Can a seller legally refuse to help with costs unless they use their lender/

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Can a seller legally refuse to help with costs unless they use their lender/

Asked on June 4, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes. A seller is generally under no obligation to help with costs--it's something that many do, in this down real estate market, to sweeten the  pot and attract buyers, but it is not an obligation of theirs. Since it is something they voluntarily offer, they attach strings to it--only if you close by a certain date, only if you waive some issue that turned up in home inspection, or (in this case) only if you use a certain lender.

The EXCEPTION would be if they had already made a commitment to help with costs without the specific lender requirement, and that committment had been part of the deal between you; they cannot alter a contract or agreement unilaterally after the fact. That said, if they had made a committment to help with costs with no strings attached to it, but that committment was only made verbally, that committment may be unenforceable; so unless you have a piece of paper committing them to contribute to the costs, they are free to impose any legal conditions they want.


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