms with the plans and specifications and the terms of this agreement and any addendum's. In the event that during construction the Buyer shall reasonably determine that such construction is not proceeding in accordance with this offer to purchase, Buyer shall give written notice to Seller specifying the particular deviation, deficiency, or omission, and the Seller shall promptly correct such deviation, deficiency, or omission.
All finishes and features are to be equivalent or better than the quality of the finishes and features of the model home, even if no upgrades other than those specified on this specification sheet are selected."
If he breaches the contract, we would get our earnest money back (although we might have to go to court to get it as the contract says both parties must agree authorizing the disbursement), but what about additional money we paid them for optional upgrades?
Yes, I added all of those.
Once we have bad faith you can ask for other damages
Good for you! That is terrific
Do you think he will breach?
Yes. Part of me thinks he is trying to breach.
I wonder why.
So he could sell the house for more. We were the first one to sign a contract in the neighborhood and the prices have gone up.
We also chose a couple of other upgrades, but paid a third-party for the extra amount. For example, we chose Caesarstone instead Granite, which cost us an additional $2,000. We paid that directly to the countertop company. How would we get that money back?
That would not be a great move on his part, Aside form suing him you can file a complaint against him with the State, BBB complaints etc.
You can include that in your damages if he breaches and the material is not refundable.
Can you sue for more than the earnest money and cost we paid for the upgrades?
As I stated bad faith opens the door for damages.
This should be a happy experience, not stressful.
This isn't the only problem we've had.
It's been one thing after another.
I watched my house being built and found so many mistakes. In the end everything was perfect.
I agree. My wife and I were so excited to build this house but it has turned into a nightmare. We have tried to be nice and we have tried to be firm and nothing seems to work. That is why I am sending this letter.
Do you think sending the letter requiring them to replace the cabinets and fireplace is the right move?
You have to stay on top of these builders.
Without seeing the cabinets and fireplace it is hard to say.
I made my builder replace shower doors
Thanks for your help. I'm going to email the letter and also send a copy by certified mail.
Hopefully he'll do the right thing.
That sounds great. Let me know how everything works out.
I'm sure I'll be back to ask you more questions in the future. Thanks again. By the way, do you agree with the other expert that said we could just go in and replace the cabinets and subtract it from the settlement amount at closing?
I did not like that idea. I told him it was time to sign off for the night and he did.
Funny you should ask
I said it very nicely
You were nicer than me.
Thanks again for your help!
You are very welcome.