Renegotiation after a counter-signed agreement

I’ve made an offer on a home that had a previous buyer’s agreement in place, that had a contingency to close by 09/30. The seller offered me, the buyer, a counter-offer on a new buy/sell agreement that was accepted. The terms of the counter offer was that I would remain a back-up buyer until the previous buyer could not fulfill their contingency. They had 72 hours from 09/18 at 12:00 pm to confirm or deny their ability to close before 09/30. Today we were notified they’ve renegotiated with the seller until 10/10. post countersign.

Asked on September 21, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It depends on exactly what your contract said. If it stated in the contract that you would become the buyer if the other buyer did not confirm by 9/21/18 at 12pm--that is, it put the exact time, dates, etc. in the contract--then once that time passed without the other buyer confirming ther ability to close, you should have become the buyer instead of them. If that did not happen, the seller violated the terms of the contract and you could sue them for breach--possibly that they have to sell to you, or at least for compensation. 
But if it instead said you'd become the buyer only if and when the other buyer could not fulfill their contingency and your contract did not include a date certain by which they had to be done, then the seller and other buyer could legally extend the time they had to fulfill the contingency. Only when they stop extending it and it remains unfulfilled would you become the buyer.

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