What to do if we are selling our house but the buyer has disappeared?

We went into contract 2 months ago and buyer disappeared from communications for the last 5 weeks. She didn’t show for closing, however the agents are telling me that she has to sign before we can go forward. We have a cash back-up offer and they want the house now. If original buyer did not show for closing does she not void the contract? And why would she have anything to do with us going forward and selling our house?

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the buyer did not show up for closing and didn't even communicate as to "why" or seek a reasonable rescheduling (e.g. for health reasons), then yes, she would most likely be in material (important) breach of contract, meaning that you should be able to treat the contract as terminated and sell to our back-up buyer.

It's not impossible that the first buyer would re-appear later and claim that you breached the contract by sellilng to someone else, but based on what you write, you should have a strong case that, as stated, she breached the contract in such way as to let you treat it as terminated. If she had a valid reason (e.g. in the hospital), you might need to give her any deposit or earnest money back (it's not certain you would, but it's a possibility), but would not appear, based on what you write, to face other liability.


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