What to do if we are days away from closing on a home but the sellers are refusing to sign an extension?

Our purchase agreement is set to expire on the 16th but we will likely need until the 19th or 20th to close; we are signing final documents on the 15th or 16th. We have paid about $3000 in repairs to appease the lenders and over $1000 in appraisals and inspections. We have submitted every required document as quickly as possible, and our loan agent and real estate agent would attest to that. Can they really cancel the contract as they are threatening to do? If so, can we take them to court? Can we request that the sale go through, or do we simply request the money that was paid out? Is this common?

Asked on November 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if the contract expires on the 16th, the sellers would have the right to cancel the contract and keep any deposit/earnest money;  they have the right to enforce the plain terms of the agreement which you and they mutually agreed to. Your best best is likely to try to get them to agree to an extension, even if it means offering them another $1,000 or $2,000 for the privilege.

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