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Closing Questions

My house recently went into escrow that was supposed to last 60 days. One week before closing we were notified by the real estate agent that the house did not appraise for the amount agreed upon in the sales contract. The buyers are refusing to obtain another mortgage company or another appraisal at my cost. Do they forfeit their 2500.00 that is in escrow to me, or is it a technicality and they get their money back?

First, look at your purchase contract. Most Realtors put deadlines in the contract during which certain things must occur, such as appraisal or loan approval. Review the contract to see if they lived up to those types of terms in the contract. Second, press to find out why it took 55 days to get an appraisal. This just seems wrong. Request the name and phone number of the appraiser so your agent can make inquiries.

You’re probably not being given the true reason for cancellation.

Escrow normally cannot release the deposit money without the permission of both sides. Continue to press until you feel you are being given the real reasons for not closing the transaction.

Keep in mind that if you are asking for legal advice, that can only be obtained from a lawyer.

We were set to close and the seller now wants to set up new closing date. Can I get them to come down off the price of the house and anything else you think that would help me?

The seller may have had legitimate reasons or perhaps not. You can attempt to renegotiate the price if you choose to, and this can be looked at several ways. Once you make your offer to purchase the house at a lower price, this can be looked at as a new offer, which can nullify your original offer.

Most likely, you are going to just have to decide whether you like the house enough to go ahead with the purchase.

The seller is unable to find a replacement property by the time the sixty day escrow closes. They have requested an extension of thirty days. If we do not agree to that extension, will we lose the appraisal fee, the home inspection fee, and our deposit?

You'll probably get your deposit back, minus a small cancellation fee. However, the appraisal and home inspection have been done and those guys don't work for free, so that money is gone. Since both the appraisal and home inspection were done for that specific property, if you choose not to extend and buy a different property you will have to pay those fees again.

Suggestion:

Do you want to extend and wait around another thirty days and find the seller still has not purchased something? Remember in your purchase contract that you had time conditions placed upon you. For example, it may have been two days to apply for a loan, seven days to review the disclosures, fourteen days to get a home inspection, and so on.

One hour before closing I signed an addendum to remove tires from the property. There were about 6 to 8tires that I had removed. Mysteriously, about 30 tires have appeared on the property. Am I responsible for their removal? I have witnesses that can state they were not on the property on settlement day.

It just goes to show you how crazy real estate can be, doesn't it?

Most real estate contracts detail exactly when you are to turn over possession of the property to the seller. Turning over possession usually occurs sometime after the transaction actually closes. Often this is three days after closing. If the tires showed up before the transfer of the property (as stated in the contract), you should probably remove the tires.

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