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Seller Refuses to Extend Closing

With all the things that could go wrong in Real Estate, this is one that should not happen. These days we face situations in lending no one could foresee. Under Writing used to take 2-3 days, but now can take over a week. Depending upon the loan it could go 2 weeks. Buyers are faced with an ever increasing amount of hurdles to clear, constantly supplying this form, that check, and who knows what until the Under Writer begins their job. It seems problems come up when an Under Writer comes back with one condition, waits for it to be cleared, only to send the lender 2 or 3 more a few days later.


Once in a while an Under Writer reviews the Offer to Purchase and begins to request changes. Most likely these changes usually involve items included in the purchase of the property. The safe way to avoid this delay is to include only stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and water softener when applicable. Other items can be addressed on a Bill of Sale between the Seller and Buyer.


In this particular sale, we saw a number of delays. The closing date was only a few days away and we could not obtain a clear to close from the Under Writer. We expected a delay and asked the Seller for an extension. The Seller refused.


Some Sellers may be misled by Listing Agents or Brokers. A delay in closing may be a breach of contract, but may not be a valid reason to unilaterally cancel a contract. If Seller and Buyer agree to extend the closing, there is no real problem. If Seller and Buyer agree to cancel the contract, there is no problem. If a sale does not close on time and one party wants to cancel while the other wants to proceed, we have a problem. When this occurs all Agents and Brokers can do is advise both parties to seek the advise of an Attorney. As in this case, once they have a day or two to reconsider the facts, the loan is approved and a closing can be scheduled, both parties will most likely decide to eliminate additional frustration and close the deal. A good Agent will always discuss the advantages of keeping the deal alive and under contract. Every party has time and money invested in the sale. Killing one deal will not guarantee the next will be any easier.

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